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    Putin In the Rough

    putin_dracula.jpgQuote:  “Putin joke: Putin goes to a restaurant with [his chosen successor] Medvedev and orders a steak. The waiter asks, ‘And what about the vegetable?’ Putin answers, ‘The vegetable will have steak too.’” Adi Ignatius, in Time’s cover story.

    Figure of Speech:   antanaclasis (an-ta-NA-cla-sis), the boomerang figure. From the Greek, meaning  “rebound.”

    Time just named Russian strongman Vladimir Putin its Person of the Year.   In the must-read story dyslexically titled A Tsar Is Born, correspondent Adi Ignatius covers Putin’s plan to remain in power for — well, forever, maybe.  Forbidden by the Constitution from running for a third four-year term, Putin (Figaro affectionately calls him “Vlad the Impaler”) has named a loyal functionary, Dimitri Medvedev, as Head Puppet. 

    Hence today’s anataclasis, a figure that repeats a word with a different meaning.  (“You said you wanted to be president in the worst way, Mr. Bush? Well, you were. In the worst way.”) 

    Russians express their zeitgeist through jokes, and this one is a classic, tying up an issue in one cynical package: take-charge leader, controlling the dialogue. Spineless sidekick. And what would Putin possibly eat but steak?

    We’re pretty sure he eats it raw.

    Snappy Answer:  “He does look steamed.” 

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    Reader Comments (6)

    This one looks like an antanaclasis too:

    Baldrick: But I want to cheer brave Sir Walter home. Oh, dear sir, on a day like today I feel proud to be a member of the greatest kingdom in the world.

    Blackadder: And doubtless many other members of the animal kingdom feel the same way but - [...]

    It's taken from a Blackadder-episode. It seems to have the form of a circumstantial ad hominem.Here's the source: http://blackadder.powertie.org/transcripts/2/3/
    December 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStefan Detrez
    Does an antanaclasis require that the word be repeated, or can it just be implied?

    For example, is the phrase "The Christian Right is neither" an incomplete antanaclasis?

    Also, are both Christian and Right antanaclasae or only Right since the two meanings of Right are more distinct (in this case, Christian retains similar meanings as both a person believing in Jesus and an idea in line with Jesus' philosophy).
    December 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterWillfully Ignorant
    Figaro has been getting asked that a lot by people on the street. Let's make a judgment call: the implied antanaclasis is still an antanaclasis, with full figurative privileges.

    As for the Christian right, the use of "Christian" does differ, in the sense that the first instance denotes a denomination, and the second betrays behavior. So, again. Antanaclasis.

    Figaro loves his work.

    December 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    Here's an antanaclasis on an elementary school level, courtesy of my son Adam, who got it from one of Dav Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" books (you MUST familiarize yourself w/this author, Jay.) In another plus, it's stated in a classic form that is actually the epitome of the definition of an antanalasis. It goes:
    Knock, knock.
    Who's there?
    I'm a pile-up.
    I'm a pile-up who?
    Awwww, no you're not, don't be so hard on yourself!
    (If you don't get it, say it out loud.)
    Ciao, Bella
    December 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBella Silverstein
    Dear Figaro

    Is there a figure in the Duke of Edinburgh's off the cuff remark to Lady D RIP that 'if a man opens the door of his car for his wife, it is either a new car or a new wife'.
    December 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterArindam
    Is this an antanaclasis:
    (From an old Wizard of Oz strip)
    Guard: Sir, there's some one here who wants to do you in oils.
    King: Oh, an artist?
    Guard: No sir, he is a cook.
    December 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTurgut Berkes

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