Chiasmus vs. Chiasma

Two very fun words, with two very different meanings, despite their similarity.

Chiasmus:

A sentence that does this sort of grammatical wizardry:

“Our defeats are but stepping-stones to victory, and his victories are but stepping-stones to ruin.”

-Winston Churchill

“The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.”

-Alfred North Whitehead

Chiasma:

The point at which a pair of chromatids “cross over” or touch to create genetic variation.

 

So, I leave you with this broken quote that makes almost no sense:

You can write a chiasmus about a chiasma, but you can’t describe a chiasmus with a chiasma.

-GN


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