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    Aw, Shoot

    Praise the Lord 
    and pass the ammunition. 

    Chaplain Howell M. Forgy of the USS New Orleans

    isocolon (i-so-COL-on), the figure of even clauses. From the Greek, meaning “equal member.” For another example, see this.

    On December 7, 1941, when Japan attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Lieutenant Forgy walked along an ammunition line encouraging the sailors. He employed a beautifully rhythmic isocolon, a figure that balances a pair of clauses of similar sound and length. It works great in comparisons, contrasts, and paradoxes; in Forgy’s case it became the lyrics of a hit song.

    You would think that Figaro would do this on Pearl Harbor Day. But today seems equally apt:

    • We can now carry our guns onto Amtrak trains, thanks to a new law signed by President Obama.
    • Last month, the Indiana legislature passed a disgruntled-workers’-rights bill allowing employees to keep guns in their vehicles on company property, even if the employer forbids it.
    • In Virginia, legislators have reintroduced an NRA-backed proposal to allow students to carry guns on college campuses. Maybe the law can be enacted in time to commemorate the third year anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre.
    • Best of all, Virginians are celebrating passage in its General Assembly of a bill allowing citizens to carry concealed guns in bars. The new governor supports it, too.

    Praise the Lord and pass the Jack Daniels!

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    Reader Comments (1)

    Effect: cold dead hands?
    February 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterQuintilian B. Nasty

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