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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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    Figures that repeat words, move them around, or make delightful noises

     These are the true figures of speech, because they change the voice; figures that change the mind are, technically, “figures of thought.”


    Beginning the first letter of succeeding words with the same letter, usually a consonant.

    anadiplosis (an-a-di-PLO-sis)
    The last-word first-word repetition. 
    Also see this.

    anaphora (ann-AH-for-ah)
    The first-word repeater.
    Also see this.  And this.

    anastrophe (ann-ASS-tro- fee)
    The poetic word-order switch.
    Also see this.

    antistasis (an-TIH-sta-sis)
    The repeat that reverses a word’s meaning.
    Also see this.

    antistrophe (an-TIS-tro-fee)
    The last-word repeater. Also known as epistrophe.
    Also see this.

    asyndeton (a-SYN-de-ton)
    The conjunction skipper.

    chiasmus (kee-AZZ-muss)
    The criss-cross figure.
    Also see this.

    conduplicatio (con-du-pli-CAT-io)
    Repeating words in different clauses to make a point.
    Also see this.

    diaphora (die-AH-for-ah)
    Repetition that describes a character.

    diazeugma (die-ah-ZOOG-ma)
    The play-by-play figure.
    Also see this.

    dirimens copulatio (dear-ih-mens cop-u-LAT-ee-oh)
    The but-wait-there’s-more figure.
    Also see this.

    epistrophe (e-PIS-tro-phee)
    The end-word repeat. (Also known as antistrophe.)

    hyperbaton (hie-PER-ba-ton)
    The interrupter.

    hypophora (hie-PAH-for-uh)
    A figure that answers your own question. (What’s the secret to comedy? Timing!)

    hysterologia (hys-ter-o-LO-gia)
    The preposition interrupter.

    hysteron proteron
    The word-order swap.

    idiom (ID-ee-om)
    The figure of inseparable words.

    isocolon (i-so-CO-lon)
    The figure of similar clauses.
    Also see this.

    onomatopoeia (onna-motta-PEE-ah)
    The noisemaker.

    palilogia (pa-lih-LO- ja)
    The emphatic  repeater.
    Also see this.

    paroemion (pa-RO-mee-on)

    paromoiosis (pa-ro-moi-OH-sis)
    Similar-sounding clauses laid side by side.

    paronomasia (pa-ro-no-MAY-sia)
    A pun that plays on words that sound or mean the same, but aren’t identical.
    Also see this.

    ploce (PLO-see)
    The braided figure.  It repeats a word with another word or two in between, usually with a different connotation.

    polyptoton (po-LIP-to-ton)
    The root repeater.

    polysyndeton (polly-SIN-deh-ton)
    The conjunction connector.

    symploce  (SIM-plo-see)
    The first-and-last repeater. It repeats the same word at the beginning and the end of successive clauses.
    Also see this.

    tasis (TAY-sis)
    The delectable figure.

    traductio (trah-DOOK-tio)
    A repetition that modifies a word.