Tag Archives: symploce

Symploce

Symploce (sim’-plo-see or sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.


If there was one thing I hated, it was paper towels. They were too easy to tear off and use. They set the expectation that you’d blot up every damn spill, no matter how small. They set the expectation that you’d swish a towel around on droplets of liquid, no matter how small. Well, maybe it wasn’t the towels that set the expectation. It was actually my mother.

There were so many rules about cleaning up I grew up thinking the world is a dirty place—a place where micro-bits of rat poop could be mixed into your breakfast cereal, fingernail clippings in your potato chips, parasites in your lightly grilled cod, microscopic mites in your Graham crackers—the list is nearly endless. Mother wore a jeweler’s loupe around her neck. Even though she cooked it, we had to pass plates to her so she could microscopically examine our food for “potentially fatal” unauthorized ingredients.

If we were watching TV and one of us farted into a couch cushion, mother would yell “Unauthorized emission!” turn off the TV, chase us off the couch, wheel her drum of Lysol up to the couch, and pump and spray until she was satisfied that the “gaseous matter” had been dispelled, and the “nasal and pulmonary dangers” had been eliminated. Then, she’d turn the TV back on like nothing had happened while the rest of us sat on the Lysol-soaked couch. You can imagine what would happen if somebody farted in the family car! Once, we rolled down the windows for 100 miles in winter, even though it was only 25 miles to Grandma’s house. It was 3 below zero and I got frostbite on my ears. My mother told me it was better than being gassed and maybe going blind, or becoming “a basket case.”

When I went away to college, I couldn’t escape Mother’s influence. While other kids got snacks, and socks, and other things in their care packages, I got cleaning supplies. Once, my mother sent me a case of Clorox sanitizing wipes. It would take a normal person a year to use them up, but Mom reckoned she would have to replenish my supply in two weeks. She even sent me a custom-made holster to carry my wipes in—wearing them on my hip like a gunslinger.

Since I have graduated from college, I have broken most contact with my family, especially my mother, whose sanitary mania drove me away. Since the estrangement, I have gone to the other extreme. I smell like a blend of B.O. and unwashed butt. I don’t even look at my food before I eat it. The floor is sticky with untended spills. The bathroom is a mildew garden. The kitchen is a roach rodeo when the lights go out. In short, my apartment is teeming with life, but it smells really bad. So, I bought some Lysol. I told myself, “This is a one-time thing to kill the smell.” I took a shower before I went to the grocery store. When I got back to the apartment, I sprayed a couple of bursts of Lysol around.

I could feel a change was starting to flow over me. Although I had thought I had made a clean break from the past, things were bubbling up, and washing my preconceptions down the drain. I needed balance—we all need balance, everywhere in our lives, or else we wreck our own and others’ lives. I vaguely remembered from college, the Greek blabbermouth Aristotle, who makes us all look feeble minded, came up with the Golden Rule—not too much, not too little. Kind of like Goldilocks’ take on mattresses, and porridge, and other things. I took a sniff of my apartment and it all made sense. After spraying a little Lysol around, the smell had lifted. It hardly smelled at all—it smelled just right. I called my mother for the first time in months and told her what had happened. She told me I was in danger, and not to let my guard down. Just to be safe, I hung up and sprayed some more Lysol around the apartment and wiped down the kitchen counters with disinfectant.

Balance. I needed balance. Everything was going be just right.


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

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Symploce

Symploce (sim’-plo-see or sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.


Every time I think of you I feel so upset I want to run away and hide, and travel and try to forget. Every time I think of you, like a fool, I make your image so vivid I can’t erase it even though I struggle to forget. Every time I think of you I feel like I’m flipping through a book telling the story of how I failed—the story of my regret—a story with a clear ending, like a wall, or a cliff, or a fence, and still, I can’t forget.

I’m going to your house tonight to cry in the street, like a lunatic, like a sick coyote, like a howler monkey with no self-respect, flailing in the rain out there. Maybe you’ll invite me in for a cup of tea instead of calling the police. I hate getting pushed in the cruiser, laughed at, and driven home, like I’ve got Alzheimer’s or something and shouldn’t be out on my own.

I just keep hearing the Doors’ Jim Morrison singing “baby won’t you light my fire? Our love can be a funeral pyre.” That’s why I was going to ignite myself in front of her house, but it’s raining so hard I can’t get myself lit.

I know Annie could give a shit less if I went up in flames—in fact, she’d probably be relieved. But there she was standing in the doorway, motioning me toward her. I ran toward her, oblivious to everything else. An SUV ran over me. It broke both my legs, my right arm, ruptured my spleen, bruised me all over, and snapped four of my ribs. I’ve been in the hospital for two weeks and Annie hasn’t visited yet. When I get out of the hospital, I think I’ll give igniting myself outside her house another try. Or, maybe I’ll go some place in search of wisdom, like Skippy’s Bar and Grill, the community college, or Tibet.

Oh my God! It’s Annie! She‘s here! Annie!

Annie: “Hi Johnny. I’m here to give you what you need.”

She pulled a water bottle out of her purse, took off the cap and started pouring it’s contents on my bed. It wasn’t water, it was white gas—the stuff you use in Coleman stoves or lanterns. The nurse got the bottle away from her and wrestled her to the floor. The police came and took her away.

At that second, I realized Annie is crazier than me, and I would be so much better off if I never saw her again. But on the other hand, she loved me so much she wanted to murder me; so I would feel better. There’s something to that, right?


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

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99. There is a Kindle edition available too under the same title.

A video reading is available on YouTube: Johnnie Anaphora

More Adventures: Rational Enquirer

Symploce

Symploce (sim’-plo-see or sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.

There are wild decisions being made in the White House.

There are ill-considered pronouncements coming from the White House.

There are lies coming from the White House.

There are massive problems coming from the White House.

Where will it end?

When will it end?

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

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.

Coenotes

Coenotes (cee’-no-tees): Repetition of two different phrases: one at the beginning and the other at the end of successive paragraphs. Note: Composed of anaphora and epistrophecoenotes is simply a more specific kind of symploce (the repetition of phrases, not merely words).

Give me a break!

You still don’t believe I love you? Wait to you see what I got you for Valentines Day! Voila!

You still don’t believe I love you? But the hairbrush is made out of wood with real pig bristles! Ok! Ok! Relax! Here we go! Take Two. Voila!

You still don’t believe I love you? But you’ve always wanted a super-wide Swedish spatula! Wait! Wait! Ok. Well, here’s the clincher! Voila!

Yes, yes, yes, now you know I love you! Yes–your very own Fifty Shades of Grey “Please, Sir Flogger!” Now you know why I gave you a hairbrush and a spatula too!

Yup!

Hanky panky spanky time!

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

 

Symploce

Symploce (sim’-plo-see or sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.

We are going to the zoo. We are getting closer to the zoo. We are almost at the zoo. We are at the zoo! The zoo is closed. I hate the zoo. Whose idea was it to go to the zoo?

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

Coenotes

Coenotes (cee’-no-tees): Repetition of two different phrases: one at the beginning and the other at the end of successive paragraphs. Note: Composed of anaphora and epistrophecoenotes is simply a more specific kind of symploce (the repetition of phrases, not merely words).

You’re already covered with tasteless tats! You promised me the bowling ball with your mother’s face on it was the last chapter in the incoherent mess plastered all over your skin! Now Cheepy? Jeez! Your body’s a Rorschach of impulsive mistakes!

You’re already covered with tasteless tats! Poor little Cheepy inked on your hand! I know you feel guilty because you stepped on Cheepy.  If you must do a new tattoo, why not just have “BIGGEST IMPULSIVE MISTAKE EVER” tattooed on your forehead?  It’ll title your skin’s story and give meaning to the mess! Why not? Your body’s a Rorschach of impulsive mistakes!

Go for it!

Oh, wait a minute, putting a caption on your head will de-Rorschach the rest of your skin! Besides, it won’t be an impulsive mistake–it’s even worse–it’ll be a calculated mistake!

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

Symploce

Symploce (sim’-plo-see or sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.

We never know what the future will bring. We never know what a promise will bring. We never know and yet we must travel on, not knowing, but hoping  for what only hope will bring.

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

Symploce

Symploce (sim’-plo-see or sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.

Without some degree of certainty about healthcare reform, it is difficult for businesses and investors to plan for the future.

Without some degree of certainty about healthcare reform, it is difficult for parents and their children to plan for the future.

Without some degree of certainty about healthcare reform, it is difficult for working people and retirees to plan for the future; andfor people with preexisting conditions, even after the Supreme Court’s ruling, it is nearly immoral to force them to sweat out the summer in fear, at the edge of catastrophe, not knowing whether they will be insured after November’s election.

Stop beating your Republican chest and boasting that you will repeal the Affordable Care Act (or what you call “Obamacare”) when you’re elected.

Your cruelty is unbearable.

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

Coenotes

Coenotes (cee’-no-tees): Repetition of two different phrases: one at the beginning and the other at the end of successive paragraphs. Note: Composed of anaphora and epistrophecoenotes is simply a more specific kind of symploce (the repetition of phrases, not merely words).

Hear me! We have journeyed a long, long way. And, I say, we are almost home.

Hear me! Our map is faith and our hope moves our tired feet. And, I say, we are almost home.

Hear me! We are going home to the place to rest, to break bread, to call our own! I can feel it! We are almost home!

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

Coenotes

Coenotes (cee’-no-tees): Repetition of two different phrases: one at the beginning and the other at the end of successive paragraphs. Note: Composed of anaphora and epistrophe, coenotes is simply a more specific kind of symploce (the repetition of phrases, not merely words).

When will we get a new cell phone? When it has all the features we actually need.  And, it does not cost an arm and a leg.

When will we get a new cell phone? When there’s enough coverage to enable us to call from anywhere to anywhere.  And, it does not cost an arm and a leg.

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

Symploce

Symploce (sim’-plo-see or sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.

The measure of your happiness is the friends you make. The measure of your success is the differences you make. The measure of your character is the decisions you make. The measure of your measure is the measures you take. Do you measure up?

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

Symploce

Symploce (sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.

Today we celebrate the hope that is honored and fulfilled by our being gathered here. Today is also a compelling reminder of what is not here.

The future.

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

Symploce

Symploce (sim’-plo-see or sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.

Without reason, you press ahead. Without compassion, you press ahead. Without prudence, you press ahead. When will you stop? When will it end? When will you come to your senses?

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