Tag Archives: elocutio


Anacoenosis (an’-a-ko-en-os’-is): Asking the opinion or judgment of the judges or audience, usually implying their common interest with the speaker in the matter [and illustrating their communally-held ideals of truth, justice, goodness and beauty, for better and for worse].

Is it good to behead the infidels?  To burn them alive? To shoot them in their terror-filled faces? To blow them to pieces of meat to land justly on Satan’s unholy table–to be eternally chewed, swallowed, vomited–each infidel feeling it all in every torn fragment of their flesh and every drop of their splattered blood?

Of course it is good!

Of course!  Of course!  Of course!

You clamor and shout your agreement! You signify your righteousness! You are truly men of faith!

Yes! We are blessed! We are virtuous! Our holy cause is just!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed test added by Gorgias.


Anacoloutha (an-a-co’-lu-tha): Substituting one word with another whose meaning is very close to the original, but in a non-reciprocal fashion; that is, one could not use the first, original word as a substitute for the second. This is the opposite of acoloutha.

Let’s go shopping. Let’s go die.

Public spaces blown to pieces. People spaces smoking ruins. Stalls and store fronts made into war fronts.

Blanket-covered victims.

Pull away a victim’s cover, just another person. A son. A father. A daughter. A mother.

All dead, ripped, punctured, riddled.

All guilty of going shopping.

All guilty of being people.

All guilty of being in Bangkok.

Easy grist for the terror mill.

Ripe for senseless execution.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).


Anacoluthon (an-a-co-lu’-thon): A grammatical interruption or lack of implied sequence within a sentence. That is, beginning a sentence in a way that implies a certain logical resolution, but concluding it differently than the grammar leads one to expect. Anacoluthon can be either a grammatical fault or a stylistic virtue, depending on its use. In either case, it is an interruption or a verbal lack of symmetry. Anacoluthon is characteristic of spoken language or interior thought, and thus suggests those domains when it occurs in writing.

Top secret documents . . . does she have anything to say?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)


Anadiplosis (an’-a-di-plo’-sis): The repetition of the last word (or phrase) from the previous line, clause, or sentence at the beginning of the next. Often combined with climax.

Beauty attracts the soul, the soul opens the mind, the mind imagines a world of passion, peace and happiness.

Happiness is the worship of beauty.

Happiness is a prayer to Eros uttered by mind-voicing to a joyous soul, transfixed by the idea, transfigured by the word, and multiplied by their coupling as form and matter: thought and sound.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)


Anamnesis (an’-am-nee’-sis): Calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author [apparently] from memory.  Anamnesis helps to establish ethos [credibility], since it conveys the idea that the speaker is knowledgeable of the received wisdom from the past.

George Sand tells us, “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” Sand almost had it right! But she missed one important point.  As Johnny Depp so thoughtfully put it: “Tomorrow it’ll all be over, then I’ll have to go back to selling pens again.”

Between Sand and Depp there is an emotional chasm.  Between Depp and Sand there is a ticking time bomb.

Tomorrow is always inevitably coming and it can blow to bits the promises, the affections, the passions, and yes, even the “one happiness” afforded by “loving and being loved.”

And when that “one happiness” is exploded by time, burned to ashes by circumstance, and blown away by fortune’s wind, what is left?

Going back to selling pens, or writhing in pain on the cold dirt of despair?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Gorgias has inserted the bracketed words [apparently] and [credibility].

Quotations from:

Sand: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/georgesand383232.html


Depp: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnnydepp384558.html


Anaphora (an-aph’-o-ra): Repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of successive clauses, sentences, or lines.

Where is Bernie Sanders?

Where is the Vermont cheddar cheese-eating pinko-wierdo today?


Where is Donald Trump?

Where is CEO BB Brain bloviating today??


Bernie, something’s wrong. It should be the other way around.

Bernie! Come on! Say something crazy! Like, “Donald Trump is so angry he’s bleeding out of his eyes and somewhere else!”

That’ll get you noticed!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)


Anapodoton (an’-a-po’-do-ton): A figure in which a main clause is suggested by the introduction of a subordinate clause, but that main clause never occurs.

Anapodoton is a kind of anacoluthon, since grammatical expectations are interrupted. If the expression trails off, leaving the subordinate clause incomplete, this is sometimes more specifically called anantapodotonAnapodoton has also named what occurs when a main clause is omitted because the speaker interrupts himself/herself to revise the thought, leaving the initial clause grammatically unresolved but making use of it nonetheless by recasting its content into a new, grammatically complete sentence.

Before Donald Trump’s hair blinded his wife


A debate is not . . .  A debate should not be a gaggle of Republican geese honking for attention. There should actually be a set set topic or question for the so-called debate, like: “This House would give Bobby Jindal a buzz cut.” Or, “This House believes George Pataki is too tall to be President.” Or, “This House believes Jeb Bush is a mama’s boy.”

The possibilities are endless, and they should all be ad hominem! Insults are much more exciting and substantive than anything else the frontrunners would have to say toward questions like:  “Governor Christie, if elected what would be your first meal in the White House.” Or, “Senator Paul, have you ever considered naming one of your children Paul?” Or, “CEO Trump, how do you spell foreign?”

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).


Anastrophe (an-as’-tro-phee): Departure from normal word order for the sake of emphasis. Anastrophe is most often a synonym for hyperbaton, but is occasionally referred to as a more specific instance of hyperbaton: the changing of the position of only a single word.

“I today am announcing my candidacy for President of the United State of America!” Elvis Lincoln, Random Republican Party Candidate #46

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).


Anesis (an’-e-sis): Adding a concluding sentence that diminishes the effect of what has been said previously. The opposite of epitasis.

Fourth of July Oration: 2015

July 4th 1776. Congress actually did something!

It adopted a “Declaration of Independence” that had been declared two days before! It only took two days to move it to and through Congress.

It’s opening hook-line seems worthy of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:

“We hold these truths to be self evident . . .”

Sadly, right from the beginning the so-called “declaration” of independence is a ruse.

“Self-evident” was the 18th-Century’s equivalent of the 21st-Century’s “Obvious.” Ha. Ha.

What was “obvious” to people in the 18th century? To be honest the author(s) should’ve written:

“We hold these truths to be obvious: 1. God created people unequal; 2. with birthrights; 3. among these are property, subjugating serfs, and the pursuit libertine activities worthy of high-born gentlemen, to wit, bedding harlots, whipping servants, smoking opium, fathering bastard children and so forth.”

But ‘we’ [?] ‘all’ [?] ‘know’ [?] ‘better’ [?] in the post-obvious 21st century of fly-eyed semiosis, “infinite jest,” and the resurgence of polio, measles, and chicken pox: One person’s something is somebody else’s something else.

So, as we celebrate the Fourth of July today, remember, in July, 1776 our summer feasting would’ve included yummy Jellies! Jellies were the 18th century equivalent of ‘our’ Jello!

Made from boiled calves feet, scraped horns from the hart deer or the air bladders of sturgeon they were sucked up with smacking stained lips! Maybe George Washington would say today: “Oh Martha, add some of those dainty little marshmallows. I am quite confident they will add a sugary finish to these already lovely little calves feet jellies.”

And there was powerful drink too! Our forebears quaffed Rattle-Skull, Stonewall, Bogus, Blackstrap, Bombo, Mimbo, Whistle Belly, Syllabub, and Flip. And they got (according to Ben Franklin) addled, afflicted, biggy, boozy, busky, buzzey, cherubimical, cracked, or “halfway to Concord.”

Well, in solidarity with our forebears I propose that we down a few bits of jellied lamb salad, turkey in aspic, and Californian Prune jello ring. And let’s hoist a Santa’s Butt, Bishop’s Finger, Dogs Bollocks, Polygamy Porter, and 4 or 5 of our BELOVED PBRs. And we, as our forebears did, will get buttered, shit-faced, hammered, spanked, sideways, and, by God, we will GET ALL THE WAY to Concord!!

Have a great Fourth of July.

Try not to blow off a finger, blind you little brother with a bottle rocket, or set your neighbor’s house on fire with rogue pyrotechnics.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.edu.byu)


Antanaclasis (an’-ta-na-cla’-sis): The repetition of a word or phrase whose meaning changes in the second instance.

Let’s ship it by ship!

What, are you kidding? If you’re shipping mail by ship you might as well be shipping chain mail! How utterly Medieval!

If you want the package to arrive before the end of Twenty-Fifteen, send it out via Fedex before 20:15! It will get there by tomorrow & it will only cost you $20.15!

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Antanagoge (an’-ta-na’-go-gee): Putting a positive spin on something that is nevertheless acknowledged to be negative or difficult.

In the controversies over the efficacy of flying the Confederate flag on government properties, we find ourselves at a crossroad–a crossroad made of stars and bars.

Crossroads are symbolic of sites of choice. Being at a crossroad puts one in a crisis. One must decide–this way, or that way?  This particular crisis will be painfully decided, but it will foster a deeper appreciation of the pitfalls the flag symbolically  portends when it is used as a roadmap to give directions toward a desirable future.  As Lincoln said, “If we could first know where we are and wither we are tending, we would better judge what to do, and how to do it.

We know that roadmaps enable us to see beyond the myriad crossroads, find our destination, and  choose a route that will best deliver us there.

If we consult history, we can see that the crisscrossed stars and bars are part of a roadmap showing us that no matter which direction we turn by its guidance, no matter which route we take in accord with its roadways, the destination is always the same: human suffering rooted in the buying and the selling of human beings and sacrificing to slaughter young men who had nothing to benefit from winning the war–nothing to benefit by preserving an institution that was beyond their means and did not serve their interest.

It’s time to fold up that map and put it away, or at the very least acknowledge its irrelevance as source of decision and direction.

To those bear a deep affection for the direction the flag has provided them through life, please remember that the crisscrossed stars and bars provide no route or passage to justice, peace, or the compassionate love of humanity that opens heaven’s gates.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)


Antenantiosis  (an’-ten-an’-ti-os’-is): See litotes. (Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty [downplaying one’s accomplishments] in order to gain the audience’s favor [establishing ethos]).

I have always loved going fast, fast food, and fasting.

As a tribute to my love of fast, and what I have allegedly accomplished in the name of fast, you Governor Christie and the New Jersey State Legislature have proclaimed this “Freddy Fast Fast Faster Day.”

Let me tell you what I think it took for you to decide to proclaim this Freddy Fast, Fast, Faster Day.

When I ran away from my wife and kids, talk about fast, they couldn’t believe I had packed and left in under two minutes. They didn’t even have time to start crying or asking for money!

As for fast food, I am the only person in the world to eat 12 McDonald’s Quarter-Pounders raw–that’s fast food as fast as it gets!

And now, ever since that vomit-stained day, I’ve been fasting–dieting for so long that people are calling it a hunger strike!

I am honored by having a holiday named in my honor, but I also have a confession to make.

If I were Roadrunner, or Mickey D’s mother, or a prisoner protesting about something by not eating anything, then, maybe I could say “I deserve this honor.”

When I found about it, I said out lound “I’m just plain Freddy.”

My bookie overheard me.  He smiled and said, “Freddy, in a New Jersey kind of a way, being fast to leave your family, being a fast-food junkie, and being an obese guy with B.O. and occasional diarrhea from fasting on prune juice and raw clams, you deserve to have a day named in your honor.”

Well, that did it. I said out loud, “There should be a Freddy Fast, Fast, Faster Day! Al said, “Yes!  And for the hell of it, let’s call it Freddy FFFer Day. Freddy,  you always were, and still are, an F’n F-er!”

And so, with all my heart, thank you Governor Christie and all you state Senators and Representatives who’ve made such a wonderful judgment call. I also want to thank my cousin Joey, who owed me, and Turtlehead who set me straight.

Happy Freddy FFFer Day! Fast, Fast, Faster!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).


Anthimeria (an-thi-mer’-i-a): Substitution of one part of speech for another (such as a noun used as a verb).

Are you going to TV with me tonight? The DVR is overflowing!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).


Anthypophora (an’-thi-po’-phor-a): A figure of reasoning in which one asks and then immediately answers one’s own questions (or raises and then settles imaginary objections). Reasoning aloud. Anthypophora sometimes takes the form of asking the audience or one’s adversary what can be said on a matter, and thus can involve both anacoenosis and apostrophe.

We need a new car. Mercedes?  Lexus? BMW? Saab?

I like the Mercedes AMG E 63-S wagon.

Let’s look and see if we can find one on the web!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)


Antimetabole (an’-ti-me-ta’-bo-lee): Repetition of words, in successive clauses, in reverse grammatical order.

Me: Being for now is the time being.  But is the time being now being?

You: Yes, for now, but not before or after.

Me: Before or after what?

You: The time being.

Me: This is pointless!

You: Yes! This is the point!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)


Antimetathesis (an-ti-me-ta’-the-sis): Inversion of the members of an antithesis.

Your eyes are ebony.

Your soul is bright light.

Dark and light, light and dark.

Your dark eyes shine with the liquid glow of your soul’s bright light.

One person, within and without. One person to see and believe.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).


Antiprosopopoeia (an-ti-pro-so-po-pe’-i-a): The representation of persons [or other animate beings] as inanimate objects. This inversion of prosopopoeia or personification can simply be the use of a metaphor to depict or describe a person [or other animate being].

Me: When I fall asleep I am a hubcap. When I am awake, I am a can of WD-40. What am I?

You: Off your medication.

Me:  Ha! Ha! Wrong! I am an annoyed particle beam!! Get it? Par-ticle beam! Annoyed!!

You: Like I said, you’re off your medication.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.


Antirrhesis (an-tir-rhee’-sis): Rejecting reprehensively the opinion or authority of someone.

You claim to be an expert on life, love and learning! I took your advice and now my life is a mess, I am all alone and I feel more stupid than I ever felt in my life.

I paid you $900.00 to ‘tailor’ my life and you gave me a a giant clown suit made out of lies and decorated with pointless damaging advice.

Now I know what a life coach REALLY is: A Life ROACH.  Be honest, that’s what you are, a sneaky little bug that’s hard to squash!

Well guess what? My lawyer will squash you in public.  See you in court, you life-wrecking insect.

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Definition courtesy of Silva Rhetoricae (rhetoric.byu.edu)


Antisagoge (an-tis-a-go’-gee): 1. Making a concession before making one’s point (=paromologia); 2. Using a hypothetical situation or a precept to illustrate antithetical alternative consequences, typically promises of reward and punishment.

1. I know I need a bath. I know I’m a slob. I know you want to hose me down. I also know that I love you more than anything in the world and that love is not built on bathtubs, washcloths, and soap.  It’s built on trust. Trust me, I’m going to take a long overdue bath tonight–with candlelight, and wine, and your favorite Barry White! I trust you will join me? Rub-a-dub-dub honey!

2. Ok, so you want to mount a hookah on your motorcycle seat. Aside from being insane, it’ll never work. Even if you have a windshield for your passenger-hookah, you can’t blow smoke rings at 80 miles per hour and when you stop and put the kickstand down, and get off the bike, the charcoal will fall off.

You should either quit hookah smoking or sell your motorcycle. Or, forget your latest stupid idea–besides, I’m not giving up my seat behind you to a shisha-burning bottle of water with a velvet hose! Mount the hookah and I’m leaving you once and for all! Idiot.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).


Antistasis (an-ti’-sta-sis): The repetition of a word in a contrary sense. Often, simply synonymous with antanaclasis.

I am sorry you are such a sorry example of a human being! You are a laugh, but not the kind of laugh that makes me laugh! You’re the kind laugh that makes me want to vomit.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)


Antisthecon (an-tis’-the-con): Substitution of one sound, syllable, or letter for another within a word. A kind of metaplasm: the general term for changes to word spelling.

Pluck you, you chicken-brained feather-flucker!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)


Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

The happy people and the sad people–opposite emotions, but not opposed as far as they are people. They can influence each other from where they stand. With empathy they may understand each other, and with understanding they build a bridge between happiness and sadness, that is itself neither happy nor sad. It is simply a place to meet and be together and consider each other as “us,” or “we,” or “friends,” or  . . . ?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)


Antitheton (an-tith’-e-ton): A proof or composition constructed of contraries. Antitheton is closely related to and sometimes confused with the figure of speech that juxtaposes opposing terms, antithesis. However, it is more properly considered a figure of thought (=Topic of Invention: Contraries [a topic of invention in which one considers opposite or incompatible things that are of the same kind (if they are of different kinds, the topic of similarity / difference is more appropriate). Because contraries occur in pairs and exclude one another, they are useful in arguments because one can establish one’s case indirectly, proving one’s own assertion by discrediting the contrary]).

Stammering liars swarm across the angelic edges of life. In countless companies of tragedy they fold sonnets into into origami razors and slash kindness, love, and gentleness into fragments of dread, disgust, and despair.

Theirs is the darkness of light, the joy of fright, and the sinister beauty of fading life.

Ours is the perfect soul of truth: what cannot be torn and turned, touched or burned. Eternal. Immortal. Invincible. Ironic.

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Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).


Apagoresis (a-pa-gor’-e-sis): A statement designed to inhibit someone from doing something. Often uses exaggeration [or hyperbole] to persuade. It may combine an exaggeration with a cause/effect or antecedent/consequence relationship. The consequences or effects of such a phrase are usually exaggerated to be more convincing.

Pew, that stinks!  Do that again and I’m going to pull over to the side of the road, get out the duct tape, and seal your gas pipe! Roll down the windows my eyes are burning! You are disgusting.

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Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.


Aphaeresis (aph-aer’-e-sis): The omission of a syllable or letter at the beginning of a word. A kind of metaplasm.

NOW! Move it! It’s time to do the Hokey Pokey and turn ourselves ’round! We all know that’s what it’s all about. Get whirling you wild dervishes!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).