Prozeugma (pro-zoog’-ma): A series of clauses in which the verb employed in the first is elided (and thus implied) in the others.

I went into town. To the farmer’s market. To the hardware store. To the library. To the police station, where I turned myself in.

As I was sitting in my cell, I could hear the police laughing and talking about me. They kept saying, “Who’s he trying to kid? There’s no way he did it.” Maybe it was true, but I had woken up with a Box Turtle in my bed and there was urine on my kitchen floor. Also, I couldn’t find my fountain pen or my new stainless steel taco holders. Put it all together and it spells crime. But, when the police finally asked me what I had done that was criminal, I couldn’t tell them.

“Did you kill the mayor?” one of them asked. “No” I answered. They all laughed and one of them to told me to go home, and I did.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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