I found this book after seeing a Facebook post about the section on hyperbaton (defying the logical/grammatical order of words in a sentence). Hyperbaton covers three areas: prepositions (Shut up!), vowel order (tic-tac-toe), and word order (esp. adjectives and adjective-noun). This last one we all know but likely were never taught directly – it’s just such an ingrained part of the English language that we only recognize it when it’s broken. Adjective order follows this rule: opinion, size, age, shape, colour, origin, material, purpose, noun. In hyperbaton, you deliberately muck that up to make a phrase that gets attention (for better or worse (a merism and an antithesis)): large, blue sweater makes sense, but blue, large sweater sounds weird.
I was thrilled (because I am a word geek) to learn also the following:
I LOVE these little tricks in language, and so loved this book (another syllepsis). There are 51 elements of rhetoric covered here, each with a clear explanation and relevant examples. The purpose is to enable one to recognize these tricks to be able to appreciate the cleverness of the writer, and also to try to consider them (obliquely or deliberately) in one’s own writing or speech. As a singer, these are very useful, as they are everywhere in music and poetry; they help in looking for meaning and phrasing in lyrics, both to understand how/why they work and to be able to sing with meaning.
So, what does this all have to do with project management? (hypophora - a type of rhetorical question.) Good question. (scesis onomaton - a sentence with no main verb.) What is communication? (anacoenosis.) Words, words, words. (epizuxis.)
Knowing and understanding how to use words and phrases for emphasis enhances communication by making important words and phrases memorable. These rhetorical turns of phrase can make the ordinary extraordinary; with just a bit of extra care, our use of language can make our communication clearer (as in more memorable). One has to be careful - be too clever and no one will know what you're talking about - but since some of the best memorable phrases, like the tricolons above, use these various approaches, learning to recognize and then apply them can enhance communication.
The book is thorough, funny, not at all difficult, entirely pedantic, and a great read and resource. When alone, I often read parts out loud, to enjoy hearing the language lilt delightfully (alliteration). If you love words and phrases, check out this book. You might like it; I did. (zeugma.)
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Who is Robyn?
My career as a research project manager is rewarding, dynamic, challenging, and fun. I'm looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience in communication, organization, and common sense approaches in research management and leadership, and to enabling others to learn and grow in this exciting career.