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I am looking for the formal academic term for this - not "opener" or "opening." I want to refer to it in a presentation about creating hooks to pull in the reader. I once knew the term but cannot now remember or find it.

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... I don't have an answer, but since this is an English usage website, I thought I'd point out that "pique" is the word you want in your title instead of "peak". – Gilead Apr 12 '11 at 20:36
You used the word peak in your title, which is a common mistake: you wanted to use pique, which is the term that actually means "to arouse the interest of." – Uticensis Apr 12 '11 at 20:37
@Gilead ...jynx. – Uticensis Apr 12 '11 at 20:37


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Oh. Wait. I just realized that you (OP) already know that word (as you used it in your question). Nonetheless, AFAIK, that's the word for it. – msh210 Apr 12 '11 at 20:41
Seeing as he used the word in his question, I don't think that's the word he's looking for. – Uticensis Apr 12 '11 at 20:42
I can't think of a term specifically for starting with a story/anecdote. Hook would be your best bet – blsub6 Apr 12 '11 at 20:56
"Opening" or "anecdote" are all I can dig up. Just ran through a list of the classic Greek rhetorical devices and this ain't one of 'em. – The Raven Apr 12 '11 at 21:06

Such an introduction is known as arrestive in some grammar circles.

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