Anapodoton


Anapodoton (an’-a-po’-do-ton): A figure in which a main clause is suggested by the introduction of a subordinate clause, but that main clause never occurs.

Anapodoton is a kind of anacoluthon, since grammatical expectations are interrupted. If the expression trails off, leaving the subordinate clause incomplete, this is sometimes more specifically called anantapodotonAnapodoton has also named what occurs when a main clause is omitted because the speaker interrupts himself/herself to revise the thought, leaving the initial clause grammatically unresolved but making use of it nonetheless by recasting its content into a new, grammatically complete sentence.

The other day when I was at a meeting . . .  Don’t listen to what they say!  I stand tall everywhere I go. Nobody can push me around unless they want to end up face down on the hardwood floor. When I’m at a meeting . . . You know me better than anyone else. I am tuned in, focused and on track. I am sick of the rumors about my behavior. Ok, so I threw my cellphone at Gifford! But God, what an idiot–he just keeps asking the same question over and over again–he’s like my kid asking every ten minutes “Are we there yet.”

To hell with all of them–whiners, dolts and yodel heads one and all. We’re the only normal ones! Let’s grab a beer. I’ll buy!

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

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