Commoratio Repetition

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Commoratio (A Type of Deliberate Repetition)

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


Commoratio is deliberately repeating an idea back to back, but in different words. For example:
  • "Itís not pininí. Itís passed on! This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! Itís expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot! Itís a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadnít nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolical processes are of interest only to historians! Itís hopped the twig! Itís shuffled off this mortal coil! Itís run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! This is an ex-parrot!"
  • (Monty Pythonís Dead Parrot Sketch)
  • "Space is big. You just wonít believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think itís a long way down the road to the chemistís, but thatís just peanuts to space.
  • (From The Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, 1952Ė2001)

Commoratio in Business Writing

Here is an example of how commoratio might appear in business correspondence:
  • We have considered your solution and are impressed by its practicality. It looks very viable. Very viable indeed.
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, 1564Ė1616)
  • Redundancy. When you waste your readersí time by telling them what youíve just told them and this overrides the "spice" youíd sought with the repetition.