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Anti-climax can refer to:

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ANTICLIMAX (i.e. the opposite to "climax"), in rhetoric, an abrupt declension (either deliberate or unintended) on the part of a speaker or writer from the dignity of idea which he appeared to be aiming at; as in the following well-known distich: "The great Dalhousie, he, the god of war, Lieutenant-colonel to the earl of Mar." An anticlimax can be intentionally employed only for a jocular or satiric purpose. It frequently partakes of the nature of antithesis, as "Die and endow a college or a cat." It is often difficult to distinguish between "anticlimax" and "bathos"; but the former is more decidedly a relative term. A whole speech may never rise above the level of bathos; but a climax of greater or less elevation is the necessary antecedent of an anticlimax.

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