Enallage (e-nal’-la-ge): The substitution of grammatically different but semantically equivalent constructions.

When the buzz on the street says the future price of honey’s not sweet and there’s a strong likelihood he’ll be stung by a major market correction, alas, the worried beekeeper must sadly ask:

To be a beekeeper or not to be a beekeeper?

And in his anguish, he may cry out again:

Not to be a beekeeper or to be a beekeeper?

We hope that for the time being, for the bees’ sake, he decides to keep being a beekeeper, keep his bees, and be ready to go back to business as usual when the price of honey rebounds.

  • Post your own enallage on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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