Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Using Contrast and Opposition

One way of creating incredibly memorable writing is to incorporate contrast and opposing ideas into your sentences.

The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
--Abraham Lincoln, from the Gettysburg Address

Not that I loved Caesar less but that I loved Rome more.
--Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 3.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
--Winston Churchill

If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything.
--Malcolm X

Don't over-use this technique or your writing will sound stilted and affected. But craft just one sentence like this in your next article, and you might produce a perfect turn of phrase that your readers will never forget.