Sacha Baron Cohen, sadly, has been taken off the list after a skit he prepared with Ben Stiller spoofing Avatar was deemed too potentially hurtful to James Cameron’s feeling-weelings.
Dana Stevens in Slate
Reduplicative, the dilly-dallying figure. Also prosopopoeia (pro so po PEE a), the figure of personification. From the Greek, meaning “to make a person.”
Poor widdle Jimmy. As every rhetorically minded 13-year-old knows, baby-talk mimicry works great for abusing someone, especially other 13-year-olds. One rarely sees the device used to discuss Oscar nominations.
Our quote’s baby talk takes the form of a reduplicative, which repeats a word with a different letter or two; e.g., flim-flam, hee-haw, uh-huh, shilly-shally, tick-tock, and the sweet Tic Tac. The reduplicative is not to be mistaken for the reduplicatio, a.k.a. anadiplosis. Someday Figaro is going to attempt to rename all these darn terms, most of which are Greek to him.
But the prosopopoeia, which addresses someone who’s absent, shall never be renamed, because it’s so impressive when one uses it in a sentence—which Figaro does as often as possible. (To a dog barking up the wrong tree: “No squirrel there, Sir; your utterances constitute a mere prosopopoeia.”) If we were going to rename the prosopopoeia, though (there, we used it again!), we would probably call it the avatar.