Homoioptoton


Homoioptoton (ho-mee-op-to’-ton): The repetition of similar case endings in adjacent words or in words in parallel position.

Note: Since this figure only works with inflected languages, it has often been conflated with homoioteleuton and (at least in English) has sometimes become equivalent to simple rhyme: “To no avail, I ate a snail.”

He was running amok with a blowtorch. He lit up the front porch. It went up like a gasoline-soaked pile of leaves, flames licking the eaves as if to be burning the whole house down; hot bubbling paint dripping and oddly sticking to the charring wood.

Everybody cheering, for the old cranky man was thwarted–no front porch–no old man screaming! No more obscenities hurled at every adult and every child within earshot (and beyond).

It was cruel, yes, but it was necessary–everybody on the block agreed.

The firefighters came and put out the fire, but little did anybody even imagine that there would be a ‘next round’ of cranky old-man ire.

6.00am, Tuesday, October 17, 2016: Person walking past the cranky old man’s house. Second-story window flies open: “Hey you ass$ole, get the fu%k off my fu*king sidewalk.”

When I heard the news, all I could say was, “Here we go again, goddammit.”

The Cherry Street Neighborhood Association called a special meeting for 7.00pm. Everybody already agrees that murdering the cranky old man is probably right. The BIG QUESTIONS ARE: how are we going to do it, who exactly is going to do it, and should it be done during the day or during the night?

I arrive promptly at 7.00pm. The discussion moved quickly.

“Nobody wants to spend their life in prison, but nobody wants to spend their life being cursed every time they walk down their street.

Who will volunteer to murder the cranky old man?

Should we hire a professional assassin?

Maybe we should just have the cranky old man’s vocal chords removed? There must be a veterinarian in the neighborhood who could silence the cranky old man for good.”

The meeting-hall doors burst wide open.

“You sh%t for brains bastard motherfu#king toad-ass slime-bucket fu#k-faced sh*t eaters need to get a fu#king life!”

It was the cranky old man!

Ed Wallace (mild-mannered insurance salesman) pulled out his Glock.

“Blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam.” Fifteen times!

Every shot missed.

“Fuc* you deadeye” yelled the cranky old man as he hobbled out the door, two middle fingers extended in the air.

The Cherry Street Block Association took a vote.

“Remove vocal chords” got the most votes. They would kidnap the cranky old man, blindfold him, and take him to the Joyful Noise Pet Clinic for silencing by Joel Gruber, a successful veterinarian who lives in the Cherry Street neighborhood.

It was risky and cruel, but it had to be done. The cranky old man was not one single tiny-teeny-weeny bit of fun: he was a menace–an earsore that had to be silenced by the removal of his disgustingly vulgar vocal chords.

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

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

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