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Figaro rips the innards out of things people say and reveals the rhetorical tricks and pratfalls. For terms and definitions, click here.
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    The Mayor Talks Tough

    walking-tall-nagin.jpgQuote:  “We are drawing a line in the sand, saying enough is enough.”  New Orleans Governor Ray Nagin, quoted in Time.

    Figure of Speech: ploce, the braided figure.  From the Greek, meaning “plaiting.”  (Here’s another example.)

    Crime is getting out of hand in the Big Easy, with nine murders in eight days.   So the shoot-from-the-hip mayor declares a crackdown with a ploce, a figure that repeats a word while weaving a few other words between.  The repeated word changes meaning or emphasis as it winds through the sentence.

    Our favorite ploce comes in The Deer Hunter, when the cabdriver Merle says, “This is this, Vince.  It isn’t something else.  This is this!”  It’s one of the great movie lines of all time.

    And that is that.

    Snappy Answer:  “Which, Figaro predicts, won’t be enough.”

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    Reader Comments (1)

    I love figures of speech. As an independent Bible scholar, I work with them in great detail daily( there are more than 50,000 figurative usages in the Bible). I loved your entry on ploce. I have never studyed this one, and like most figures, it is so, so common. I tryed to see how many I could think of, off the top of my head, and here's what I came up with:
    all in all, all and all, this is this, that is that, what's mine is mine, you are what you are, first things first, face to face, back to back, word for word, an eye for an eye, line by line, blow by blow, play by play, again and again, by and by, more and more, right is right, night by night, day by day, day to day, day after day, time is time, time after time, from time to time, page by page, note by note, note for note, door to door, person to person, enough is enough, and, enough is never enough.
    January 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSt. Davey

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