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In rhetoric, antimetabole (// AN-ti-mə-TAB-ə-lee) is the repetition of words in successive clauses, but in transposed order; for example, "I know what I like, and I like what I know". It is related to, and sometimes considered a special case of, chiasmus.
An antimetabole can be predictive, because it is easy to reverse the terms. It may trigger deeper reflection than merely stating one half of the line.
- "Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno" ("One for all, all for one")
- "Eat to live, not live to eat." Attributed to Socrates
- "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." — John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961.
- "When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
- "With my mind on my money and my money on my mind." — Attributed to Snoop Dogg in the song "Gin and Juice"
- "In America, you can always find a party. In Soviet Russia, Party always finds you!" — Yakov Smirnoff
- "The great object of [Hamlet's] life is defeated by continually resolving to do, yet doing nothing but resolve." — Samuel Taylor Coleridge on Shakespeare's Hamlet
- "We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us." — Malcolm X, Malcolm X
- "He was just the man for such a place, and it was just the place for such a man." — Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
- "Fair is foul, and foul is fair" — Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act I, Scene 1, 12
- “And we’ll lead, not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.” - Joseph R. Biden, Inaugural Address
- "All crime is vulgar, just as all vulgarity is crime" - Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
- Corbett, Edward P.J. Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student. Oxford University Press, New York, 1971.
- Fahnestock, Jeanne (1999). Rhetorical Figures in Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 123–134.
- Douglass, Frederick (1995). Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc. p. 13. ISBN 0-486-28499-9.
- "Inauguration Speech". US Capitol. Jan 20, 2021.
- Wilde, Oscar (2000). The Picture of Dorian Gray. London: Penguin Classics. p. 203.
|Look up antimetabole in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Audio illustrations of antimetabole
- Examples in U.S.A politics.
- NPR story
- Antimetabole detector online