How to Use Diacope
Diacope is a useful and simple literary device that uses repetition for emphasis. In order to use diacope,
- Think of what you want to emphasize.
- Repeat that word or phrase with a word or phrase in between.
Here are a few examples of how to use diacope for further emphasis:
“We ate a lot of food. We ate appetizers, salads, seafood, meat platters, and even dessert!”
In order to emphasize how much the group ate, repeat the phrase “We ate.”
Sentence using diacope:
“We ate and we ate and we ate! We ate appetizers, we ate salads, we ate seafood, we ate meat platters, and we ate dessert! We ate everything!”
In this example, the repetition of “we ate” emphasizes how much the group ate. But this way is stronger than just listing all the dishes eaten.
“I was really afraid.”
Here, the intent of the sentence is very simple: the writer wants to point out that the character was very afraid. Using diacope, we can emphasize how afraid the character was.
Sentence with diacope:
“I was afraid! So afraid! Afraid for my life!”
Repetition of the phrase “afraid” emphasizes the fear. Meanwhile, the addition of “so” and “for my life” emphasize how strong the fear was.
It is important to note that less words between the repeated word or phrase adds more emphasis.
For example, consider the phrase:
“It was a great carnival! It was an interesting carnival. It was even a magnificent carnival!”
Here, diacope is used in that “carnival” is repeated. A stronger use of diacope, though, has less space between the repeated phrases:
“It was a great carnival! An interesting carnival! A magnificent carnival!”
Here, each adjective builds on the last, emphasizing how fantastic the carnival was: great, interesting, and magnificent. This is considered a stronger use of diacope than the previous example.
When to Use Diacope
Diacope may be used by writers, speech-makers, and advertisers to draw attention to an important phrase or subject. In everyday speech and in character development, diacope can express or indicate strong emotion. Because diacope is used for emphasis, it is only used in areas where such emphasis is appropriate. Using diacope in technical writing is not considered appropriate, as technical writing is meant to be literal and straight-forward.