Figure of emphasis in which the words in
one phrase or clause are replicated, exactly or closely, in reverse
grammatical order in
the next phrase or clause; an inverted
order of repeated words in adjacent phrases or clauses (A-B, B-A).
Example #1: In the U.S., all crimes are illegalities but not all illegalities are crimes." To wit: It is not a federal crime for an immigrant to be in the U.S. illegally. - M.E.
Example #2: "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence." -- Carl Sagan
Example #3: "Therefore the treasures of the Gospel are nets with which they formerly were wont to fish for men of riches. The treasures of the indulgences are nets with which they now fish for the riches of men." -- Luther, Ninety-Five Theses
Example #4: Not all readers become leaders. But all leaders must be readers -- Harry S. Truman, Post-Presidential Papers
Example #5: "I don't throw darts at balloons. I throw balloons at darts." - Joe Montana (on his throwing velocity)
Example #6: "We gotta play with emotion but not let emotion play with us." - Coach Chip Kelly, (2011 University of Oregon vs. Arizona State University football game halftime remarks)
Example #7: "We do not stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." -- Benjamin Franklin
Example #8: "Those who can't do -- teach; and those who can't teach -- do." -- delivered by Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and The City, Episode "Frenemies")
Example #9: "The richer they get, the tighter they become; and the tighter they become, the richer they get." -- Anonymous
Example #10: "Man is not a creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men." -- Benjamin Disraeli
"There is considerable irony in the
Federal Communications Commission classifying the Internet as an
information service and not as a communications service insofar as while
that may have been a gambit to relieve ISPs of telephone-era regulation,
the value of the Internet is ever more the bits it
carries, not the carriage of those
Example #12: "Intellectuals must never be given power because they want people to get down on their knees and learn to love what they really hate and hate what they really love." -- Eric Hoffer
Example #13: "When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." -- Frederick Nietzsche
Example #14a: "This sad Republican fate is deserved...This is what Republicans get for devaluing the calling of public service. When you have contempt for politics, you often get a politics worthy of contempt." -- Michael Gerson
Example #14b: "Many I disdain are cheering; but not everyone cheering is worthy of disdain." -- Michael Gerson
Example #15: "The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally" [on presidential candidate Donald Trump]. -- Salena Zito
Example #16: "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates
Example #17: "Action without study is fatal. Study without action is futile." -- Mary Beard
Slate.com on this rhetorical device: http://www.slate.com/id/2199536/
"Any psychiatrist will tell you, if you
suppress memories they come back with fury. You must face them. Even if
you cannot articulate them, we must face them. And memories are many and
varied: memories of those who died with weapons in their hands; and
those who died with prayers on their lips. And let no one say that some
were heroes and others martyrs. In those times the heroes were
martyrs and the martyrs were heroes. It was heroic
for a friend to give his piece of bread to his friend. It was heroic to
go around on Shabbat and simply say to his or her friends: 'It's
Shabbat, today.' It was heroic to have faith; it was heroic to be
-- Elie Wiesel, Remarks at the New Holocaust Museum Dedication
|Click for Audio|
"After contemplation, I conclude that this
award which I receive on behalf of [the civil rights] movement is a
profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial
political and moral questions of our time -- the need for man to
overcome oppression and violence without resorting to
violence and oppression."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Address
|Click for Audio|
"...that development, security, and human
rights must go hand in hand; and that there can be no security
without development and no development
without security; and neither can be sustained in the longer
term without it being rooted in the rule of law and respect for human
-- Kofi Annan, Final Address to the United Nations General Assembly
"What I am claiming here is not that
television is entertaining but that it has made entertainment itself the
natural format for the representation of all experience. Our television
set keeps us in constant communion with the world, but it does so with a
face whose smiling countenance is unalterable. The problem is not that
television presents us with entertaining subject matter,
but that all [television] subject matter is presented as
entertaining -- which is another issue altogether. To say it
still another way: Entertainment is the supra-ideology of all discourse
on television. No matter what is depicted, or from what point of view,
the overarching presumption is that it is there for our amusement and
-- delivered by Jeff Riggenbach, from the audio book Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman.
"The poet only desires
exaltation and expansion. The poet only asks to get his head into
the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the
heavens into his head -- and it is his head that splits."
-- G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
"It is time for us to say here in Beijing, and for the world to
hear, that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from
human rights. If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference,
let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all."
-- Hillary Rodham Clinton, Women's Rights Are Human Rights
"But we must remember a
crucial fact: East and West do not mistrust each other because we
are armed; we're armed because we mistrust each
-- Ronald Reagan, Remarks at the Brandenburg Gage
"Jesus Christ came to
pay a debt he did not owe because we owed a debt we could
-- Greg Laurie, Harvest Christian Fellowship
"All this means that the people of any country
have the right, and should have the power by constitutional action, by
free unfettered elections, with secret ballot, to choose or change the
character or form of government under which they dwell; that freedom of
speech and thought should reign; that courts of justice, independent of
the executive, unbiased by any party, should administer laws which have
received the broad assent of large majorities or are consecrated by time
and custom. Here are the title deeds of freedom which should lie in
every cottage home. Here is the message of the British and American
peoples to mankind. Let us preach what we practice -- let
us practice what we preach."
-- Winston Churchill, The Sinews of Peace
"1999 and the illusion
continues. In the name of freedom, many have used art as a means to
destroy the human mind. As an excuse to continue we hear, "Art
reflects society." In the name of recreation these people, in
fact, are re-creating themselves in their own images; society
then reflects art."
we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our
grief has turned to anger; and anger to resolution. Whether we
our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done."
-- George W. Bush, 9-20-01 Address to Congress and the Nation
"The world faces a very different Russia
than it did in 1991. Like all countries, Russia also faces a very
-- William Jefferson Clinton, Address to the Russian Duma
"How about this one on the
international front. I don't know if you saw this -- just a few weeks ago.
The German Parliament passed legislation giving animals the same rights
as humans. I can't resist the irony: A nation that once declared
people animals now declares animals people ."
-- Pastor Gary Brandenburg, 2003 sermon entitled 'Whirled Views'
"I, too, was born in the
slum. But just because you're born in the slum does not mean
the slum is born in you, and you can rise above it if your
mind is made up."
-- Jesse Jackson, 1984 Democratic National Convention Address
"The four verities of
government are these: most important ideas are unappealing;
most appealing ideas are unimportant; not every problem
has a good solution; every solution comes with side effects."
-- Dan Geer, 2014 Black Hat Conference Keynote Address
"And so, my fellow
Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask
you can do for your country."
-- John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address
nuclear disaster, spread by winds and water and fear, could well engulf
the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the committed and the
uncommitted alike. Mankind must put an end to war -- or
war will put an end to mankind.
-- John F. Kennedy, 1961 Address to the United Nations General Assembly
"In an age when both sides have come to
possess enough nuclear power to destroy the human race several times
over, the world of communism and the world of free choice have been
caught up in a vicious circle of conflicting ideology and interest.
Each increase of tension has produced an increase of arms;
each increase of arms has produced an increase of tension."
-- John F. Kennedy, Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Address to the Nation
"We say to our children
'Be like grownups.' But Jesus said to us grownups, 'Be
-- Billy Graham, Harvard University Address
Alexa Woods: "Seven
seasons on the ice and I've never seen a gun save someone's life."
Adele Rousseau: "I don't plan on using it."
Alexa Woods: "Then why bring it?"
Adele Rousseau: "Same principle as a condom: I'd rather have one and not need it than need it and not have one."
-- delivered by Sanaa Lathan & Agathe De La Boulaye (Alien vs. Predator)
"There are some who may feel that religion is
not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty
threats that face us. If so, they're at odds with the nation's Founders,
for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings
of the Creator. And further, they discovered the essential connection
between the survival of a free land and the protection of
. In John
Adams' words: 'We have no government armed with power capable of
contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.' 'Our
Constitution,' he said, was made for a moral and religious people.'
Freedom requires religion just as religion requires
-- Mitt Romney, Faith in America Address, College Station, TX
think what we have really to do in Israel is to change the electoral
system, and to enable people who are secular and religious to coexist.
And if the rabbis want to decide who is a Jew, the
Jews have the right to decide who is a rabbi. And that's the way
life should go."
-- Shimon Peres, Q&A session response following a 1999 address at the University of Texas at Tyler
"Israel has no better friend than America. And America has no better friend than Israel."
-- Benjamin Netanyahu, 2011 Address to Congress
"Here's how I look at
the choice Americans face in this election.
there are some candidates who use change to promote their
And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers
to promote change."
-- Sarah Palin, 2008 Vice Presidential Nomination Acceptance
"Let the mind control the
body not the body controlin' the mind."
-- Jimmy Johnson, Comment to Emmitt Smith during Dallas Cowboys Practice
Mission Commander Swanbeck: "...And Mr.
Hunt, the next time you go on holiday please be good enough
to let us know where you're going."
Tape Message: "This message will self destruct in five seconds."
Ethan Hunt: "If I let you know where I'm going, then I won't be on holiday."
-- delivered by Anthony Hopkins and Tom Cruise (Mission Impossible 2)