I recently became aware of cases where a part of a saying occurs as the subject as well. While I initially thought they are funny, I now think it rather creates confusion/distraction of what you're trying to convey.


Things are working out great at work. We are working it out together at work.

I had other examples using other sayings, but I can't remember them at the moment.

Does this similar sounding and perhaps the avoiding of such combinations have a definition/name?

  • Especially in writing, folks will tend to avoid this when they can, without distorting their intended meaning or using an even more awkward wording. (When speaking one often cannot "think ahead" well enough to avoid the issue, but voice tone and pacing tend to reduce any confusion.) But there is nothing inherently "wrong" your original phrase, in terms of technical syntax or semantics. – Hot Licks Sep 22 '16 at 12:01

It's called Conduplicatio in rhetoric. When you repeat a word in a phrase, clause or sentence, or in subsequent sentences, you emphasise its importance.

If you desire that, do it. If you do not, don't.

  • 2
    I think it is a bit different, because in those examples the words are referring to the same thing. Here, the first word "work" is unrelated to the second word "work". – PascalVKooten Aug 23 '16 at 19:14
  • In that case, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antanaclasis is the correct term. – Trent Bartlem Aug 23 '16 at 23:13
  • 1
    And since antanaclasis will likely cause the listener to take more notice of the word, it should probably be avoided if it's not intentional. – Barmar Aug 24 '16 at 21:39

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