No, this is not a post around units of measure distance! In linguistic terminology, a “foot” describes syllabic (or prosodic, or metric) unit. Metric feet incorporate to produce a “meter”, a sequence of stressed and unstressed syllables.

You are watching: Write a line imitating the meter of the example (anapestic tetrameter)

The concept of meter is most familiar from poetry, wherein it describes the kind of a poetic line. Because that instance, iambic pentameter describes a poetic meter wherein a line consists of 5 repeats the a sequence (“foot”) of unpled syllable followed by a stessed syllable. This meter was particularly common in timeless English city (Shakespeare, Milton, Keats) and also can be shown by the following line native a city by Keats (stressed syllables are shown in boldface):

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

or v a line from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 2:

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow

Another example of a poetic meter is iambic tetrameter, which is defined by 4 iambic feet (sequences of unstressed then stressed syllables) every line. This is the most common meter in timeless Russian poetry approximately 1850s, while in English poetry we discover it an unified with iambic trimeter (3 iambic feet every line) to kind the ballad meter. The iambic tetrameter (3 iambic feet per line) is the meter in Roald Dahl’s “Goldilocks and also the three Bears”:

This famous wicked little tale

Should never have to be put on sale

The iambic company of a metric foot (i.e., an unpled syllable followed by a emphasize one) can be contrasted with the trochaic pattern, an extremely common in nursery rhymes:

Mary had a little lamb

Twinkle, twinkle little star

Jack and also Jill walk up the hill

London Bridge is broken down

Peter Piper picked a peck the pickled pepper…

Simple Simon met a pieman…

Betty Botter bought some butter…

Hickup, hickup, go away!..

Other more complicated poetic meters may involve a much longer foot; because that example, anapestic tetrameter requires four repeats of a sequence of 2 unstressed syllables adhered to by a stressed syllable:

Oh-oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light

But the prosodic meter is crucial not only for poetry. For example, studies show that youngsters prefer the trochaic pattern. As pointed out above, many English nursery rhymes have actually the trochaic pattern. Furthermore, youngsters simplify long, complex words come fit the trochaic pattern: thus, banana becomes , potato i do not care and also macaroni becomes . In every case, a indigenous of more than 2 syllables is shorted to have only 2 syllables, and also which syllables space deleted is identified by the desire because that a trochaic pattern: stressed-unstressed.

Similarly, the trochaic pattern is the desired one for hypocoristics (short names). Hence, the first syllable of a brief name acquires stress also if the matching syllable of the complete name is no stressed, as in Patty indigenous Patricia. This is true in various other languages as well, as with the Russian brief names Misha and also Kolja (from Mikhail and Nikolaj, respectively) and with the Hebrew quick names Bibi, Kobi and also Kheli (from Benjamin, Yakov and Rachel, respectively). Interestingly, the trochaic pattern of quick names in Hebrew goes against the predominant word-final stress pattern in the language.

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Finally, allow me note that the notion of a metric foot is essential to explain the phenomenon the the so-called expletive insertion in English, together in Phila-fuckin-delphia and also fan-bloody-tastic! — here, the expletive is inserted in prior of a trochaic foot.