Epiphora Repetition

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Epiphora (A Type of Deliberate Repetition)

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


Epiphora is deliberately repeating terms at the end of sentences. For example:
  • "He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
  • "She’s safe, just like I promised. She’s all set to marry Norrington, just like she promised. And you get to die for her, just like you promised."
  • (Jack Sparrow)

Epiphora in Business Writing

Here is an example of how epiphora might appear in business correspondence:
  • In our opinion, the answer to the current situation is not making 10 people redundant. All that achieves is making 10 people redundant.
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.