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Is there a name for this type of usage using words (in this case adjectives) repetitively in typical sentence formatting? There has got to be. This is killing me. BTW, I'm no English professor. Just wondering.

For example...

In the movie, "The Big Lebowski", Brand says the line, Brandt: [laughs] They're not literally his children. They're the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers - inner city children of promise but without the necessary means for a - necessary means for a higher education. So Mr Lebowski is committed to sending all of them to college.


He uses the adjective, necessary twice. It's not a heteronym, I know that since they word necessary has the same pronunciation.

Any help?

I don't think it is stuttering though. Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Coen Brothers are way to brilliant I believe to just stammer through their lines...at least I think so.

He uses the derogatory or negative word, "without", as it pertains to them not having the necessary means to attain something that is necessary...a higher education.

What is this type of sentence formatting called?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Fraser Orr, TrevorD, Bradd Szonye, Kris, tchrist Sep 6 '13 at 12:11

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

It just sounds like a form of stutter to me. – toryan Sep 5 '13 at 18:34
Looking at the clip itself, it seems to be more a verbal tic of the speaker than a rhetorical or other device. He repeats entire phrases, more than once, in the course of this short clip. – JeffSahol Sep 5 '13 at 18:34

it's called anaphora

repetition of a word or words at the beginning of two or more successive phrases, verses, clauses, or sentences, as in Shakespeare's “This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.”

In contrast epiphora is

repetition of a word at the end of successive clauses or sentences

There are several variants of this phenomenon:


repetition in the first part of a clause or sentence of a prominent word from the latter part of the preceding clause or sentence, usually with a change or extension of meaning.


repetition of a word or phrase at the middle of every clause.

Whereas tautology also means repetition, it does not necessarily involve using the same word repetitively.

In the particular instance cited, the repetition appears not to be rhetorical in purpose (and though it sounds more like a broken record) - you could call this type of repetition diacope I suppose.

repetition of a word or phrase with one or two intervening words. It derives from a Greek word meaning "cut in two"

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I don’t think ‘diacope’ is really fitting for this, exactly because it’s not rhetoric. ‘Stutter’ is probably the best word, really, or ‘stumbling’. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 5 '13 at 20:08
I appreciate your answers ladies and gentlemen. – Donald Ellis Sep 12 '13 at 13:35
Thank you for the direction Janus. More specifically it is called, amplification principle, at least that's what it seems like. changingminds.org/principles/amplification.htm – Donald Ellis Sep 12 '13 at 14:00

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