Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rhetoric - anacoluthon



anacoluthon [ˌænəkəˈluθɒn] n.

1.) Rhetoric. A construction in which grammatical cohesion is lacking within a sentence, characterized by a change from one grammatical form to another, disharmonious form. An anacoluthon usually occurs when the speaker suddenly changes the thought or point of view (He was warned that he had to shape up or what could he expect to happen?). Sometimes it occurs as an instance of aposiopesis to heighten the rhetorical effect (If I don't find my keys in the next ten minutes—well, you don't want to know what will happen!) (Garner's Modern American Usage 3rd Edition).

Etymology: Late Latin, from Late Greek anakolouthon, inconsistency in logic, from Greek, neuter of anakolouthos, inconsistent: an-, not + akolouthos, following (a-, together + keleuthos, path).

"Dean stood in the cafeteria rubbing his belly and taking it all in. He wanted to talk to a strange middle-aged colored woman who had come into the cafeteria with a story about how she had no money but she had buns with her and would they give her butter" (On the Road, Jack Kerouac, 1957).

(Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Pablo Picasso, 1907)
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A couple of reminders: first, today is the last day to submit your entries in the "Climbing the Mountain" weekly challenge (see here for details); second, this word is a term of rhetoric and is therefore not part of the usual MA program. I wouldn't use any of the rhetorical terms in a paper (unless you're a Literature student). They're purely a means to learn rhetoric (and this not in order to use rhetoric, but more to sneer at it). Thanks for reading!

18 comments:

Natasha said...

I thought people having SLR's was pretty common now. Most bloggers seem to own one, and I still need to read On the Road. And another really interesting word, I did know this one, but learning about the origins etc. is always interesting. xxx

MRanthrope said...

so THAT'S what it's called. I never knew the term for this but have been familiar with it forever. I used to watch a lot of old movies from the 40's with my grandma and just about all the characters talk using "anacoluthon" for uber dramatic effect.

Bart said...

sounds like a dinosaur

Viperman24 said...

Heh kinda hard to say but I can use this word in my vocab :)

Jon Dujaka said...

English is not my native language and I find these very interesting.

Ala Mode 7 said...

I don't think I have the time to write for the climbing the mountain challenge this week, it's a little too late. Maybe next week?

dressingup-everyday said...

The Picture "Les Demoiselles d'Avignos is a beautiful example of what is to change a point to view.
Thanks for your comment.
Yoana

Jenny Woolf said...

Your posts are very interesting but I confess I'm not familiar with this use of "rhetoric." I have always understood it to be the art of speaking persuasively, although admittedly the word sometimes has a slight perjorative tinge. And, one can use various rhetorical devices such as irony, etc. - but I've never before seen it associated with "lack of grammatical cohesion." (I don't have access to Garner's Modern American Usage, and cannot comment on their definition.)

Anacoluthon is a wonderful word. Hmmm, I think it sounds more like a snake than a dinosaur.

DEZMOND said...

I'm with Bart above!

Bart said...

i dont know how facebook started

Henry said...

Nice one. I didn't know that had a word

Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...

very cool word.

Just look at it makes me feel like I've got a PHD.

JayJay said...

I didn't even know that there was a word to describe this. Awesome.

P. Davis said...

Very nice!

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jos xx said...

once i heard someone say that phrase and I loved it. probably a translated word from maltese and might sound strange in english. thank god i'm working on a maltese thesis not an english one, otherwise i would be a wrack when using these types of words!

jos xx

Kristin H said...

Love "On the Road" by the way, nice new picture!!!

Sick by Trend said...

eyyy!!! Givenchy was in Paris! I'm speaking yet about Milano :D how are u?

xx

www.sickbytrend.com

Jetah said...

There's a word I hadn't heard.

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