Bis Repetita Placent Sed Perseverare Diabolicum: What Does It Mean and How to Apply It
Bis repetita placent sed perseverare diabolicum is a Latin phrase that means \"repetition pleases but persistence is diabolical\". It is often used to express the idea that repeating something can be enjoyable or beneficial, but insisting on it can be harmful or annoying.
The phrase is a variation of a more common proverb: errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum, which means \"to err is human, but to persist [in error] is diabolical\". This saying is often attributed to Seneca, but it is not found in his works[^2^]. It may have originated from a verse by the Roman poet Horace: \"naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret\" (you may drive out nature with a pitchfork, but she will always return) [^3^].
The phrase bis repetita placent sed perseverare diabolicum can be applied to various situations in life, such as:
Learning: Repeating a lesson or a skill can help us master it, but overdoing it can lead to boredom or frustration.
Art: Repeating a motif or a style can create a sense of harmony or coherence, but overusing it can make it dull or clichÃ.
Communication: Repeating a message or a point can emphasize its importance or clarity, but insisting on it can annoy or offend the listener.
Behavior: Repeating an action or a habit can reinforce its positive effects or rewards, but persisting in it can cause addiction or harm.
Therefore, the phrase bis repetita placent sed perseverare diabolicum reminds us to find a balance between repetition and variation, between consistency and flexibility, between pleasure and moderation.
To illustrate the phrase bis repetita placent sed perseverare diabolicum, let us consider some examples from different domains:
Music is an art form that relies heavily on repetition. Repeating a melody, a rhythm, a chord progression, or a lyric can create a sense of familiarity, structure, and emotion. However, too much repetition can also make music boring, predictable, or annoying. For example, some songs use the same chorus over and over again, without adding any variation or contrast. This can make the listener lose interest or feel irritated by the lack of creativity. Therefore, musicians need to balance repetition and variation, using techniques such as modulation, inversion, transposition, or embellishment to keep their music fresh and engaging.
Politics is another field where repetition can be both useful and harmful. Repeating a slogan, a message, or a claim can help politicians communicate their ideas, persuade their audience, and reinforce their identity. However, too much repetition can also backfire, especially if the repeated statement is false, misleading, or exaggerated. For example, some politicians repeat the same lies or accusations over and over again, without providing any evidence or argument. This can make them lose credibility or face criticism from their opponents or the public. Therefore, politicians need to balance repetition and truthfulness, using facts, logic, and ethics to support their statements and actions.
Medicine is a science that also involves repetition. Repeating a test, a procedure, or a treatment can help doctors diagnose diseases, monitor patients' conditions, and provide effective care. However, too much repetition can also be harmful, especially if the repeated intervention is unnecessary, ineffective, or risky. For example, some doctors repeat the same prescriptions or therapies over and over again, without considering the individual needs or preferences of their patients. This can cause adverse effects, waste resources, or reduce quality of life. Therefore, doctors need to balance repetition and personalization, using evidence-based guidelines, shared decision making, and patient-centered care. aa16f39245