Dear Word Mavens, I have a scrumptious treat for you.
Words are keys to moving the world. You didn’t know this word, but now you will and it will open up new and powerful possibilities.
Imagine me reaching into my red toolbox and pulling out a bright shiny new word. This word helped a church raise forty thousand dollars.
Anaphora – A rhetorical device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses, thereby lending them emphasis.
Here’s the letter from a pastor to his congregation. Notice how it uses anaphora and it uses the Rule of Three to create a rhythmic cadence, and also harnesses nostalgic components.
Dear [Church Member],
Nothing gives like a church organ.
It gives joy at weddings; strength at funerals; family greetings at baptisms. It gives wings to worship; power to praise; humility to Thanksgiving. It gives rest to the weary; welcome to strangers; binding ties to friends.
It gives to congregations of sons who follow fathers and then gives way to sons and sons again.
It finally gives itself.
For over five generations the present church organ at First Baptist has given, freely, generously, bounteously without stint. Think of an organ’s gifts, as you have received them; as your children will in days to come.
Then give to a church organ, like a church organ… freely, generously, bounteously…
Want to change your world? Learn new words.
Wikipedia the word for more examples of world changing words that still haunt us to this day.
P.P.S. Tip of the hat to Eddie Schleyner for teaching me this new word.
Donovan Rittenbach is a copywriter living in Alameda, CA.