Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
spondee spon·dee (spŏn'dē')
A word or metrical foot having two equally stressed syllables, used in testing speech and hearing.
metrical foot consisting of two long (as in classical verse) or stressed (as in English verse) syllables occurring together. The term was derived from a Greek word describing the two long musical notes that accompanied the pouring of a libation. Spondaic metre occurred occasionally in classical verse. It does not, however, form the basis for any English verse, as there are virtually no English words in which syllables receive equal stress. An approximation of a spondaic foot is sometimes achieved with such compounds as "heyday" or "childhood," but even these words can be seen as examples of primary and secondary stress rather than equal stress. In English verse, the spondaic foot is usually composed of two monosyllables. It is frequently used as an introductory variation in a line of iambic metre, such as: