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DIY Antimetabole

Tonight on NPR’s On the Media there was a segment that talked about the hot trend in politics to use antimetabole. For those who need a refresher from 11th grade english literature class.

antimetabole is the repetition of words in successive clauses, but in transposed grammatical order (ex: “I know what I like, and I like what I know”). It is similar to chiasmus although chiasmus does not use repetition of the same words or phrases.

So I thought it would be fun to challenge you, my readers of the highest intelligence, to create your own antimetebole.

Some famous examples:

#1 Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. (JFK)

#2 The first shall be last and the last shall be first (Jesus)

#3 “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” (Winston Churchill)

A couple of my own examples:

#1 Do I love to eat spicy Thai food or does it like to eat me?

#2 Can I find my phone or will my phone find me?

Your turn! It’s a challenge of your brain and antimetobole wit. Leave a comment or start your own blog post with your favorites.

15 Responses to DIY Antimetabole

  1. Barb September 21, 2008 at 9:03 pm #

    One of my favorite antimetabole “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

    *George Bernard Shaw

    It will take me some time to come up with some, but I like the challenge.

  2. Barb September 21, 2008 at 9:05 pm #

    Here’s another one, not made up by me:

    “Jesus Christ came to pay a debt he did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay.'”

  3. Andrea September 21, 2008 at 10:04 pm #

    Did Michigan State crush Notre Dame, or was Notre Dame crushed by MSU?

    Hmmm. I’m not sure I’ve got it yet, but I think it’s coming along.

  4. Uncle Dave September 21, 2008 at 11:04 pm #

    ill reblog this but here’s one for the meantime.

    ‘It is not the Love of Lust that controls us but the Lust for Love’

  5. Barb September 22, 2008 at 6:44 pm #

    You removed my antimetaboles. I stayed up all night thinking of them. My heart is broken. :)

  6. adam mclane September 22, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    No, I didn’t! My blog crashed and it looks like it may have gotten eaten. And the thing about databases is that you either back them up or they back you up.

  7. Andrea September 22, 2008 at 7:20 pm #

    “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”

  8. Barb September 22, 2008 at 7:31 pm #

    very funny, you’re good. I’ll try again.

    Take control of your kids or they will take control of you.

    Tell your teen how to avoid getting pregnant or you teen will tell to you how they are pregnant. (paid for by the “wait until marriage campaign).

  9. Andrea September 22, 2008 at 7:45 pm #

    Finish your homework or your homework will finish you.

  10. adam mclane September 23, 2008 at 5:49 pm #

    Either you parent your children or they will parent you through adolescence.

    There’s one in my quotes thing from Tin Cup. “This is a defining moment. And the thing about defining moments is that you either define the moment or the moment defines you.”

  11. Jason September 23, 2008 at 11:46 pm #

    You and your life are the sum total of all the decisions you have made. You made those decisions, but those decisions are continually making you who you decided to be, whether you knew you decided or not. This means you are no longer who you were, and are not yet who you will be, growing out of what you were into what you will decidedly be.

  12. adam mclane September 24, 2008 at 7:45 am #

    Jason, I humbly bow at your magnificence. Well done, well… done.

  13. Alex January 31, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    If we want to fight the hate, we must learn to hate the fight. (Invented by myself)

  14. Adam Lehman February 2, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

  15. Bamtravitz September 18, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    I live until I die and when die I live on. 

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