Understanding appositives and the use of the m-dash ( — )

My understanding of a dash is that it sets off a lengthy appositive, but can also be used to introduce a summary. Consider the following passage from Stephan Jay Gould: If evolution worked explicitly for species, then we could soften the blow of Darwin’s radicalism. The transition from God’s overt beneficence toward species to evolution’s … Read more

Humour through repeated use of a construct, with a final variation?

I am wondering if there is any name, or well-known example, for a humoristic construct that I particularly enjoy. It is exemplified in this monolog from Pierre Desproges, directed at a woman he was interviewing for a radio off: Lady, you’re a beautiful flower — can I call you a flower? […] (later in the … Read more

Where can we find anacoluthon nowadays?

An anacoluthon <…> is a rhetorical device that can be loosely defined as a change of syntax within a sentence <…>. Grammatically, anacoluthon is an error; however, in rhetoric it is a figure that shows excitement, confusion, or laziness. Apart from poetry and rhetoric, can you give examples of anacoluthon nowadays? Is this technique widely … Read more