Anaphora Repetition

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Anaphora (A Type of Deliberate Repetition)

There are three main types of repetition: anaphora, epiphora, and commoratio.


Anaphora is deliberately repeating terms at the start of sentences. One often-cited example is Winston Churchill's speech:
  • "We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."
  • (Sir Winston Churchill)
This is another good example:
  • "The future’s bright. The future’s Orange."
  • (Telecommunication company Orange’s slogan)

Anaphora in Business Writing

Here is an example of how anaphora might appear in business correspondence:
  • It’s the cheapest solution. It’s within the company’s control, and it’s quick to implement.
Repeating words or ideas in your document can be useful. Used occasionally, deliberate repetition can:
  • Be used for emphasis.
  • Be memorable.
  • Make an impact.
  • Make you look confident.
As with all these creative techniques, there are also a few dangers. If you want to spice up your writing with deliberate repetition, you must avoid:
  • Over-cooking. When you make your point so strongly your readers grow suspicious and start questioning it.
  • "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
    (From Hamlet by William Shakespeare, 1564–1616)
  • Redundancy. When you waste your readers’ time by telling them what you’ve just told them and this overrides the "spice" you’d sought with the repetition.