Paraphrase Tool


Updated Mar 26, 2023

The Art of Synchysis: A Powerful Rhetorical Device That Captivates with Word Order


In the world of rhetoric, skilled speakers and writers employ a variety of techniques to capture the attention and engage the emotions of their audience. One such technique, the synchysis, is a clever rhetorical device that utilizes a unique word order to create an impact. In this article, we will explore the art of synchysis, its purpose, and provide accurate examples to illustrate its effectiveness.

Understanding Synchysis

Derived from the Greek word "synkhysis," meaning "interweaving," synchysis is a rhetorical device that intentionally disrupts the normal word order within a sentence or phrase. By jumbling words or phrases in an unexpected manner, synchysis aims to surprise, intrigue, and create emphasis on particular ideas or concepts. This technique is often used to convey complex or contrasting thoughts, evoke strong emotions, or establish a memorable rhythm in a piece of writing or speech.

Examples of Synchysis

To better understand the power and impact of synchysis, let's delve into some accurate examples:

Example 1: Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

"O brawling love! O loving hate!" - Romeo and Juliet, Act 1, Scene 1

In this infamous line from Shakespeare's tragedy, the synchysis technique is employed to highlight the contradictory nature of love and hate. By interweaving the words "brawling" and "love," and "loving" and "hate," Shakespeare emphasizes the intense emotional turmoil experienced by the young lovers.

Example 2: John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address

"...ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

In his memorable inaugural address, President Kennedy masterfully utilized synchysis to inspire and motivate the American people. By rearranging the expected word order, he emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility and service to the nation. The striking reversal of the sentence structure engages the audience and creates a lasting impact.

Example 3: J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit

"Roads go ever ever on, Over rock and under tree, By caves where never sun has shone, By streams that never find the sea."

In this poetic excerpt from Tolkien's classic novel, synchysis is employed to create a rhythmic and melodic effect. By rearranging the natural word order, the author emphasizes the perpetual nature of the roads, evoking a sense of adventure and exploration.

The Power of Synchysis

Synchysis offers writers and speakers a powerful tool to captivate their audience and make their message memorable. By disrupting the expected word order, this rhetorical device creates a jolt of surprise, emphasizes contrasting ideas, establishes a rhythm, or evokes emotions. The careful use of synchysis can transform an ordinary piece of writing or speech into a captivating and memorable work of art.


As we have explored the world of rhetorical devices, the art of synchysis shines as a powerful tool for engaging an audience. By skillfully interweaving words and phrases, writers and speakers can create impact, emphasize contrasting ideas, or establish a memorable rhythm. From Shakespeare to Kennedy to Tolkien, accurate examples demonstrate the effectiveness of synchysis in captivating an audience. So, the next time you find yourself crafting a piece of writing or delivering a speech, consider incorporating synchysis to leave a lasting impression on your audience.

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