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Hendiatris (from the Greek: ἓν διὰ τρεῖς, hen dia treis, "one through three") is a figure of speech used for emphasis, in which three words are used to express one idea. The phrase wine, women and song is an example.
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; the phrase 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 (cf. triple deity). 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)
- "Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none." (All's well that ends well)
- "Serve God, love me, and mend." (Much Ado About Nothing)
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.
The University of North Carolina's Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies maintain such tripartite mottos as well. The Philanthropic Society's motto is Virtus, Libertas, et Scientia "Virtue, Liberty, and Knowledge" and the Joint Senate motto is Ad Virtutem, Libertatem, Scientiamque "Toward Virtue, Liberty, and Knowledge".
"Il nous faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace!" 'We must be bold, and again bold, and forever bold!' Georges Danton.
The form was used by fascist parties: Fascist Italy's Credere! Obbedire! Combattere! 'Believe! Obey! Fight!'; the Nazi Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Führer! 'One people! One state! One leader!'; and the Fascist Spanish Una, Grande y Libre 'Unitary, Great, and Free'.
Such mnemonics have also drawn suspicion from more nuanced thinkers; in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the novel's totalitarian regime used "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength" to exhort the subjects of Oceania to fear any apparent opportunities for personal agency.
The motto of the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China, a Japanese puppet regime, was "Peace, Anti-Communism, National Construction".
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" and the Coast Guard's "Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty".
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.
Very often triple mottoes derive from a turn of oratory in a speech; for example Abraham Lincoln's "of the people, by the people, for the people" in his Gettysburg Address and "Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" in George Wallace's 1963 Inaugural Address.
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" (in Tamil: கடமை, கண்ணியம், கட்டுப்பாடு). The proponents of Manding social reformation and the N'Ko language education in West Africa use the hendiatris motto "to be savvy, to work, to be just" (N'Ko: ߞߊ߬ ߞߏߟߐ߲߫߸ ߞߊ߬ ߓߊ߯ߙߊ߫߸ ߞߊ߬ ߕߋߟߋ߲߫, kà kólɔn, kà báara, kà télen).
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".
A commonly used patriotic slogan in Poland is Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna (lit. “God, Honour, Fatherland”).
Featured in the 2004 American cult classic film, 13 Going on 30, starring Jennifer Garner, "Thirty, flirty, and thriving", is used to express the idea of optimistic prosperity, in the wake of commonplace insecurities faced by many young adults, in their teens and twenties.
- "Wine, women and song", a phrase of Johann Heinrich Voss (1751–1826), and its modern variant "Sex, drugs and rock and roll"
- "Rum, sodomy and the lash", a characterization of Royal Navy tradition attributed (probably falsely) to Winston Churchill
- "Truth, justice, and the American way", the causes for which Superman fights, according to the opening of the television series Adventures of Superman
- "God, mother, and apple pie"
- "Lock, stock, and barrel" (this is also a merism, denoting a thing by enumerating its parts)
- "Every Tom, Dick and Harry"
- "Reduce, reuse, recycle"
- "Virtue, liberty, and independence"
- "Citius, Altius, Fortius" ("Faster, higher, stronger") is the official Olympic motto
- "Gold, frankincense and myrrh", the Biblical gifts of the Magi
- "In no way, shape, or form"
- "Metro, boulot, dodo" (subway/underground, work, sleep), a French expression popularly used to describe the dreary daily routine of working Parisians, and the source of many imitative expressions.
- Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things, the famous book of cognitive linguist George Lakoff on categorization and metaphor
- Hendiadys, one through two has one of the parts subordinate to the other
- Tricolon, isocolon of three parts, with the parts equivalent in structure, length and rhythm
- Merism, denoting a whole by an enumeration of its parts
- Triad (disambiguation)
- 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
- Donaldson, Coleman (2019-03-01). "Linguistic and Civic Refinement in the N'ko Movement of Manding-Speaking West Africa". Signs and Society. 7 (2): 174–176. doi:10.1086/702554. ISSN 2326-4489.
- "The origins of "Rum, sodomy and the lash" – Churchill's alleged quip about British naval tradition..." this day inquotes. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2014. One old variant, Rum, bum and concertina, parallels Wine, women and song.