FACTOID # 25: If you're tired of sitting in traffic on your way to work, move to North Dakota.
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Encyclopedia > Hyperbaton

Hyperbaton is a figure of speech that uses deliberate and dramatic departure from standard syntax (word order) for emphasis or poetic effect. This term is sometimes used as a synonym for anastrophe, but is more properly used as a general term for figures of disorder, of which anastrophe, parenthesis, and apposition are more specific types. A figure of speech, sometimes termed a rhetorical figure or device, or elocution, is a word or phrase that departs from straightforward, literal language. ... The first meaning of the term syntax, originating from the Greek words συν (sun, meaning ‘together’) and ταξις (taxis, meaning sequence/order), can be described as the study of the rules, or patterned relations that govern the way the words in a sentence come together. ... Anastrophe is a figure of speech involving an inversion of the natural order of words; for example, saying echoed the hills to mean the hills echoed. In English, with its settled word order, departure from the expected word order emphasizes the displaced word or phrase: beautiful is emphasized in the... In rhetoric, a parenthesis (plural: parentheses; from the Greek word παρενθεσις) is (according to the Oxford English Dictionary) An explanatory or qualifying word, clause, or sentence inserted into a passage with which it has not necessarily any grammatical connexion, and from which it is usually marked off by round or square... Apposition is a figure of speech, in which two elements are placed side by side, with the second element serving to define or modify the first (ex: My wife, a nurse by training. ...

Derived from the Greek hyper ("over") and bainein ("to step").


  • Word order reversal in "Cheese I love!"
  • One of the most popular examples - "Size matters not! Judge me by my size, do you?" - Yoda in "The Empire Strikes Back"

See Also

  Results from FactBites:
Polifemo: Main characters (775 words)
Hyperbaton is the alteration of the conventional order of words, clauses or phrases to achieve a particular effect.
The pervasive use of hyperbaton in this poem is best explained as an attempt to create a "culto", that is, a cultured or elite form of poetic expression, as opposed to a style that is "llano", that is, plain or popular.
In the notes to the various stanzas, no further mention will be made of hyperbaton, owing to the fact that one's ability to appreciate the poem depends on the ability to recognize and understand the use of this rhetorical device.
  More results at FactBites »



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