Hendiadys


Hendiadys (hen-di’-a-dis): Expressing a single idea by two nouns [joined by a conjunction] instead of a noun and its qualifier. A method of amplification that adds force. Hendiadys can be considered a specific application of anthimeria, the more general term indicating the substitution of one part of speech for another.  Hendiadys [is realted to polysyndeton–it] increases the use of conjunctions in a sentence in the very act of transforming an adjective-noun combination into two nouns. [In addition,] making an adjective a noun changes it from a subordinate to an ordinate or parallel position, inviting one to consider the nouns as related but distinct. Like hendiadys, paradiastole divides out and distinguishes terms normally considered completely consistent with one another.

It wasn’t the sparkle, or the diamonds, or the two rings that made that night a special night–it was the commitment we exchanged.

vs.

It wasn’t the two sparkling diamond rings that made that night a special night–it was the commitment we exchanged.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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