What Is Epiphora? (Deliberate Repetition)


Epiphora is a writing technique that involves repeating terms at the back of sentences. There are three main types of repetition: anaphora, epiphora, and commoratio.


Epiphora is deliberately repeating terms at the end of sentences. For example:
  • "He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
  • "She's safe, just like I promised. She's all set to marry Norrington, just like she promised. And you get to die for her, just like you promised."
  • (Jack Sparrow)

Why Should I Care about Epiphora?

Repetition creates pattern and rhythm. Therefore, it is widely used in poetry and song (i.e., verse). It is less common in business writing, but it does have some utility. Used infrequently, deliberate repetition like epiphora can make your writing more impactful and memorable as well as portray you as confident.

Here is an example of how epiphora might look in a business document:
  • In our opinion, the answer to the current situation is not making 10 people redundant. All that achieves is making 10 people redundant.

See Also

What is anaphora? What is commoratio? Glossary of grammatical terms