The Hottest Rhetorical Device of Campaign '08Ask not what antimetabole can do for you—ask what you can do for antimetabole.
Posted Friday, Sept. 5, 2008, at 4:55 PM ET
Politicians eager to keep up with the latest fad need more than a flag pin this election season; the hottest accessory of the 2008 campaign is the reversible raincoat. That's the nickname speechwriters have given to the rhetorical device in which words are repeated in transposed order, as with Churchill's famous line: "Let us preach what we practice—let us practice what we preach." The fancy Greek name for the trick is antimetabole, and it's been cropping up in speeches by Democrats and Republicans alike.
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