Aphaearesis

Entertainment / Literature / Aphaearesis: (also spelled apheresis, pluralaphaeareses, adj. Apheretic): Rhetorically deleting a syllable--unaccented or accented--from the beginning of a word to create a new term or phrasing. For instance, in King Lear, we hear that, 'the king hath cause to plain' (3.1.39). Here, the word complain has lost its first syllable. In Hamlet 2.2.561, Hamlet asks, 'Who should 'scape whipping' if every man were treated as he deserved. Note that the e- in escape has itself cleverly escaped from its position! Aphaeresis is an example of a rhetorical scheme or trope. The adjective form is apheretic. Contrast with the more precise linguistic term aphesis.

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