Polyptoton (po-lyp-to’-ton): Repeating a word, but in a different form. Using a cognate of a given word in close proximity.

I think it was the Nazis who said repetition is the soul of truth, believing that lies continually repeated would start sounding true. I think it is true that repetition is the soul of truth–truth is true everywhere all the time. It does not change.

It takes a sort of disgusting deviousness to translate that maxim into a rationale for persistently telling the same lies over and over again, affording them the luster of truth, passing them off as true, and deceiving millions of trusting people by their telling.

How do we put and end to this? Truth is the foundation of democracy. Lies erode it and the erosion will ultimately lead to democracy’s collapse. It may be too late. What can we do?

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

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