1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Anacoluthon

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ANACOLUTHON (Gr. for “not following on”), a grammatical term, given to a defectively constructed sentence which does not run on as a continuous whole; this may occur either, in a text, by some corruption, or, in the case of a writer or speaker, simply through his forgetting the way in which he started. In the case of a man who is full of his subject, or who is carried along by the passion of the moment, such inconsequents are very apt to occur. Of Niebuhr it is told that his oral lectures consisted almost entirely of anacoluthic constructions. To this kind of licence some languages, as Greek and English, readily lend themselves; while the grammatical rigidity of others, as Latin and French, admits of it but sparingly. In Herodotus, Thucydides, Aeschylus, Pindar and Plato, abundant specimens are to be found; and the same is true of the writers of the Elizabethan age in English. The following is an example:—“And he charged him to tell no man; but go show thyself,” &c. (Luke v. 14).