Is there a name for a device when you use several one-word sentences one by one? Example: House. Road. Tree. The thing is, these words seem to be unconnected but with your imagination you see the whole picture with a house by a road and there's a tree not far away.

1 Answer 1


I'm not aware of a term for this specifically, but I would just call it emphatic punctuation. The writer is using punctuation in a specific way to add emphasis.

Written language is not always the same as spoken language. I'm not sure when and where phrases like "Best. Day. Ever." started being used, but I'm sure they began as spoken English. Writers often break the rules of written English in order to capture the way people speak - for example, writers may use bold capitals to denote SHOUTING.

Pausing to emphasise each word would just be called emphatic speaking. Somehow this recognised manner of speaking has come to be written with full stops, or periods to capture that emphasis. It could perhaps have been written in other ways, maybe using commas to denote the over-exaggerated pausing, but clearly this is the method that stuck.

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    [idle speculation] It may have developed from the 'spoken punctuation' trend. "Best day ever, period." Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 9:40
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    @gonefishin'again. I'd say that was a pretty good guess. It's certainly a 'spiritual successor'!
    – Astralbee
    Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 10:07

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