Flutterby™! : Chiasmus

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2002-02-28 18:08:40+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Word of the day: Chiasmus, "a figure of speech by which the order of the terms in the first of two parallel clauses is reversed in the second." As in "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy", and "pleasure's a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure" (Byron). Not to be confused with chiasma, which is an anatomy and genetics term.

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-28 18:48:12+00 by: topspin

Got it.... and I'll redux the limerick thing Dylan was doing earlier:

That we're all growing old tis true,
but let me give you a clue:
the moment you feel
that you're over the hill
soon the hill will be over you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.... I'll be here all week.

#Comment made: 2002-03-01 18:13:43+00 by: Antimony

Note: the reason it's called "chiasmus" is that, in poetry, like the limeric above, if you draw lines connecting the identical/similar terms, you get an X, also known as the greek letter Chi.

#Comment made: 2002-03-03 06:18:02+00 by: shmuel

Actually, you've mixed two versions of that first example. It's either "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy," or "I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy." (The former's in "Existential Blues"; if I recall correctly, the latter came first, and was written by Steve Allen.)

#Comment made: 2002-03-04 06:47:44+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Heh. It's an English-language study of the logical property of implication.

If A->B is true, doesn't necessarily mean B->A is true... But sometimes, it is!

When I sleep, I often dream, And all my dreams are cool and deep, But when I can't find rest in bed, I lie awake and dream of sleep!