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    The War Reaches a Climax

    bush_turkey.jpgQuote: “A defection is better than a surrender, a surrender better than a capture, and a capture better than a kill.”  New U.S. Army field manual on counter-insurgency wars.

    Figure of Speechanadiplosis (an-a-di-PLO-sis), the climax.

    The Army’s new manual on guerilla warfare is a fount of political and military wisdom.  The quote above sums up both politics and war in a neat little anadiplosis (Greek for “climax”), which uses the last part of a clause to begin the next clause.

    The anadiplosis’s structure works like a pyramid, with each part overlapping the next.  It lends a rhythm that an audience gets into — even when it disagrees with your point, because the listener mentally fills in each next piece.  This works so well that it makes an efficient means of manipulation; a climax can lead unwary audience step by step straight into the Slippery Slope fallacy.  Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas tried just that in a law school speech:  “If you lie, you will cheat ; if you cheat , you will steal; if you steal , you will kill.”

    As with any figure, use it wisely and try not to hurt anyone.

    Snappy Answer:  “And an ally is better than a defection.”

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    Reader Comments (1)

    yuck eeeew!!!!!!nag alas
    August 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterhtgjyti

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