Hendiatris (from the Greek: ἓν διὰ τριῶν, hèn dià triôn, "one through three") is a figure of speech used for emphasis, in which three words are used to express one idea. For example, the phrase sex, drugs and rock'n'roll as used to capture the life of a rock star is of this form. If the units involved are not single words, and if they are not in any way synonyms but rather circumnavigate the one idea expressed, the figure may be described more correctly, precisely, and succinctly as a triad. A tripartite motto is the conventional English term for a motto, a slogan, or an advertising phrase in the form of a hendiatris. Perhaps equally well known throughout the world are Julius Caesar's Veni, vidi, vici (an example of a tricolon) and the motto of the French Republic: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, also Peace, Order and Good Government is used as a guiding principle in the parliaments of the Commonwealth of Nations.
In the ancient and classical world
- Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? quamdiu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata jactabit audacia?
- Until when will you abuse our patience, Catiline? For how long will that madness of yours mock us? To what end will your unbridled boldness toss itself about?
In ancient Greece and Rome, such abstractions as liberty and justice were theologized. Hence the earliest tripartite mottoes are lists of the names of goddesses: Eunomia, Dike, and Eirene. These late Greek goddesses, respectively Good Order, Justice, and Peace were collectively referred to by the Romans as the Horae. The Romans had Concordia, Salus, and Pax, collectively called the Fortunae. The names of these mean Harmony, Health, and Peace.
- "Cry God for Harry, England and St. George" (Henry V)
- "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" (Julius Caesar)
- "Be bloody, bold, and resolute" (Macbeth)
Since the Renaissance and the Enlightenment
From the 18th century, the tripartite motto was primarily political. John Locke's Life, Liberty, and Property was adapted by Thomas Jefferson when he wrote the United States Declaration of Independence into Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which has become the American equivalent of the French triad listed above.
The initial Carlist motto was God, Country, King.
"Il nous faut de l'audace, et encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace" — "We need audacity, and yet more audacity, and always audacity!" Georges Danton.
Lenin and the Bolsheviks adopted a tripartite motto for the Russian Revolution, "Peace, Land, and Bread." During the New Deal, the projects of the President were summed up as Relief, Recovery, and Reform. Later the form was used for strident fascist patter, such as Fascist Italy's Credere! Obbedire! Combattere! This means Believe! Obey! Fight!
A famous Nazi slogan is also tripartite: Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Führer!: "One people! One state! One leader!". The modern motto of Germany: "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit" (Unity and Justice and Freedom) is inscribed on the side of German euro coins, as it was on Deutsche Mark coins.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has an initialistic motto: Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity, while the United States Military Academy at West Point has Duty, Honor, Country. This concept has been extended to the list of core values of the U.S. armed services, such as the Navy's Honor, Courage, Commitment.
The Royal Military College of Canada has followed the tripartite motto "Truth, Duty, Valour" since the founding of the College in 1876. This motto was expanded into the Canadian Forces' core values.
These are common throughout Western civilization, but also appear in other cultures. The Japanese said that during their boom years, illegal immigrants performed the work that was Kiken, Kitsui, Kitanai, or Dangerous, Difficult, (and/or) Dirty. Dravidian parties in southern India use the motto Duty, Dignity and Discipline (கடமை, கண்ணியம், கட்டுப்பாடு).
The form is so well known that it can be played upon, as in the three requisites of Real Estate ("Location, Location, Location"), and similarly with Tony Blair stating his priorities as a political leader to be "education, education and education".
In German society, the tripartite motto Kinder, Küche, Kirche (children, kitchen, church) was first a late-19th-century slogan, and today is used sarcastically by young women to express their disdain for their traditional role in society.
One of the unofficial mottoes of Yale University is "For God, for country, and for Yale," which appears as the last line of the university's alma mater, Bright College Years. Yale historian George W. Pierson has also described Yale as "at once a tradition, a company of scholars, a society of friends."
- "Wine, women and song", a phrase of Johann Heinrich Voss (1751–1826)
- "Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll"
- "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" (the causes for which Superman fights, according to the opening of TV's Adventures of Superman)
- "Lock, stock, and barrel."
- "Every Tom, Dick, and Harry."
- "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle"
- Kevin WILSON; Jennifer WAUSON (3 August 2010). The AMA Handbook of Business Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Style, Grammar, Punctuation, Usage, Construction and Formatting. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-8144-1590-0. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- Gregory T. Howard, Dictionary of Rhetorical Terms, p. 115