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Perissologia

Updated Jul 6, 2023

The Power of Perissologia: Unleashing the Rhetorical Device that Leaves a Lasting Impact

Are you tired of your writing lacking that certain "wow" factor? Do you find your words falling flat or failing to grasp your readers' attention? If so, it's time to explore the world of rhetorical devices, and in particular, the captivating power of perissologia. In this article, we will delve into the art of perissologia, its definition, and provide you with some brilliant examples of this rhetorical device in action.

Understanding Perissologia: What is it?

Perissologia, derived from the Greek words "perissos" meaning "excess" and "logos" meaning "word," is a rhetorical device that involves the use of excessive or redundant words or phrases to emphasize an idea or concept. Also known as pleonasm or tautology, perissologia aims to create a strong impact on the reader or listener by emphasizing a point through repetition.

Examples of Perissologia

  1. "I saw it with my own eyes!"

    • In this example, the phrase "with my own eyes" is redundant since seeing something inherently implies using one's eyes. However, by adding this redundant phrase, the writer emphasizes the fact that they personally witnessed the event, making it more impactful.
  2. "The rain fell down heavily upon the wet ground."

    • This sentence employs perissologia by repeating the idea of rain falling and emphasizing the wetness of the ground. The repetition creates a vivid image of the intensity of the rain and its impact on the surroundings.
  3. "She was extremely tall, towering over everyone else in the room."

    • By using the term "towering over," the writer emphasizes the significant height difference between the subject and others. This perissologia creates a visual image of the person's imposing presence and adds emphasis to their exceptional height.
  4. "He was completely surrounded on all sides."

    • This example highlights the redundancy of the phrase "on all sides" since being surrounded inherently implies being encircled from every direction. However, by using perissologia, the writer emphasizes the completeness and intensity of the situation.
  5. "I was absolutely shocked beyond belief!"

    • The use of both "absolutely" and "beyond belief" in this example accentuates the speaker's level of shock. The repetition through perissologia intensifies the impact and emphasizes the speaker's disbelief.

The Impact of Perissologia

Perissologia serves as a powerful tool in the hands of skilled writers and speakers. By intentionally repeating words or phrases, they can create a lasting impact on their audience. This rhetorical device enhances the emotional appeal of their message, adds emphasis to certain aspects, and helps the reader or listener better understand the intended meaning.

However, it is crucial to use perissologia judiciously. Overuse or improper implementation can make the writing or speech appear redundant and lose its intended effect. Like any rhetorical device, perissologia should be employed with purpose and care, ensuring it enhances the message rather than detracting from it.

In conclusion, perissologia is a rhetorical device that relies on the power of repetition to create a memorable impact on the reader or listener. By skillfully utilizing this technique, writers and speakers can emphasize key points, evoke emotions, and make their words resonate long after they are heard or read. So, embrace the power of perissologia and watch your writing soar to new heights!

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