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[word-lover] 【整理】2015-06-24 How to Use a Word

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[word-lover] 【整理】2015-06-24 How to Use a Word



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Transcript.

Today's word is anastrophe, spelled A-N-A-S-T-R-O-P-H-E.

Anastrophe is a noun that means inversion of the usual syntactical order of words for rhetorical effect. Here is the word used in a sentence from the Washington Post written by Michael Dirda.

"Should you buy 'Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric'? If you're at all interested in the techniques of writing, yes. At the very least, you'll learn that that last sentence, with its inversion of the usual word order - 'yes' at the end instead of the beginning of the sentence - is an instance of anastrophe."

Fans of Star Wars will recognize these words spoken by Yoda in Attack of the Clones: "Powerful you have become Dooku, the dark side I sense in you." . Others might guess that Yoda is the speaker because of the unconventional syntax that is the hallmark of Yoda's speech. In typical Yoda fashion, the subject is second instead of first in both clauses - it follows a predicate adjective and the direct object, respectively. The name for this kind of syntactical inversion is anastrophe, from the Greek verb anastrephein, meaning "to turn back." President John F. Kennedy employed anastrophe for rhetorical effect when he inverted the typical positive-to-negative parallelism in his famous line "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." In poetry, anastrophe is often used to create rhythm, as in these lines from Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky": "So rested he by the Tumtum tree, / And stood awhile in thought."

I'm Peter Sokolowski with your Word of the Day.

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