Tag Archives: homoioptoton

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.”


“The Brady Bunch” blared on YouTube while I ate my lunch—I had a hunch that Greg Brady’s latest invention was designed to give Alice some kind of relief from her vexing responsibilities. It is hand-held and battery-powered and makes a buzzing sound when it’s turned on. We find out near the end of the episode that it is a hand-held vacuum cleaner for sucking up crumbs and other things from under and between furniture cushions. This episode had put me to sleep—it was boring and it had me snoring. Suddenly, I woke myself up by the snarling sound I was making and I thought, “If that jerk Greg can invent something so can I.” I started to think—what doesn’t the world have that it needs? It would have to be simple. I would make it in the garage at my dad’s workbench. He always had four or five projects going, mainly because he never finished any of them. He’d been fixing the kitchen sink drain for two years and my mother had gotten used to putting a mixing bowl under it to catch the drippings. My father spent most of his home-time sitting in “his” chair looking at his laptop: an antique computer the size of a two-inch thick chessboard. He had to plug in an antenna to pick up wi-fi. It was pitiful. Then, I got an idea: I could make a device that would send an electric shock through Dad’s chair and get him up off his ass. He would thank me.

I found an old electric extension chord. I cut off the socket end exposing two copper wires. I took the license plate that Dad kept hanging on the wall—his old vanity plate “LETSMAMBO.” I ran a wire through each of the license plate’s top two screw holes— one on the right, one on the left. I was done. I didn’t know what to call my invention, maybe “Watts Up” would be a cool name, or maybe “Butt Jumper”? Anyway, I went into the living room and slid the wired up LETSMAMBO vanity plate under dad’s chair cushion. I would hide by the chair and plug it in when he sat down.

He came into the living room and sat in his chair. It’s like he didn’t care—another night in the chair. I shoved the plug into the outlet. My father screamed and all the house’s electricity shut down. Not only was my dad out of his chair, his chair was smoking, and so was the seat of dad’s pants, and he was squirming around on the floor, cursing. We called 911 and he was taken to the hospital to have his butt examined.

I thought, all great inventions move through trial and error, and reconsideration of basic assumptions, before they come to fruition. Dad threw me out of the house after I nearly fried his butt, but I’ve continued to develop and redevelop my invention. I have been using guinea pigs, which aren’t cheap. I’ve yet to kill one, but they are all a little singed. I wear a white lab coat with my name embroidered on it in red letters when I work at night. Like all great inventors, I suffer for my vision and sacrifice everything for my hope. I work as a ticket-stub tearer at the local movie theater. My meager earnings go into my dream. Luckily, my mom sends me cash to supplement my wages and keep me going. Now I know how Tesla and Eli Whitney felt.


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

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.

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

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.”

I have often thought that ‘something’ is like the stuff stuffed in sausages by somebody some place, where vagueness might fill an empty thing that does not sting, that has no weight, that could be a sort of freight shipped on a shadow cast on moving liquid with an underneath beneath it.

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

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

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.”

We have come to the edge of hope. Here we stand, looking ahead toward the steep divide, down a rock-strewn slope. On the upward breeze of sunset’s onset we are inspired by the smell of wild heliotrope. As sunset’s orange shadows start to stretch across the hard terrain, at last, in the day-ending glow we see what we had begun to think was a brutal hateful joke–the chiseled steps of the ancient long-lost stope!  As the stars begin to appear in the humid sky, we fall asleep on billowy beds made of freshened hope. We dream of gold–a snoring band of bliss-filled hyperopes!

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

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

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”

This is a long and difficult campaign trail. As I travel this troublesome road I will not fail. No matter where it takes me–through the lands of indecision and even the hamlets of hatred–I will prevail.  For your hope is my travail. I will bear the burden of your dreams everywhere I go. Their weight will make me stronger.  Their beauty will feed my hunger for truth and sustain me as I go forth to find a way to bring us all back home.

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