I have read and written countless sentences within in a paragraph where a word or phrase is repeated in use and its second use appears directly beneath the first use in the visual paragraph whether or on a page or screen. I am sure there is a literary term for this.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Jul 7 '17 at 23:55

It is possible you are thinking of the technical typesetting term "river":


There is no "literary term" for what you describe, no.

Here's an example of what OP means..

"computer" happens to line up, in two paras.

enter image description here

Again, the literal answer to your SWR is "There is no such term".

Note Xanne has called attention to a typesetting guide which indeed uses the word


for the phenomenon.

enter image description here

FWIW I have never heard a typographer use that term. (As opposed to saying something like "look! those two line up!".) It does seem like a sensible term for it and taking the example at face value, that would seem to be the technical typesetting term for the phenomenon!

It would be neat if there were more references to it around.

  • There is a technical term, though, used in typesetting, when a word lines up under the same word in the previous line. It's called stacking. See for example sheltonography.com/resources/Articles/Typesetting_Guide.pdf – Xanne Jul 4 '17 at 7:06
  • hi AndyT, thanks for editing but a river is not where white space lines up "vertically". Cheers – Fattie Jul 4 '17 at 14:34

protected by tchrist Jul 29 '17 at 22:42

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