01/29/08 Grif.Net – Antimetabole

01/29/08 Grif.Net – Antimetabole

In rhetoric, antimetabole is the repetition of words in successive clauses,
but in transposed grammatical order (ex: “I know what I like, and like what
I know”). I find them intriguing and wonder if there are more that are YOUR

From the inaugural address of John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961 “…ask not
what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

From a speech by Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Republican National Committee
January 1958, “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the
fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

James Boswell on ‘The Life of Johnson’ wrote “This man I thought had been a
Lord among wits; but, I find, he is only a wit among Lords.”

At the Lord Mayor’s Luncheon in November 1942, Winston Churchill said of
World War II, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the
end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Even Malcolm X stated in 1964 of the difference between black and white: “We
didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, the rock was landed on us.”

Dr. Seuss’ Horton remarked, “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant.
An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent!”

From Ambrose Redmoon, “To be kissed by a fool is stupid; to be fooled by a
kiss is worse.”

In ‘A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy’, Karl Marx wrote:
“It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the
contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness”.

Line spoken by Mae West in ‘I’m No Angel’ (1933), “Well, it’s not the men in
your life that counts, it’s the life in your men.”

Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be

From Croesus, 6th century BC, and still appropriate today: “In peace sons
bury their fathers, but in war fathers bury their sons.”

And my favorite –

From the StarKist tuna advertisements of the 1980s, “Sorry, Charlie.
StarKist doesn’t want tunas with good taste – StarKist wants tunas that
taste good.”

Dr Bob Griffin,
“Jesus knows me, this I love”