Anthimeria

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


He was a total “Ho-Ho.” I can’t explain it, but every time I saw Milt I felt like laughing. Maybe my laughter came from basic meanness or some kind of incongruity between Milt and the way we’re supposed to look and the way he looked. Milt must’ve dressed in the dark every morning. One day he showed up at work wearing one black polartec slipper and one patent leather dress shoe, red sweat pants, plaid flannel shirt, a blue necktie with a picture of a smiling Jesus on it, and a hat advertising baked beans. Standing there with his Tiger Wood coffee mug, he gave me a big smile and said “Hi Jim.” I tried to return the greeting, but I started uncontrollably sucking in air and my nose started snoffelling and my throat contracted, then, bam, out came a chuckle that turned into a guffaw, that turned into a roaring belly laugh. After it all subsided, I apologized to Milt and started to walk away. “Wait a minute,” he said. He told me he suffered from sartorial dyslexia (SD): an inability to dress right due to a genetically-based chemical imbalance in the part of the brain that processes wardrobe choices. He told me he inherited it, and that family gatherings were like fashion shows without fashion—everything from bathing suits with sports coats, to total nudity with one black Blundstone, and an Apple Watch. I was totally taken by surprise that Milt had a disease that prompted his bizarre clothing choices. I asked him if there was some kind of foundation I could donate to that helps people suffering from SD. He told me the most help I could give was to “Walk in my shoe for a day.”

So, the next morning I dressed in the dark—putting on whatever came to hand, whenever it came to hand. I ended up leaving the house with a Beatle boot on one foot and a penny loafer on the other, blue compression pants, a hunter orange polartec vest, and a navy-blue necktie with ducks on it (neckties were required at work). When I stepped out my door I instantly noticed that people were staring at me, some were laughing and pointing, same were yelling mean taunts—“Where’d you get dressed? In a blender?” That was the rudest. I didn’t even get to the subway before turning around and running with a shoe-induced limp back to my apartment. When I got there, I tore off my clothes and took a shower. I felt so bad for Milt.

I moved in with him and became his “dresser.” I would properly dress him every morning before we went to work. I even went to one of his family gatherings. It was a combination of a mescaline-induced Mardi Gras and a Hieronymus Bosch painting. I loved it! Anyway, we fell in love and got married. Every once-in-awhile, I get dressed in the dark and we drink beer, and we dance around the apartment and laugh.

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

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Anthypophora

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.


A: Am I the greatest? No. I’m just a little bit above average with a slight hint of genius.

B: What a crockarola! You’re a poster boy for less than average, if that. Is needing help paying the bills “above average with a hint of genius?” No. Is peeing on the toilet seat? No. Is losing the car keys? No. Is forgetting to pick our daughter up at daycare? No. Is spraying the garden with weed killer? No. I could sit here and cite examples of your loserhood all day long. What makes you think you’re “a little above average with a slight hint of genius?” As far as I can see you’re what people call “differently abled” when they’re trying to be kind.

A: Differently abled? No! No way. I guess you’ve forgotten about my giant rubber band ball? It’s bigger than a basketball and I’ve been meticulously adding to it for the past three years. I finished it last week and it looks great on the coffee table in the living room. Admit it.

B: Nope. It looks ridiculous.

A: What about the time I tried out being a nudist and went to the grocery store with no clothes on? I was front page news and was only fined $200.00. People still yell “Nudy Nudy” when they see me downtown. That’s fame. Is there a hint of genius there? Yes! What about the toilet paper holder I made out of a broom? You can’t deny it. Oh—what about when I got lost on our way to Maine and we discovered a whole new country called Canada? Or. . .

B: Ok, you win. You’re everything you say you are. Take your meds and shut up and I’ll turn on Fox News.


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

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Antimetabole

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


I like my swimming pool, but my swimming pool does not like me. It fills with leaves, green slime and drowned mice. I bought a robot pool cleaner for $1,300, but all it does is bubble and ride around the bottom of the pool for hours before it automatically shuts off and I have to haul it in like a lobster trap. So, what do I like about my swimming pool?

My daughter’s 20-something friends! When they come over, they all wear scanty swimsuits and lay around in loose postures when they’re done swimming, and I take pictures with my iPhone. Sometimes they play volleyball on the court alongside the pool. I watch from my living room with binoculars, or I take videos from behind the pool house. You might think I might be a pervert, but I don’t think I am. If I was a real pervert, I would look at the pictures and videos all the time, in solitude, spinning fantasies. Instead, I hardly ever look at them, and I have friended all of my daughters friends on Facebook!

I have two Facebook pages—one the real me, the other, the fake me. I like the fake me better than the real me; fake me has 1,023 followers. Fake me is a 27 year-old test pilot for the US Air Force. Real me is a fifty-eight year-old computer programmer. I wear glasses, am overweight, and have a high-pitched voice. Fake me is 6’2’ with a broad-shouldered muscular physique. My fake me name is Captain Flash Bateson. I photoshopped my head (without glasses) over ‘Flash’s,’ using “youthification” software to make me look in my late 20s. When I log on I’m a kid again, doing something meaningful with my life, even if my life isn’t doing something meaningful with me. Then it happened.

My second wife (of three) Carmen found Captain Flash Bateson. She said he reminded her of a young version of her first husband, Marty Oswald. That was me! I couldn’t block her or she would know that something was up, so I decided to play along. Everything on the page was fake, except my cellphone number. The second I realized this, my phone rang. Trying to talk in a low gravelly voice, I answered. It was her. I told her I had retired from the Air Force and that I was terminally ill—my voice started to squeak as I told her I was bedridden and would probably die next week. She said: “My God. Marty, is that you?” I said “What? Who’s Marty? This is Captain Flash Bateson laying in bed waiting to die.” She hung up.

I liked fake me so much more than real me. Facebook had liberated me—freed me every night from dumb-ass Marty the computer programmer. I changed my cellphone number and booted up my Captain Flash page. With 1,023 followers, there there was surely somebody there to talk to, heaping praise on me for my service to our country, my bravery, and my good looks. It may be fake, but it beats being Marty. I got my first message in seconds. It was from “Fleshy MaMa”—a new admirer. I looked at her profile picture: Holy crap! It was Carmen when she was 25, before she turned into a fatty and started dying her hair bright red. “How’s it hangin’ Big Boy,” she asked. “A little to the left Golden Buns,” I answered, getting ready to fly into the wild blue yonder.


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

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Antimetathesis

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


Big and little. Little and big. Big is often good. Big is often bad. Little isn’t often good, but it is often bad. I am big—6’ 5” and 340 lbs. I was football, all the way, all my life. My father put a helmet on my head when I turned 4 and my future was set. Football, football, football. I made it all the way to the pros, playing for the Hoboken Boxcars until finally my brain started rebelling. I became irritable, and eventually, enraged at everything. Road rage was my specialty. I would tailgate every car that got in front of me, even tapping rear bumpers with my car’s front bumper and beating up anybody who dared to pull over and confront me. One day I was driving behind some guy goin 50 in 55 speed zone, bumping his bumper with my bumper. He pulled over and so did I. I jumped out of my car and punched him in the face through his rolled up window. Glass flew everywhere. He was cut and bleeding. When I realized it was my dad, who I hadn’t seen in 20 years, I started crying and ran onto the freeway. I was clipped by a FEDEX truck and suffered multiple abrasions, a broken arm and a ruptured spleen. My Dad visited me in the hospital. He had cuts all over his face—one closed by stitches. He apologized for pushing me into football and contributing to my brain damage. We hugged and I haven’t seen him since.

I work as a bouncer now, and it fits my interests and capabilities. “The Litter Box Lounge” caters to a wild crowd—rogue actuaries, used car salespeople, hospital orderlies, techie coke heads, replica watch aficionados, Dollar Store shoppers, etc. I love the job because I get to beat up a couple of people every night. Tonight, I beat up a guy who was trying to pick up a woman who didn’t want to be picked up right then. She had given him her number but the guy insisted that “now” was the time. As I was escorting him to the door, he took a swing at me and I reduced him to a pile of laundry on the floor. I dragged him out the door by his shirt collar and pushed him into the gutter with my foot. When he hit the pavement his head rolled to the side. I recognized him! It was Clipper Limebutty! He had saved me from drowning when we were kids in high school. I owed him my life and now I was kicking him into the gutter. He woke up, pulled a gun and shot me twice in the stomach. As I lay there bleeding on the pavement, I thanked Clipper for saving my life for the second time. He thought I was making fun of him and he shot me two more times. I had read somewhere that non-fatal bullet wounds could make you a better person. I wasn’t trying to be funny.

I smiled at the big starry sky as they loaded me into the ambulance. Clipper stood there in handcuffs, bleeding from the nose with his face beginning to swell.


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

Antiprosopopoeia

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].


The race was on! The 10th annual “Walker Run” at Our Lady of the Soiled Linens, a nursing home that stays afloat with constant Go Fund Me appeals and the kindness of a Mr. D.B. Cooper, a parachuting enthusiast who donated a pile of money after recovering from two broken legs and a broken collarbone and being cared for at Our Lady of the Soiled Linens .

My doctor tells me that “with luck” I have fourteen months to live. It is imperative that I win the race—even though I feel like a million dollars, I know the doctor’s right. He gave Mrs. Tellby ten months, and boom, she checked out in ten months.

I bought a lightweight titanium racing walker on Amazon. It can be filled with helium to make it lighter. The wheels are repurposed skateboard wheels and it has no brakes (to get rid of extra weight). The rear crutch tips have been replaced with Kevlar sliders. I would’ve replaced them with wheels, but all the racing walkers have to conform to normal Walker specs—that means only two front wheels, and of course, no motors!

My only real competition is Col. Von Gruen. Everybody else competes just to get some fresh air and sunshine, working on their Vitamin D deficiencies and their alienation from nature. Anyway, Von Gruen’s Walker is a black 1994 Rover. It has none of the modifications that mine has and he’s never failed to beat me in the past, until I got rid of my 1989 Trekker. Now that I’ve got a 2020 titanium Light Walker, I am going to kick his butt.

We line up on the starting line. It’s fifty feet to the finish line— I feel like Big Daddy Don Garlits lined up at Meadowlands, ready to rock. I am a dragster! I grip my walker and wait for the green light. Von Gruen is right next to me. We are almost shoulder to shoulder. He turns and says to me, “I am dying day after tomorrow, the Doctor told me.” Putting on my best scowl, I say “So what?” Von Gruen says, “Let me win.” Just then, the light turned green and off we went. I got half-way to the finish line and slowed down on purpose to let Von Gruen win. He was gonna die on Friday and it seemed like the right thing to do. Two weeks later he was still alive. I was enraged. I walked down the hall, burst into his room, and threw his ‘94 Rover out the window. He died the next day. He left me his walker and the $35.00 he had won for winning his final race.


Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.

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

Antirrhesis

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


Hey Ma, listen to this: our little schooly girl is trying t’ tell me the earth is round like a big tomato floatin’ in the sky with all us a livin’ on it, like ants on a gum ball. She says her teacher, Miss Toomy, said it’s true. Well, I’ll tell you right now that Miss Toomy should be fired. It’s like when she told our little girl our well water comes from rivers under the earth! God, is she ignorant! We all know the water is left over from the big rain storm when Noah sailed his boat around filled with animals—mainly chickens. When it stopped raining Noah went swimming and had a great time. Too bad he only had two ducks. And where did I get these true facts from? It was Grandma’s home schooling. She taught me more in two weeks than that ignoramus looser Miss Toomy could teach you in 200 years. Me an’ Grandma would sit on the couch and she would teach me a lesson. I did not know how to write, so I’d put the lesson in my vast storehouse memory. When Grandma tested me, I did not remember any of the answers. She would say, “It’s all right, Bob Dole never remembered nothin’ either, yet he opened a corn dog factory in Kansas and made a lot of money.” Grandma knew everything. Some days we’d take the tractor out and Grandma would teach me the road signs: red for stop, curved arrow for curve, cross for intersection, triangle for merge. My favorite was speed limits where I had to match the numbers on the sign with the numbers the arrow pointed to on the speed meter in front of me. Top speed for the tractor was 25, so there was lot’s of times I couldn’t make a match. Grandma would say “Put the pedal to the metal!” I didn’t get it. Grandma said that it was my poetry lesson.

Anyways, we need to get rid of Miss Toomy and her communist pervert propaganda that will surely ruin our daughter’s chance for success in our little corner on the world. As soon as she lets it leak that she thinks the earth is round, they’ll put her on a bus and send her north, where they believe that kind of blasphemic crap. I think we should go to the school board meetin’ on Tuesday. I’ll give a speech callin’ for Miss Toomy to quit or be fired.

At the meeting I was told to shut up and sit down. Miss Toomy is Mayor Toomy’s niece. I shoulda figured that out— you know—two Toomys. Now I’m lookin’ for a steady job. I think I have a crack at “rag man” at the car wash. I’m real good at wringin’ and operatin’ a squeegee.


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

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.

Antisagoge

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.


Ok, ok. So I shouldn’t have tried to incinerate our neighbor’s dog. But, it dumps big steamers in our yard twice a day and has repeatedly dug up our garden boxes. Our neighbor, the dog’s owner, is a very large and very strong weight-lifting violent troll whose hobby is kick boxing with his nine-year-old son (who has a little trouble speaking and walks with a limp). In short, my neighbor scares the holy crap out of me. At least he didn’t catch me squirting lighter fluid on his dog “Dog,” a name suited for the pet of a giant nitwit bully. Right then, I heard him crunching up my gravel driveway. I had to hide behind the hedge until he left—but before he left, like the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, he said “Fee fie foe dude, I smell the smell of lighter fluid.” I nearly peed my shorts, but I stayed quiet and didn’t do a panicked runner. He knew I was hiding somewhere nearby, but he left, dragging Dog behind hm.

Something still needs to be done about the dog.

I was willing to go to any length to whack the dog—to stop the yard bombs and the marathon barking sessions. What if I trapped him in a dog crate with a big piece of meat, kidnapped him, took him on a cruise on the Queen Mary 2 to England, and threw him overboard somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Elaborate, but brilliant.

The plan failed. My neighbor accompanied Dog on his daily bombing mission and saw me, the dog crate, and the meat inside it. He reached behind him and pulled out a pistol. He aimed it at me and slowly panned toward the dog crate and started firing. He emptied the gun and the dog crate was transformed into a lump of smoking plastic. He started reloading, and I heard police sirens. My neighbor was arrested for attempted murder—for attempting to murder me! Ha ha! He had successfully murdered the dog crate, but I didn’t have a scratch. At his trial, I testified that I was inside the dog crate when he arrived and was able to just barely get out of it when he started shooting. I told them I was lucky to be alive. My neighbor was convicted of attempted murder and is currently living out his 25 year sentence at Rahway State Prison. I adopted Dog and trained him to shut up and poop in the gutter when we take walks. I don’t mind bagging Dog’s poop.

Everything has worked out for the best for me, but not for my neighbor, and Dog has become a model multiple breed dog, enjoying peeing on the fake fire hydrant at the doggy play park, humping other dogs, and begging for doggy treats.


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

A paper version The Daily Trope is available from Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Antistasis

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


I have a collection of single socks that rivals the collection at the Victoria and Albert museum in London, England. The prize item in their collection is the single grey sock Oliver Cromwell was wearing when he was disinterred and “executed” by supporters of Charles II. His head was removed and stuck on a pike, with, some say, his death-sock stuffed in what was left of his mouth after months in the ground in a churchyard somewhere in London. Ravens plucked out his eyes while buskers plucked out happy tunes on their mandolins.

My single sock collection is worth at least a half-million dollars. Since I’m a licensed collector, I have a permit to rifle through peoples’ trash bins, as long as I don’t make a mess. I specialize in celebrity trash bins rummaging for (you guessed it) their discarded single socks. Last week, I scored a “Jeff Goldbloom” from a bin in front his flat in New York. It is one of those stretchy black socks made out of very thin polyester. It has a tiny hole in the toe and is monogrammed with his initials. It has a slightly perfumed odor, suggestive of moss and pine needles. This sock is probably worth at least $500. My prize sock was worn by Johnny Depp under his swashbucklers as Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” “Pirates” was the first time I hung out on a movie set, and it was worth it. Depp’s sock was made from baby-blue spun cotton, with a padded white toe. It smells faintly of salt water and steamed clams, and also has a slight fishy smell, most likely Pollock or Cod. Depp’s sock has been appraised by Sotheby’s at $110,000.

I will be opening a single-sock museum in Los Angles in two months. It will be called simply “Single Celebrity Socks.” I will be selling replica celebrity sock singles in the gift shop, along with postcards, and my book “Stalking the Celebrity Sock.” This week, I’m parked outside of the Christian Evangelist Joel Olsteen’s unbelievably lavish home in Houston, Texas. It is rumored that he has the Ten Commandments embroidered on his socks. Something’s bound to turn up if I wait long enough—I’m giving it a month—then I’m headed to Elon Musk’s.


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

Paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope are available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Antisthecon

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.


I was going snackelling under the Caribbean Sea. You ask: What the hell is that? It is probably the most stupid immature thing I’ve ever done. I was 35 years old. Starting to get a few gray hairs, and softening up, as time took its toll on my muscles. I wore reading glasses and had quit smoking my cherished Cohibas. Yet, here I was wading into the beautiful clear turquoise-blue Caribbean, like I had around 15 years ago, on spring break with my buddies Edward and Phil and Joanne. We invented a game to play when we went snorkeling—we cut up carrots from the hotel’s salad bar into little pieces. We’d put the pieces into baggies and take them under water. Then, once we got into the middle of a school of fish, we’d put a piece of carrot between our lips and the fish would swim up to our faces and grab the carrots—we named this game “snackelling.” Now, I had returned to the Bahamas on a business trip, meeting with hoteliers to discuss their restaurant equipment needs—that’s what I did—I sold ovens, dishwashers, prep tables and everything else needed to properly equip a hotel kitchen. Feeling like I was drifting into middle age, I decided to do a reprise of snackelling. I picked up a carrot at the breakfast buffet, diced it up, and dumped the pieces into a baggie I got from the chef. I headed to the dock, and hired a guide with a little motorboat. When we got about 100 yards offshore, I put on fins and mask, bit down on the snorkel’s mouthpiece, jumped out of the boat, and headed down. I swam directly into a school of Surgeon Fish. I put a piece of carrot between my lips. Suddenly, the whole school of fish disappeared. I looked up and there was a Barracuda headed straight for my face. I froze in terror and the Barracuda bit my nose off. Bleeding profusely from my nose, I swam as fast as I could to the surface where my guide was waiting. I kept kicking the Barracuda away, and finally climbed into the boat. Sticking pieces of carrot into what was left of my nose, I was able to slow the bleeding. We headed for the emergency room where my nose was stitched together with some pieces missing that were temporarily replaced with pieces of foam rubber cut by the surgeon from a shower mat. Since then, I’ve had nose replacement surgery, opting for the “Klinger.” The Klinger is named for a character on M.A.S.H., a TV show that ran in the 70s and 80s. My Klinger is memorable and prompts people to ask about my ethnicity, something my original “Scottish” nose never did. Even with the new nose, I can’t forget what happened to me. Every time I hear somebody say, “The nose knows,” I think to myself, “My nose was eaten by a fish.”


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

Paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope are available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Antithesis

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


Life’s polarities are the sources of our most significant vexations. Our anxieties and our hopes reside at opposite ends of all spectrums. Life is thwarting death. Death is thwarting life. Hope is thwarting fear. Fear is thwarting hope. We are like light switches flipping On and Off. But little Hammy had his wheel— a treadwheel with infinite shades of ‘going’ between starting and stopping, stillness and motion. But Hammy has stopped forever. No more running through his pet pipe plastic tube or rolling in his cedar shavings and grunting, or, seeming to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” I tried teaching Hammy to Moon Walk, but he peed on my hand, squirmed loose and hid behind his water bottle. However, one morning I got up at 6:00 a.m. to water the lawn. When I walked past Hammy’s room he was moon walking in his cage—with no music! I was mad and glad at the same time. I opened the cage door to pick him up and pet him and give him a hamster treat, but he jumped out of the door and disappeared. That night, I heard scratching behind the wall, over my bed behind the Crucifix my grandma hung there when I was bedridden with measles. How could I rescue him? I would make a hole in the wall behind the Crucifix, dangle a hamster treat down the hole on a piece of string and catch him like a fish. The Crucifix would hide the hole, and all would be well. I got the electric drill from the garage and attached the two-inch bit with saw teeth I used to install a door knob for my dad. I cranked up the drill and pushed it into the wall. I pulled the drill out of the wall, and there was Hammy stuck on the drill bit, spinning around and around, and twitching. It was like he was trapped on the Grim Reaper’s hamster wheel.

Even though I killed him, he was a good friend. The sun rises and the sun sets. Hammy’s sun has set. He will be buried in a zip lock bag with holes punched in it so the gases from his decaying body will easily escape and he will rest in peace. I guess I should cancel my lifetime subscription to Hamster Aficionado and shut down my internet feed to Hamsters in the News. I’m leaving the hole in the wall as a memorial to Hammy’s short life and his hamster grit and determination to be a special hamster—to moonwalk along the starry vaults of heaven to “slip the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”


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

There are paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope available on Amazon under the title of The Book of Tropes.

Antitheton

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]).


My credit card is like a license plate on a Brinks Truck headed to the bank with a load of cash. Yours is like a dirty little doormat at the entryway of the Dollar Store by your dreary little apartment. They’re both credit cards, but there are some differences: I pay my bill on time, you don’t. I stay under my limit, you don’t, I don’t take cash advances, but you do—paying 16% interest, and wasting the cash on bulk-bin Gummy Bears, impractical shoes, blenders, and other stupid crap that, for some reason, you want to pay cash for, and, you don’t need.

The big difference here is taking responsibility: I am prudent, you are either stupid or reckless, or both. Let’s go with prudent vs. reckless: I was home drinking decaf black tea and watching the musical “Cats” on Amazon Prime while you were out drinking shots and beer at Ogles, bun-scanning every guy who came through the door, and buying drinks for everybody at the bar. Your best friend Renee told me this. I’m paying her $50 per day to keep an eye on you and report back to me. The reports have been shocking. Having sex in the trunk of a Cadillac? Anyway, let’s compare: my life is a smooth-running machine, yours has a broken crankshaft and is leaking oil all over the place. I handle my money like a fiscal surgeon. You handle yours like a cruel butcher. I pay my bills to the tune of an atomic clock. You pay yours to the tune of Cuckoo clock. The contrasts between us go for miles, but the clincher is happiness. The way I handle my credit enables me to be happy. The way you handle your credit makes you miserable. If you change the way you handle your credit, and be more like me, it’s likely you will be happier.

We’ll start here: give me your credit card. Let it cool off for awhile.

I went home and booted up her account. The password was easy to crack: her blood type and her birthday. What I saw shocked me! A $110,000 bill had been paid two days ago by a wire transfer made by Eddy Papa owner of the Papa Eddy’s Pizza franchise with over 200 locations in New Jersey, and Caroline’s big brother too.

I felt like such a jerk. Caroline knew her brother would cover her and was having one hell of a good time. While I sat at home eating canned chicken noodle soup with crushed saltines, she was running wild without any consequences, up until now. Now, I was the consequence, and I was going to ask her to buy us a sailboat so we could sail away—maybe to a marina in Jersey City or Cape May, and have some pizza. Pepperoni for me please!


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

Paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope are available at Amazon under the title of The Book of Tropes.

Apagoresis

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.


Once there was a boy who shot dice every day. Every time he won, he would gratefully kiss the dice. Once there was an old lady who lived alone with her cat Rambo. She would shake his treat bag and clap her hands to call him. When he came home, she would pick Rambo up and gave him a kiss. There was a guy who was addicted to golf. He dressed like a lunatic in green riding pants, and a blue and orange and black golf shirt, and a pink hat. He cheated at golf, but he was the boss and nobody said anything. Whenever he sunk a putt he kissed the golf ball as if it were his lover, wrapping his tongue around it and quietly, and briefly, moaning. Then there was the woman who always kissed the egg before she cracked it and made scrambled eggs for her husband’s Saturday breakfast. And, there was a girl who still played Barbie at the age of 22. After Barbie defeated her in the living room ballerina contest, she was getting back at Barbie by giving Ken long lingering kisses, all over. Although Ken’s pubic area was only a flesh-colored triangular blank space, she pretended it wasn’t. She propped Barbie up in a position where she had to watch her slobber all over Ken’s flat pink plain of asexuality.

In the end, what happened to these kissing crazies? Every one of them had to have their lips amputated and then replaced by dead peoples’ lips—refrigerated since being surgically removed from their hosts. Lip loss is not as uncommon as we think, but in every case it is transmitted by kissing inanimate objects or animals. If you don’t want to lose your lips, kiss only people, and only on the lips.


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

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Apharesis

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


‘oly moly! I am lost in space. I vaguely remember giving my teeth to a fat raccoon. What’s this? Oh hell! It’ a ransom note. I thought I ‘ad enough trouble with my divorce from devil woman and my affair with angel woman—a perfect polarity like hate and love, dark and light, idiot and genius., shit and Shinola. The marriage was 7 years of despair, vodka and ice, and getting fat. Bellini got so fat, I couldn’t tell whether she was smiling, or her underpants were chafing. When I asked, it was always the underpants. Then she’d ask me to help her get untangled. I’m not going to go into detail, but let me just say: It was like her underpants were alive. I had to stalk them and pounce catlike, quickly shoving both my hands under the crotch and pulling as hard as I could—I imagined I was a tow truck summoned by AAA to pull a car out of a ditch.

But the ransom note really worried me—it didn’t specify a ransom. It was signed Fat Raccoon, which I knew was some kind of joke: raccoons can’t write. But, I still needed my teeth! Just then, my neighbor came out of his house carrying a paper bag. “T’was me,” he said. “We we’re playing catch with your uppers when you passed out. So, I picked up your teeth and bagged ‘em. As far as ransom goes, I would like you to pay for my lawnmower’s gasoline for the next five years, play checkers with me once a week, and go for moonlight walks, weather permitting, whenever possible.”

Wow! I couldn’t believe how things were working out—an instant “Yes!” was forthcoming. My neighbor handed over my teeth. My cellphone rang. It was my girlfriend. She said: “He told me about your teeth. I’m too young to date a man with false teeth. Get dental implants and I might reconsider.” My gums were throbbing as my blood pressure rose. Next it’ll be Botox. Where will it end? Bellini and her tangled underpants were looking better and better.


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

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Aphorismus

Aphorismus ( a-phor-is’-mus): Calling into question the proper use of a word.


A: Today we must utilize our common sense and not be reticent to be impactful in our propagation of a roadmap to bridge the river of victory with malice and hope.

B: Are you talk’n to me? ‘Cause if you are, I don’t know what the hell you’re try’n to say. I would like to point out that, among other things, you’ve used “reticent” improperly. According to a “special” dictionary I have fright here in my pocket, it means “not revealing one’s thoughts or feelings readily.” What the hell does your use of it have have to do with your incoherent victory bridge blabber? One other thing, “impactful.” Does putting “ful” on the end of ”impact” give it more impact? Ha ha!

A: Look, nozzle brain, I talk “boss talk” because I’m the boss. I would be reticent to speak otherwise. Being hard to understand is one of my finish lines as a speaker. It gives me leverage when the blame is recused and I am being aimed at with accusatory enunciations.

B: You should stay away from the management workshops. The only thing worth going for is the raspberry jellied donuts and dark roast coffee. The rest is part of a plot to “stupidify“ America. These people work for the “Underground Consultant” who Latinizes normal words and evilly propagates the misuse of words in everyday speech, so words lose their proper meanings and create a linguistic fog that people like me choke on while others grope for meaning and lose their way.

A: You need help, but I am reticent call 911. Instead, let’s utilize Uber to get you to the hospital.

B: You’re the one with the problem, you chronic word misuser. Here, take this small pocket dictionary. It’s being distributed by the group I founded: “Denote & Connote.” You can always depend on your dictionary to show you the way—the way out of the mire of misuse that people like you are stuck in. Free yourself!

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

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Apocarteresis

Apocarteresis (a-po-car-ter’-e-sis): Casting of all hope away from one thing and placing it on another source altogether.


I tried Viagra but it did not work. I swallowed the blue pill. I crushed it and snorted it. I stuck it up my ass. I dumped the bottle in the tub and took a bath in it. I am ashamed to say, I made a 3% solution and injected it in my leg. I powdered it, mixed it with hot black coffee and dunked my pecker in it. I’m still wearing the bandage from the burn. I have tried the generic stuff: Boing!, Undy Tent, Throb, Straight Up, and Redwood Root. It is all crap, at least for me. Oh, I tried a pump and it just made me numb and turned my hooter purple.

There’s new product for limpness that just came onto the market, and that’s being advertised on all the porn sites with favorable reviews: “I went from limp noodle to crispy carrot,” “I have a crowbar in my pants,” “At the nude beach, I am a human sundial, “It’s like a compass pointing to my favorite destination.” With these kind’s of endorsements, I would be a fool not to try the “Erectorator.” It uses the latest digital technology to “coax your penis to its pinnacle.” I ordered a Erectorator as soon as I fished my wife’s credit card out of her purse—she had destroyed mine after the motorcycle purchase “incident.” But now, I am sure she will love the Erectorator.

It arrived today! I ran upstairs and plugged it in. It made a whooping sound and flashed blue, red, green and yellow. A voice like Siri’s said “Stick it in big boy” and all the lights started flashing in unison. So, I stuck it in. The Siri voice said “Too small” “Too small” over and over again. I threw the Erectorator on the floor, but it wouldn’t shut up. It started crawling across the floor toward me repeating “Stick it in big boy” in a garbled Siri voice. I threw it out my bedroom window. It landed in the driveway and slowly squirmed it’s way across the street. I could barely hear it still saying “Stick it in big boy.” Suddenly, my neighbor came out his front door with a shotgun. “It’s the only way to shut these damn things up,” he yelled, “It’s what I had to do with mine!” BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

I will never get my money back, but I didn’t care. I had learned a valuable lesson: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. I just ordered a pound of Chinese Dickweed Tea. It promises to “Align the emperor’s root with heaven.” No more electric gizmos for me. I can’t wait.


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

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Apocope

Apocope (a-pok’-o-pe): Omitting a letter or syllable at the end of a word. A kind of metaplasm.


I’m goin’ to the go go. Ha ha! That was fifty friggin’ years ago. Now, I can’t even get off the couch without Junior’s help—too many cannolis spoiled the broth. Now, I’m goin’ to the went went—went in my bed, went in my pants, went in my pajamas, went to the nursing home. I used to rival Fred Astaire when I was dancin’ to Chubby Checker or Freddie Canon. I Twisted until my pants chafed my wanger, an’ then, I’d have a Schaefer to cool down and sit with my cousin Lou Lou and we would talk about runnin’ away together, and maybe travel the USA in the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. Her father, my uncle, worked for Oscar Meyer. He ran the pig grinder, which went non-stop, day and night. As part of his pay, Uncle Thurgood got a pack of wieners each week. Aunt Vie would make sauerkraut and I’d go over and feast on wieners. Lou Lou would always say she was going to eat my wiener out in the garage. I told her it was my wiener and she should better leave it alone. She had her own wiener right there in front of her covered with mustard and steamin’ hot!

Well, anyhoo, here I am at Elder Senior Nook Sunshine Grove Facility, watching TV, playing Candy Land, and watching cars come and go in the parking lot. Today, I saw a car with big tail fins an’ I got so excited I passed out for a couple a’ minutes. I have a laptop that keeps me busy too. I have made videos of me doing unusual things with my lunch. I put them on Tick-Tok an’ and got kicked off for violatin’ community standards. Next, I will open a shop on Etsy. I will sell the knitted coasters I make in Craft Time. They are modeled after vintage car hubcaps. When I show them to people, they don’t know what they are. All the Attendants want to know is if I’ve made a will yet. I tell them no, and they are nice to me.


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

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Apodixis

Apodixis (a-po-dix’-is): Proving a statement by referring to common knowledge or general experience.


A: You ain’t goin’ nowhere no how. This here is duck tape honey.

B: I’ll just wait for the sun to warm the duct tape. The adhesive will soften, and I will easily free myself, you stupid yahoo.

A: You hadn’t oughtened a’ told me that Rosebud now I’m gonna have to set ya’ in the freezer.

B: Ok shit pants. The duct tape will freeze and crystallize and the tape will easily come lose. The freezer has an inside latch. I will burst out and club you with a frozen leg of lamb.

A: Dang it all! You’re a pesky little critter, ain’t you?

B: Yes, I’m, as you say, “pesky.” But, let me go and I’ll give you a million dollars. I’ll mail it to you when I get home. As you know, desperate people do desperate things. In my case, that involves giving you a pile of money.

A: Well, heck. Y’all paint a pretty little picture there. You let me ride home with you and you got a deal, Rosebud.

B: Ok. Let me put this duct tape around your wrists and ankles so I can trust you.

A: Awright.

B: 911?


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

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Apophasis

Apophasis (a-pof’-a-sis): The rejection of several reasons why a thing should or should not be done and affirming a single one, considered most valid.


Should I return from the dead?

Pro:

1. I can walk around.

2. I can go to Smitty’s Topless Cork Popper, my favorite entertainment venue. (I still have one eye)

3. I can get my neighbor Rosco who shot me through the heart when he caught me with his wife. Yes, he killed me, and only got 6 months!

4. I can play with my dog Blither. He’s a purebred Poodle/Great Dane mix.

Hmm. I can’t think of anything else.

Cons:

1. I smell like rotting flesh.

2. My suit is stained and crawling with some kind of worms.

3. My appearance will horrify people. I’m not even up yet, but my left arm is coming lose.

4. I will probably want to eat everybody’s brains. This will be rude, especially to my wife and daughter.

Well, there I have it. Sadly, I can’t make up my mind. Maybe I should do a trial run to see how it works out. I could do some lurking down by the river, where people meet for speed trysts, or I could find Rosco and tear off his head. Yes! Rosco it is. He put me here and he can join me. He’ll be at Smitty’s. I’ll make him pole dance before I kill him.


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

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Apoplanesis

Apoplanesis (a-po-plan’-e-sis): Promising to address the issue but effectively dodging it through a digression.


There is snow on the roof, snow on the sidewalk and the driveway. Who’s going to take care of it? There’s snow in the yard! Snow, snow, snow. Somebody’s got to shovel the driveway and walkway.

I’m busy finding things out. Did you know the snow shovel was invented in 1812, while the War of 1812 was raging and Tchaikovsky was writing a song about it with canons going off? Did you know the name “shovel” comes from the shoving motion required to get under and pick up the snow? Did you know countless back injuries are fostered by snow shovels each year? I know a man who is permanently wheelchair bound due to an injury he sustained shoveling snow. A pickup truck skidded, jumped the curb, and ran him down. Then there’s the snow blower invented in 1968 at the height of the Vietnam War. The first snow blower was made from a Hoover vacuum with the hose stuck in the exhaust port; unlike later versions, that had auger-shaped blades that took some toes and fingers, and threw them along with the snow out of a square pipe on top of the machine. Now we have rubber mats with wires running through them that melt the snow. If you’re not careful they’ll melt the soles of your shoes too—you’ve got to keep moving. Don’t stand still for more than minute or else you may be glued to the mat.

Then there’s Florida where there’s no snow at all. I’ve bought us plane tickets, and booked a hotel in South Beach Miami for three weeks. Let’s pack, call Uber and get the hell out of here. Who wants a Margarita for the road?


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

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Aporia

Aporia (a-po’-ri-a): Deliberating with oneself as though in doubt over some matter; asking oneself (or rhetorically asking one’s hearers) what is the best or appropriate way to approach something [=diaporesis].


I asked myself: What is the meaning of life? I thought about it for two or three seconds and then went on to something else. If I’m going to ask myself questions, they should be easy so I can answer correctly. Hmmm. Where am I? Truckee County Jail, in a small cell. If I stand on my toes, I can look out through the bars and see the river. Why am I here? I ran over a blind guy in the crosswalk outside Cliff’s. After I hit him, he was on his knees waving his red-tipped cane around and yelling. He looked ok, so I drove away. Two hours later, two police officers came to my door. I was caught. They handcuffed me and we drove to the station. They told me that approximately 25 people saw what I did. I can’t pay bail, so I’m stuck here. I called all my former wives, and my current girlfriend, for help. Why are they all so broke that they can’t afford to pay the tab? And where’s the demonstration outside the jail? “Free Carl! Free Carl!”

What should I do? In the thirty years I’ve lived on this planet, I’ve managed to stay out of trouble. The cardinal rule is “Stay out of trouble.” I was in trouble. I was going to be in more trouble if they were able to penetrate my disguise. My human appearance was a ruse. I had an implant enabling body-changing technology to make me appear like a member of the dominant life form. It was refreshed once a month by a precision-aimed beam of particles that were projected at me for 10 minutes in my back yard. Without the refresher, I will return to my alien form. Since I am locked up, I won’t be refreshed on schedule and I will morph. I will look sort of like an octopus with thick black hair covering my body, yellow eyes, and a nose that looks like a spoiled hot dog.

Suddenly, the particle beam shot through my cell window. I basked in it for ten minutes and was good for another month. The Sherif walked up to my cell door with the keys in his hand. He unlocked the cell and told me I was free to go. The man I supposedly ran over wasn’t really blind and all 25 witnesses agreed that he wasn’t in the crosswalks, and I did not hit him. Does it get any better than this? I was pretty sure I hit him. My colleagues from above must have tinkered with the witnesses. I found out later that the old man found a suitcase on his front porch filled with $100 bills and that his vision was miraculously restored minutes after the accident.


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

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Aposiopesis

Aposiopesis (a-pos-i-o-pee’-sis): Breaking off suddenly in the middle of speaking, usually to portray being overcome with emotion.


There was a, a, a . . . Oh God. There was a set of hedge clippers on the floor by my bed when I woke up this morning. I think they’re sending me a message from my boyfriend Carl. He is starting to scare me. He insists that I shave my pubic hair. He thinks my pubes are ugly, like weeds growing out of a crack in the sidewalk. Oh, how can . . . How can he be so rude and uncaring and insensitive. I tried tit for tat: you shave yours and I’ll shave mine. He just laughed and pretended he was holding an electric shaver, going “zzzzzz” and said “let’s tidy up your weed patch.”

I never thought that something like this would be the death knell of our relationship. I was willing to clear my underbrush, but he wasn’t willing to clear his: it takes two to tango & I’m tired of being bossed around by a nitwit who does not respect my autonomy and does not really . . . really care about how I feel. I want a man whose interest in me extends beyond my crotch and takes into account my intelligence, kindness, and my pony, Fetch.


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

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Apostrophe

Apostrophe (a-pos’-tro-phe): Turning one’s speech from one audience to another. Most often, apostrophe occurs when one addresses oneself to an abstraction, to an inanimate object, or to the absent.


Truth! Where are you? Why have you abandoned us? Why has “the lie” seemingly beaten you down—vanquished you and left you for dead? But, can you die? Can you be burned and buried in an urn marked “Wrong” in a field of misrepresentation, in the dirt of denial?

We believe (and belief is everything) that Truth is eternal and unchanging, like a deity, like a river of faith, like the North Star upon which we reckon when we are lost in the darkness.

As we walk through the valley of the shadow of Truth’s death, we must be willing render it in many ways to fit the sensibilities of all listeners and readers: Truth is one, but it’s telling is manifold: we speak to a child about friendship in a way that differs from how we may address an older person. In so doing, Truth’s light cuts through the darkness. But in the end, Truth must be put more eloquently than the lie: the truth must be made effective.

As a people, in the past 6 years or so, our political communication has become inundated with lies—we are drowning in lies proffered by the Republican Party’s leadership. We must find a way to awaken those who believe the lies and are influenced by their telling. We must bring a reliance on Truth to the political scene. We begin by asking: Where’s the proof? We withhold our beliefs until valid proof is forthcoming: no valid proof, no belief.


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

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Apothegm

Apothegm (a’-po-th-e-gem): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adage, gnome, maxim, paroemia, proverb, and sententia.


There’s a saying that I live by now that I’m an old man: “When the going gets tough, make an appointment with your urologist and get going to their office.” I could tell you endless horror stories about man-plumbing gone awry. What about the man with the 200 pound testicles? He put them in a wagon that his wife would pull when they went for a walk. When he was alone he had to use a wheelbarrow, like the guy in Zap Comics. Or, there was the man who didn’t pee for 12 years and ended up exploding on an amusement park ride called the “Stump Bumper.” Then there was a guy who couldn’t pass a gallstone for two years. He became addicted to pain killers and finally had the gallstone blasted by a laser and got off the drugs. Last, there was this guy who always had an erection. It was especially problematic at Church. He tried taping it down or using a bandage to flatten it. Eventually he started wearing custom tailored extreme baggy pants. That solved the problem and also made him millions as his line of baggy pant became popular among teen aged gangsters all over the world.

So, “When the going gets tough, make an appointment with your urologist and get going to their office.” Don’t end up with your balls in a wheelbarrow.


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

Appositio

Appositio (ap-po-sit’-i-o): Addition of an adjacent, coordinate, explanatory or descriptive element.


My brain was fried—soaked with hallucinogens, teeming with unreality. I was on the bus. I told the person sitting next me that I had done something I shouldn’t have done. He said: “I know what you did you naughty boy.” Then he turned into one of those British judges with a wig. I said, “You can’t be real, you don’t have a British accent and you look like my high school chemistry teacher.” With that, he reconstituted into the normal person sitting next to me, by the window, with a fearful look on his face. He said he wanted to move, and I let him. His empty seat was quickly taken by a navy blue bear.

Bear: Hi! My name’s Bearon Von Growler. I am from your imagination. I cause your anxiety.

Me: You are doing a great job right now. Why are you wearing expensive running shoes?

Bear: Again, it is your imagination that put them on my paws.

The bus stopped and I got off, glad to rid myself of the bear. I saw what looked like a giant bean stalk halfway down the block. I ran toward it and it turned into a utility pole. It wasn’t even green.

Basically, that was my day, flashing in and out of drug-induced visions. When I got home, the bear was sitting on the chair in my bedroom. He said he was hungry, but he had heard that all the food in the house had been poisoned. That made me anxious, so we went to The Burger Garage and stuffed ourselves. I had a Double Dump Truck with cheese. Bearon had twelve orders of Wrench Fries and three chocolate Carburetors, and then he disappeared.


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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Mattress jokes: upjoke.com/mattress-jokes.

Ara

Ara (a’-ra): Cursing or expressing detest towards a person or thing for the evils they bring, or for inherent evil.


I hate the guy who fixes my lawn mower. He always makes it a big deal by using technical terms to describe he did, so he can charge me more money: “I rearticulated your rotoric sward inscisor. That’ll be $100.” What the hell is that? That’s what I paid for the lawn mower brand new! If I refuse to pay, he’ll take me to small claims court and embarrass me, or he’ll file a mechanic’s lien against my mower.

I’m fed up. I am going to make my yard into a meadow for wildflowers, bunnies, butterflies, and birds.

I’ve been getting complaints from my neighbors about my meadow and there’s some kind of law that will make me pay a weekly fine until I mow. So, it’s back to the damn mower mechanic to bail out my mower. He greets me: “Salutations Mr. Parsimonious Pants. Your sward cropper awaits—it is reconstituted and agog to return to its calling.”

That was it, I picked up a wrench and hit him on the head. I was going to grind up him with my mower. I pulled the starter chord several times and nothing happened. He lifted his head off the floor and said: “I can correct that for a supplementary emolument of $150.”

I called 911, was convicted of battery, paid the fine and did the community service.


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

Paper and Kindle versions of The Daily Trope are available from Amazon under the title of The Book of Tropes.