Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What's that device
Fall Out Boy beats it. Or at least the one guy does

Time for another installment of What's That Device, the Back With Interest series that explores the use of rhetorical figures in the culture around us.

Today's example once again comes from the latest edition of Listen Up, the Sunday Wisconsin State Journal column for parents interested in their children's music, but not that interested. On the docket this week is a line from Fall Out Boy's really quite fab remake of Michael Jackson's "Beat It":
Showin' how funky strong is your fight
This is an example of anastrophe, which Richard Lanham's indispensable Handlist of Rhetorical Terms defines as "unusual arrangement of words or clauses within a sentence, often for metrical convenience or poetic effect." And the effect here indeed is poetic. "Showin' how funky strong your fight is" just doesn't have the same ring.

You could call anastrophe the Yoda device. Who can forget those classic Yoda inversions?! "
Told you I did. Reckless is he." I like to imagine Yoda, Michael Jackson, and Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz sitting around and swapping some anastrophes. And taking pictures.

No comments: