Blog

Anadiplosis – Increase Impact with this Word Repetition

By October 19, 2016 July 21st, 2019 No Comments
word cloud message cloud with almost 300 figures of speech - figures of speech very large with anadiplosis large

This blog post is about Anadiplosis, a Repetition Figure of Speech. It is part of a series on repetition. I share them as the English language has hundreds of literary devices to help you (dramatically) improve the effectiveness and impact of your various communication.

Repetition used well, strengthens your written and spoken narrative with emphasis and emotion. Repetition is by far, one of the most powerful of all figures of speech. Why? Because as human beings, we are programmed to recognize patterns and to pay attention to them.

While I include background information, Greek word derivation, and pronunciation, what is most important is the application of each figure of speech in your written, spoken, and social media communication.

I tell my consulting customers, workshop participants, coaching clients, and students (I’m an adjunct professor at The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland), the same thing:

“You never have to remember the actual Greek word for the figure of speech. Just remember the concept and application.”

Improve your communication. Read about more figures of speech: Anadiplosis (this post), Anaphora, Asyndeton, Epiphora, Epizeuxis, and Onomatopoeia.

There are three major sections:

  1. Figure of Speech.  Includes a little background, usage, definition, pronunciation, other related figures of speech, and etymology.
  2. Guidelines in Using.  Follow these guidelines to ensure maximum impact.
  3. Examples of Anadiplosis.  Find examples from speeches, presentations, presidential addresses, poems, music, and more

1) ANADIPLOSIS – REPETITION FIGURE OF SPEECH

Repetition with anadiplosis has the potential to increase your power of persuasion and create a sense of urgency with an obvious cause and effect. It also offers a stylistic strength to your listeners and readers with a soothing rhythm and cadence. The repetition of your word or phrase builds a sequence of related ideas, typically with three or four connected ideas. Used well, anadiplosis can give your story, presentation, training, speech, email, etc. a more natural sound, making it feel more like a conversation rather than a formal speech.

When anadiplosis extends across at least three clauses or sentences, it can also be called gradatio.

Definition Anadiplosis is the repetition of the last word or phrase in a preceding clause. The word/phrase is used at the end of a clause and then repeated at or very near the beginning of the immediate next clause or sentence.
Pronunciation AN-ə-di-PLOH-sis
Also Known as Duplicatio, Reduplicatio, or Redouble
Related to Gradatio, Epanalepsis, Antimetabole, Anaphora
Etymology Comes from the Greek word, ἀναδίπλωσις, which means a “doubling, doubling back, reduplicate, folding up.”  It is from the Greek prefix ana, again, and diploun, to double, or diplous.

2) GUIDELINES IN USING REPETITION

Here is my own definition of Repetition.

Repetition is a literary device where a word or phrase is repeated two or more times to emphasize the point being made and/or emphasize the emotional feeling associated with the point being made. With more than 30 forms of repetition, it is more commonly thought of as a category rather than thought of as a single figure of speech.

Here are some guidelines for you to ensure anadiplosis, your repetition figure of speech, achieves your communication goals:

Use Sparingly Too much of one type of repetition will likely reduce its effectiveness and may cause your audience to miss your emphasis entirely as there are too many instances of your repetition. As such use anadiplosis sparingly and for that matter, all of your figures of speech.
Choose a Simple Word or Phrase If you were to analyze narratives where anadiplosis is used, you would find the authors use simple words and simple phrases. You want to ensure your audience is able to readily remember your ideas. Simple always wins the day. See below for examples.
Repeat 3 Times Since humans look for and respond to patterns, I recommend using three of the “repetition type” you are using. This ensures your readers and listeners know with certainty you are using the repetition to make a point or to increase the emotional feeling of your narrative. With anadiplosis, you can certainly use four or five instances to make your point.
Emphasize with Your Voice In my training and teaching, I share specifics on how to use one’s voice to add (dramatic) impact to your spoken communication. Think of yourself as an orchestra with three main instruments:  Your Words, your Body Language, and your Voice. Varying your tone of voice, cadence, and speed are what separates a great speaker from a good speaker.

3) EXAMPLES OF ANADIPLOSIS

Look at the examples below. See how anadiplosis is used to dramatically increase the effectiveness and impact of your words. Then experiment, mixing and combining other figures of speech in your written, spoken, and social media communication.

Example 1:  Star Wars Episode 1, The Phantom Menace, Yoda Talking to Anakin

Without Notation “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.”
With
Notation
“{ Fear } is the path to the dark side. { Fear } leads to { anger }. { Anger } leads to { hate }. { Hate } leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.”

 

Note 1:  Notice there are three examples of Anadiplosis – Fear, Anger, and Hate
Note 2:  In this example, it is used to create descending action, from Fear to Anger to Hate to eventually, Suffering.

Example 2:  Margaret Thatcher, United Kingdom Prime Minister, Conservative Party Address, 10 October 1980

Without Notation “Without a healthy economy, we can’t have a healthy society. And without a healthy society, the economy won’t stay healthy for long.”
With
Notation
“Without a healthy economy, we can’t have a { healthy society }. And without a { healthy society }, the economy won’t stay healthy for long.”

Example 3:  Tom Bodett, American Author, Humorist, Radio Personality

Without Notation The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.
With
Notation
The difference between { school } and { life }? In { school }, you’re taught a { lesson } and then given a { test }. In { life }, you’re given a { test } that teaches you a { lesson }.

 

Note 1:  Anadiplosis examples include School and Life
Note 2: Epiphora examples include Lesson and Test

Example 4:  Ernest Hemingway, “Old Man and the Sea,” 1952, page 63

Without Notation “He had seen many that weighed more than a thousand pounds and he had caught two of that size in his life, but never alone. Now alone, and out of sight of land, he was fast to the biggest fish that he and ever seen and bigger than he had ever heard of, and his left hand was still as tight as the gripped claws of an eagle.”
With
Notation
“He had seen many that weighed more than a thousand pounds and he had caught two of that size in his life, but never { alone }. Now { alone }, and out of sight of land, he was fast to the { biggest } fish that he and ever seen and { bigger } than he had ever heard of, and his left hand was still { as tight as the gripped claws of an eagle }.”

 

Note 1:  Anadiplosis examples include Alone and Biggest/Bigger
Note 2:  Simile example includes “as tight as the gripped claws of an eagle
Note 3:  Hyperbole example includes “as tight as the gripped claws of an eagle

Example 5:  Confucius, 551 – 479

Without Notation “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone…”
With
Notation
“If language is not correct, then { what is said } is { not what is meant }; if { what is said } is not { what is meant }, then what must be done remains undone…”

* This post updated March 2019
Photography Source:  Message Cloud/Word Cloud © Copyright 2018, The Chief Storyteller®, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Ira Koretsky

About Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, trainer, consultant, and executive communication coach.