Cataphasis

Cataphasis (kat-af’-a-sis): A kind of paralipsis in which one explicitly affirms the negative qualities that one then passes over.

The “2005 Pussy Grabber” wasn’t the name of Trump’s car. Rather, he proudly proclaimed in a taped interview that “grabbing pussy” was a celebrity pastime, like golf or dining out at fancy restaurants: “I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. . . . Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” Somehow we all forgot about this disgusting descent into Trump’s concept of what women like. Well, we’re not going to forget about it, but today I want to talk about how unhinged he is and the trepidations we all have over what he’s going to do next and how it will affect the well-being of us all–not just Americans, but the entire world. As the Coronavirus continues to spread, he continues to do nothing. We have no national plan and people are once again dying in increasing numbers. 

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

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Cataplexis

Cataplexis (kat-a-pleex’-is): Threatening or prophesying payback for ill doing.

So many people have died in this pandemic due to your craziness and inability to understand or believe scientific evidence.

Once your death-cult is voted out of office, my organization will bring criminal charges against you, your family and your enablers; especially Shaun Hannity and Tucker Carleson: two news-ghouls who helped prop you up and spread your delusions with their lies.

Soon, the axe will fall. In the meantime, keep your head about you. Ha! Ha! Ha!

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

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Charientismus

Charientismus (kar-i-en-tia’-mus): Mollifying harsh words by answering them with a smooth and appeasing mock.

You anarchist destroyer of democracy.

Ha ha! I don’t need to be an anarchist to destroy democracy: you’re a Republican and you’re doing a great job already.

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

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Chiasmus

Chiasmus (ki-az’-mus): 1. Repetition of ideas in inverted order.  2. Repetition of grammatical structures in inverted order (not to be mistaken with antimetabole, in which identical words are repeated and inverted).

I gave my life to my stamp collecting club. To my stamp collecting club I gave my life! My life dammnit!  Sitting for hours with a magnifying glass. Traveling great distances to meet with buyers and sellers. And then!

I am dumpster diving with my daughter on a hot June afternoon. We’re at the local college where the students have just left for the academic year. Each dorm has its own dumpster and the students toss a lot of good stuff–lamps, ball gowns, candy, even a wristwatch! But this year is special. My daughter retrieves what looks like a scrapbook. Whoa! Its a stamp collection. I page through it. All but one stamp is garbage–no value, as rare as the air we breathe. The one stamp that’s not total crap is almost a one-of-a-kind stamp: a stamp commemorating the invention of the yo-yo in 1210 BCE by Zeus Phallusidides, a Greek baklava merchant living in Sparta and supplying the Spartan government with tons of baklava for the naked army and also local peasants. He invented the yo-yo to distract his customers while his co-conspiritor Calliope Thermidor picked the customers’ purses.

Now, I had the stamp! It was worth at least $1,000,000.00. Climbing out of the dumpster, I tripped and fell in a puddle. I put my hand out to stop the fall and the stamp fell in the puddle. The puddle turned red–my hand was bleeding. We looked for the stamp for two hours, siphoning all the water from the puddle. No stamp. All we could find was a soggy fragment of baklava inscribed with a yo-yo.

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

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Chronographia

Chronographia (chro-no-graph’-i-a): Vivid representation of a certain historical or recurring time (such as a season) to create an illusion of reality. A kind of enargia: [the] generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description.

Summer is at its height–robust warmth encircles the green leaves and red, and pink, and blue flowers–birds, butterflies and bees make their rounds–earthworms, nectar, pollen–all natural, all the same as always all so beautiful to see and to care about. All is well in natural order, but all is not well with social order.

It is the worst of times. It is the season of malfeasance, lies, and outrages against the people: jailed, executed, buried in unmarked graves. They told us but we didn’t listen. “Fake news” we said as we were told he was going to declare martial law.

As part of this year’s census they will be scanning our birth certificates, and under the new “Long Time American Act” we are subject to incarceration and deportation no matter what our current citizenship status is. There’s more, but suffice it to say, we are no longer free.

The Fascist Revolution crept up on us like a stealthy cat. One day we woke up and it had all happened overnight: libraries closed, Internet shut down and the day’s newspapers burning in pits sending up the smoke of dread and oppression.

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

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Climax

Climax (cli’-max): Generally, the arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in an order of increasing importance, often in parallel structure.

I am not happy. I feel bad. I am going to cry:

Cry for the homeless people.

Cry the for the boys and girls in cages on the Texas/Mexico border.

Cry for the suffering of the 1,000s of people with COVID 19.

Cry for the US Constitution, pissed on,dragged through the dirt, soon to be burned and replaced with a ticket to dictatorship.

Our country is collapsing under the weight of lies, psychosis, and treason.

I don’t know what to do.

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

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Coenotes

Coenotes (cee’-no-tees): Repetition of two different phrases: one at the beginning and the other at the end of successive paragraphs. Note: Composed of anaphora and epistrophecoenotes is simply a more specific kind of symploce (the repetition of phrases, not merely words).

You made me love you. Everything was so beautiful. Colors were brighter. Food tasted better. I could see the stars more clearly. And now you’re going to leave me.

You made me love you like a puppy. I followed you around. I sat up and begged for biscuits. I fetched. I made cute whining sounds. And now you’re going to leave me.

You made me love you like sunlight and shadows; like ice cream, like gold, like Cornhole, like my weed eater. And now you’re going to leave me.

Today, when you announced your impending departure, I stopped loving you. Call me shallow, but I want back the $10.00 I loaned you last week, my Bluetooth earbuds, my vape pen, my Guns N’ Roses t-shirt, my drone, my Bible, and my cordless toy.

I’ll help you leave: I’m kicking you out of the apartment. Whatever you leave behind will be burned in the parking lot or donated to Salvation Army.

I never want to see your tattooed ass ever again. Go ahead and leave me. Two weeks with you was enough. In fact, it was too much! You’re a two-legged sow!

Whoa! Put down the steak knife. That’s not funny. . . .

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

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Colon

Colon (ko’-lon): Roughly equivalent to “clause” in English, except that the emphasis is on seeing this part of a sentence as needing completion, either with a second colon (or membrum) or with two others (forming a tricolon). When cola (or membra) are of equal length, they form isocolon.

Colon or membrum is also best understood in terms of differing speeds of style that depend upon the length of the elements of a sentence. The Ad Herennium author contrasts the slower speed of concatenated membra to the quicker speed of words joined together without conjunction (articulus).

I love Tide. The bubbles pop. They scintillate wickedly. There is nothing like laundry getting beaten around–bunka-hunka, bunka-hunka, bunka-hunka. Its like the backbeat on so many rock n’ roll songs. If only washing machines could sing they would eclipse over half of today’s rockers:

Mickey Stag and the washing machines. Set one machine on delicate for the low tone and one machine on heavy duty to spin our heads around–bunka-hunka, bunka hunka:

I started washin’ my clothes today,

because my honey went away

Bunka-Hunka Bunka-Hunka hey, hey, hey

I loaded the washer with a pile of clothes

They was dirty, I could tell with my nose

Bunka-Hunka, Bunka-Hunka hey, hey, hey

I’m gonna wash my blues away.

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

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Commoratio

Commoratio (kom-mor-a’-ti-o): Dwelling on or returning to one’s strongest argument. Latin equivalent for epimone.

I think we are losing our train of thought. Remember, the strongest argument we can summon? I think it has something to do with his hair as a major reason to reelect him. As you will recall, we likened it to well- sculpted icing on a birthday cake, and then we drew the inference that it celebrates everything he stands for: unhealthy and deliciously wicked food, powerful arguments about birth certificates and citizenship–all he needs to do is point at his head and and smile and the electorate will bend to his will. He just needs to make sure that his finger does not stick to the “secret gel” his devoted hairdresser uses to shape his hair.

So, its all about the hair–it is a sort of hairku that mystically summons awareness of what’s up and what’s down by pointing toward what’s up and shooting at what’s down. His blinding white smile is like the burning bush. His hair knows God.

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

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Comparatio

Comparatio (com-pa-ra’-ti-o): A general term for a comparison, either as a figure of speech or as an argument. More specific terms are generally employed, such as metaphorsimileallegory, etc.

Living in the USA is like living in a once-beautiful cruise ship that has run aground and is slowly rusting on the rocks.  If some kind of salvage operation isn’t undertaken soon, it will slip into the sea and disappear forever.

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

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Comprobatio

Comprobatio (com-pro-ba’-ti-o): Approving and commending a virtue, especially in the hearers.

You are all awake! I commend you, class, for listening to me blabber for the past hour. I had nothing interesting to say, and clearly don’t know what I’m talking about, but your amazing attempts to look interested in my lecture warmed my heart and made me decide not to kill myself in the parking lot after class.

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

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Conduplicatio

Conduplicatio (con-du-pli-ca’-ti-o): The repetition of a word or words. A general term for repetition sometimes carrying the more specific meaning of repetition of words in adjacent phrases or clauses. Sometimes used to name either ploce or epizeuxis.

Why? Why? Why do I need s motor scooter? Why? Why not? Nobody has ever been killed driving one, except the guy who stood up going under a bridge overpass and lost his head right there. I would never do anything like that unless I wanted to die. He probably wanted to die.

Well. ok, according to your book of facts there are at least 110 recorded deaths per year of drivers of motor scooters. Damn it all anyhow. I’m too old to walk everywhere. I guess I could just go with Uber or find some some charitable organization that gives old people rides. Or, I could hitchhike–just like back in the 60s, man. That’s how I met your mother. She picked me up outside of Salt Lake City and we’ve been together, off and on, for the past 40-something years. We both take the same medications and enjoy listening to Hall & Oats. I don’t mind eating vegetables all the time, although sneaking down to MacDonald’s helps keep my digestion in balance; that along with my “Poo Brauen” (“Poo Brew”)–a special low-impact bowel mover concocted by a 16th century German Nobleman named Sir Smoothy Sphincterhosen. He invented “Poo Brauen” originally for Martin Luther, a religious figure known for his horrendous constipation. Sir Sphincterhosen probably added 10 years to Luther’s life and helped usher in the Protestant Reformation.

I bet Martin Luther would’ve had a motor scooter, zipping around Germany, hunting Papists, and pooping regularly. Why not Me?

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

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Congeries

Congeries (con’ger-eez): Piling up words of differing meaning but for a similar emotional effect [(akin to climax)].

Masked, wary, frightened, and determined, crawling through the grocery store staying below the killer mist drifting up and down the aisles. We need food, but if it’s not on the floor I won’t touch it–advice of FOX TV News. I crawl past a woman standing up examining a head of lettuce. I tell her to get down with me or she will die. She laughs and beans me on the head with the lettuce. Ha! Now it’s on the floor. I grab the lettuce and crawl as fast as I can to checkout. My knees are bleeding. My back hurts. I don’t think I’ll watch Fox TV News any more.

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

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Consonance

Consonance: The repetition of consonants in words stressed in the same place (but whose vowels differ). Also, a kind of inverted alliteration, in which final consonants, rather than initial or medial ones, repeat in nearby words. Consonance is more properly a term associated with modern poetics than with historical rhetorical terminology.

Too bad for quiet Eddie. It was just a matter of time before he flipped. Today, he caught his wife standing naked in the back of the laundromat and some guy running out the back door–butt in full view. He started questioning her–he was pushing too hard. She had a psycho streak that he had stepped around for the past 15 years. She started yelling and the naked stranger came back through the back door. “Whatsa matter honey?” “His teeth are too yellow,” she answered, picking up a bottle of bleach. Eddie turned, said “dead” and fainted. The naked stranger grabbed Eddie by his limp shoulders, “Let’s brighten up your smile pretty boy.”

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

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Correctio

Correctio (cor-rec’-ti-o): The amending of a term or phrase just employed; or, a further specifying of meaning, especially by indicating what something is not (which may occur either before or after the term or phrase used). A kind of redefinition, often employed as a parenthesis (an interruption) or as a climax.

You’re a shit for brains. Uh, well, I mean, your brain is a fertile plain littered with life’s organic droppings. Very fertile. Like overflow from a sewage treatment facility. Is that better?

Yes. Now I get it. Thanks for the compliment. I will tell Ivanka how fluent you are. You’re welcome.

Now, got to hell. Uh, well. I mean . . .

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

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Deesis

Deesis (de’-e-sis): An adjuration (solemn oath) or calling to witness; or, the vehement expression of desire put in terms of “for someone’s sake” or “for God’s sake.”

DT: I swear by all that’s holy that I did not know about the bounties.

NP: Ok. What is “all that’s holy?”

DT: Money, young babes, and money, and more, lot’s more, money.

NP: Where’s God in your list? Is God there?

DT: No, God’s a bigger con than me. Ha Ha. Just kidding.

NP: I believe you knew about the bounties and ignored them in exchange for some young (Russian) women in your suite at Mar-A-Lago and a big pay off. We have surveillance video of you in bed with couple of women. Although you seem to be asleep, there you are.

DT: Fake news.

NP: The truth.

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

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Dehortatio

Dehortatio (de-hor-ta’-ti-o): Dissuasion.

You’re old, you’re tired, you’re fat. 

That should be enough to get you to quit, but on top of that everybody hates you. Come on. It’s time to step aside. Don’t run for reelection. Go play golf.

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

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Dendographia

Dendographia (den-dro-graf’-ia): Creating an illusion of reality through vivid description of a tree.

The ancient fallen tree caught the drizzling burst of rain as it struck its soft decaying trunk and soaked into the porous graying wood. It wasn’t alone there in the woods. It was surrounded by generations of beech trees–smooth silver bark and beechnuts; a favorite of foraging deer, chipmunks and red and gray squirrels. I’d like to think the fallen one is somehow responsible for the dense stand of mid- and large-sized trees surrounding it–a living legacy and testament to the continuous presence of life’s promise: of living and of dying , of offspring, of hope.

  • Post your own dendrographia to the “Comments” page!

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

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Diacope 

Diacope (di-a’-co-pee): Repetition of a word with one or more between, usually to express deep feeling.

I can’t believe you stole Mr. Woo-woo. You and me have been friends for almost 2 months, and you stole Woo-woo right out of the big cardboard box while we were sleeping! Stole my beloved little puppy. Don’t tell me you took him to the Vet you miserable creep.  You stole Woo-woo. I don’t care about the fake Vet bill you’re waving at me! I don’t care that you brought Woo-woo back. That’s not the point. When he was gone, he was stolen and you stole him.

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

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Dialogismus

Dialogismus (di-a-lo-giz’-mus): Speaking as someone else, either to bring in others’ points of view into one’s own speech, or to conduct a pseudo-dialog through taking up an opposing position with oneself.

Speaker takes on Trump’s persona: “I’m Don the con and that rhymes with Don the moron. America is loaded with fools–that’s anybody who voted for me, including myself. Ha Ha! I’m so happy to have my daughter doing nothing for a half-million a year in taxpayer money. And her husband: what a piece of work; bringing peace to Israel when he does not even know where the conflict is. He keeps asking me what a Palestine is.”

Speaker goes back to own persona: “That’s the way it is folks. Sad but true. If he gets reelected it will get worse. It will be his permission slip to wreak havoc on the United States and everything it has ever stood for and everything we continue to strive for.”

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

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Dianoea

Dianoea (di-a-noe’-a): The use of animated questions and answers in developing an argument (sometimes simply the equivalent of anthypophora).

What’s your next big idea? Can it be any bigger than the last one? Remember? That’s why we’re in prison.

Will you ever be worth a damn? Will you ever measure up to the bullshit you sling? No. Will anybody follow through on their threats to play soccer with your head in the prison yard? Not likely. Your head’s so big and fat somebody would probably break their foot kicking it, or get their foot stuck on that weird hair gel you have smuggled in.

Are you worthless? Yes

Are you a lying coward? Yes

Are you a crybaby? Yes

Are you doomed? Ha!

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

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Diaphora 

Diaphora (di-a’-pho-ra): Repetition of a common name so as to perform two logical functions: to designate an individual and to signify the qualities connoted by that individual’s name or title.

Glitch McConnell is a US Senator, and as a Senator, in addition to Kentucky, Glitch represents evil, bigotry, selfishness and a complete lack of empathy. Do you think he enjoys seeing all those children locked up along the Mexican border? You bet does! I don’t know whether he’s from Hell, or headed to Hell. Glitch must find some other way to serve Satan; maybe go to work at FOX News as one of their professional liars.

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

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Diaporesis

Diaporesis: 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 [=aporia].

Should I let my daughter cut my hair?

It’s been 2 months since my last haircut–my usual haircutter’s place is closed due to COVID 19.

I’m starting to look like Charles Manson’s older brother.

Maybe I could start a cult?

No, too much work.

My daughter’s not a hairdresser, but I’ve seen what she’s done for other people’s heads. I think I’ll let her do it!

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

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Diaskeue

Diaskeue (di-as-keu’-ee): Graphic peristasis (description of circumstances) intended to arouse the emotions.

Protesters took to the street, descrying racism and police violence, and murder directed toward black people. The protests have been sustained sustaining our faith that maybe this time the guilty police will be brought to justice and reforms will be undertaken that transform America’s police forces.

Viewing the videos of senseless, cruel, and brutal assaults on peaceful people, and the murder of George Floyd, brought all people of good will to the same place: STOP! Stop the beatings with well-worn bloody truncheons. Stop the gassing directed into peoples’ terrified faces. Stop the rubber bullets tearing into innocent torsos. Stop the killing–stop, stop, stop!

Post your own diaskeue on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). A paperback edition of The Daily Trope is available on Amazon for $9.99. A Kindle edition is also available for $5.99.

Diasyrmus

Diasyrmus (di’-a-syrm-os): Rejecting an argument through ridiculous comparison.

Your threats are as empty your soul, your imagination, and outer space. Yelling “Conspiracy” every time somebody disagrees with you or catches you doing something marginally legal or massively unethical is like an 8-year-old boy who peed his pants claiming his pants are out to get him and are trying to make him look bad.

It’s not your pants fatso! It’s you!

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

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