Epitrope

Epitrope (e-pi’-tro-pe): A figure in which one turns things over to one’s hearers, either pathetically, ironically, or in such a way as to suggest a proof of something without having to state it. Epitrope often takes the form of granting permission (hence its Latin name, permissio), submitting something for consideration, or simply referring to the abilities of the audience to supply the meaning that the speaker passes over (hence Puttenham’s term, figure of reference). Epitrope can be either biting in its irony, or flattering in its deference.

The clock was ticking on corona virus but you weren’t paying attention. Why should you when you believe you are in safe hands and that our leaders have our best interests at heart. But worse, it wan’t so much a clock ticking as it was a calendar displaying used up days–days that could’ve been spent preparing for the oncoming catastrophe. 

You are nurses. You know better than I do how important is to have life saving equipment and an adequate number beds for the sick and dying during a pandemic. You know our President has let us down and continues to let us down as we are ravaged by the virus. Not enough equipment. Not enough beds. Not enough of anything, including compassion and competent leadership.  

When the dust settles and the world is more or less whole again we must take up the solemn duty of removing the blond toad from office by the power we have that’s vested in the vote. However personally difficult, your voices must be heard. Your experiences must be shared. We must never forget the terrible things he has done, and he is doing, to America. Given your first hand knowledge and experience, your voices will be an important asset in the campaign to drive him out of office, out of Washington, DC, out of anywhere he tries to put down roots and poison the character of the community.

You know it’s the right thing to do. We need each other to get back our country and heal it and win back the respect of the world.

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

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Epizeugma

Epizeugma (ep-i-zoog’-ma): Placing the verb that holds together the entire sentence (made up of multiple parts that depend upon that verb) either at the very beginning or the very ending of that sentence.

Trekking on life’s perilous journey, we will ourselves toward tomorrow, or even toward one hour from now, without considering the openness of everything under the sun, and the moon, and the stars: there is change everywhere, all the time, mostly unnoticed, sometimes quite noticeable: morning and night, well and ill, seed and flower, peace and war. Nothing on this plane of existence is immune from transformation: from diamonds to cheese it all fades away at different rates: sometimes in a day, sometimes in thousands of years. Like a home run hit out of the park, we’re all just “going, going, gone.”

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

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Epizeuxis

Epizeuxis: Repetition of the same word, with none between, for vehemence. Synonym for palilogia.

Help! Help! Help!

You’re such a drama queen! Ketchup in your lap won’t kill you. Have you ever heard of the boy who cried “hoax” and people got sick and died because there was no hoax? Then one day there really was a hoax, and the little boy yelled “hoax, hoax, hoax” and nobody cared. And the little boy grew up and became President of the United States.

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

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Erotema

Erotema (e-ro-tem’-a): The rhetorical question. To affirm or deny a point strongly by asking it as a question. Generally, as Melanchthon has noted, the rhetorical question includes an emotional dimension, expressing wonder, indignation, sarcasm, etc.

Oh, is that your idea? It reminds me more of a clove of garlic crushed by the wheel of a Vespa somewhere on the outskirts of Sienna. It’s flat and it smells. How much time did you give to it’s inception? Are you trying to establish your stupidity in front of the whole team? Why don’t you just sit down and shut up Pence? In fact, why don’t you get the hell out of here and send more ventilators to Thailand while New York dies?

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

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Eucharistia

Eucharistia (eu-cha-ris’-ti-a): Giving thanks for a benefit received, sometimes adding one’s inability to repay.

Pence: Thank you so much for saving us all from the virus.

President: Well, a lot of people died and I did fail to get the ball rolling soon enough on containment measures, and I did fail to to provide accurate information, and I acted like a high school bully trying to name the virus after China, and I . . .

Pence: Enough said glorious leader! It’s hard to keep kissing your ass when you talk like that. Maybe you’ll have better luck with the next catastrophe that strikes the US, like your reelection. Ha ha! That’s a joke sir. Sir?

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

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Euche

Euche (yoo’-kay): A vow to keep a promise.

ME: I swear I will never do that again. I am ashamed.

YOU: How can you promise never to fart again? Oh, and why would you promise to never fart again? It’s impossible. People have been farting since there have been people & we’re not the only ones. My dog farts.

ME: That’s wrong. My mother never farted and neither did my grandmother. In fact, I’ve never heard you blow one.

YOU: Don’t you understand? Your mother, grandmother and me are private farters. If we have to fart we leave the room, go into the bathroom, or go outdoors. So, if you never want to do THAT again, become a private farter.

ME: Ok, but what do I do when I’m riding in a car?

YOU: Roll down your window and let it rip. The wind           from the open window will mask the fart noise and blow away the smell.

ME: Wow! Farting will never be the same again. I promise whenever I can, to do it in private!

YOU: What’s that smell?

ME: Umm 

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

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Eulogia

Eulogia (eu-lo’-gi-a): Pronouncing a blessing for the goodness in a person.

All the things I revere: Lying! Cheating on my wife! Calling people names! Extortion! My God–you do these things and more! Bless you dear President Trump for showing us how to live while people are dying of COVID 19–the hoax virus. We believe in you, maintaining our sovereignty, and along with Mike Pence, kissing your ass like it was Melania’s face.

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

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Eustathia

Eustathia (yoos-tay’-thi-a): Promising constancy in purpose and affection.

A: My love is like a sluice gate emptying a lake of despair. My love will never change.

B: What if you have both feet amputated?

A: How would that affect my love’s constancy?

B: I don’t know.  I was just thinking that having no feet would somehow deter you in a few ways that may be confused with your love being on the wane. For example, if I say “Come here darling” it might take awhile which might make me think that you’re losing interest in me.

A: Good God! You’re as shallow as a ditch dug by a flatworm! Please remove yourself from my life. I was going to ask you to marry me, but now I just want you to get in your stupid electric car and drive the hell out of here.

B: Ooh, come here darling.

A: Leave! Go! Get Lost! Disappear! Absent yourself.

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

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Eutrepismus 

Eutrepismus (eu-tre-pis’-mus): Numbering and ordering the parts under consideration. A figure of division, and of ordering.

There are three reasons why Trump should be fired (i.e., voted out of office):

1. He is a pathological liar.

2. He puts money before people.

3. He has no leadership skills.

There are at least 300 additional reasons to get rid of him.  They will appear in my forthcoming book: Standing Up to Our Necks in Shit: 303 Reasons to Dump Trump. 

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

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Exergasia

Exergasia (ex-er-ga’-si-a): Repetition of the same idea, changing either its words, its delivery, or the general treatment it is given. A method for amplification, variation, and explanation. As such, exergasia compares to the progymnasmata exercises (rudimentary exercises intended to prepare students of rhetoric for the creation and performance of complete practice orations).

I am good. I am good. I am good. I am good. I am good: Three little words that make one of life’s most important avowals. Words that carry the weight of a loaded freight train. Something you say about yourself that certifies yourself, if taken seriously. A self-judgment. A pronouncement liable to blow away on the winds of mistrust. How do you anchor your goodness in the minds of others? You must make your motives explicit and clear whenever you can–take control. But still, the thread attaching avowals of goodness to imputations of sincerity is a fuse easily ignited by time and circumstance.

We are flooded by possibilities, yet the fuse smolders and burns.  The current of possibilities flowing in all directions can easily carry us away from trust: we must learn to swim against the current, for it is up to us to find the reason to swim to trust’s safety and rest on safety’s shore. At the same time, we must learn to mistrust just as earnestly and willingly as we trust–to go with the currents of doubt.

This is not satisfying. There are no keys. There is no “way.” There is only life–the tumult of uncertainty and the paralysis of choosing.

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

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Exouthenismosexou

Exouthenismos (ex-ou-then-is’-mos): An expression of contempt.

Words can’t express how disgusting you are! Oh wait–to some extent they can. You are a lying piece of shit. Your term of office as President of the United States has been like a clogged toilet–floating shit fragments, brown water and stained toilet paper waiting to be plunged out and sent to the septic tank where you and all your ideas, and actions, and advisors belong.

So, President Stench, go to hell. The sooner the better.

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

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Expeditio

Expeditio (ex-pe-di’-ti-o): After enumerating all possibilities by which something could have occurred, the speaker eliminates all but one (=apophasis). Although the Ad Herennium author lists expeditio as a figure, it is more properly considered a method of argument [and pattern of organization] (sometimes known as the “Method of Residues” when employed in refutation), and “Elimination Order” when employed to organize a speech. [The reference to ‘method’ hearkens back to the Ramist connection between organizational patterns of discourses and organizational pattern of arguments]).

Why did we end up with a Coronavirus-gone-wild situation here in the United States?

1. Nobody saw it coming?

2. Democrats diverted attention away from the Coronavirus by constantly criticizing Trump?

or

3. China manufactured and distributed the virus via the goods they are flooding our markets with–shoes, plastic forks and much, much more?

My response to these answers is “No, no, and hell no.” I answer no for two reasons: 1. One and two are untrue; 2. Three is untrue and crazy.

The truth is that Donald Trump has very nearly singlehandedly orchestrated the chaos by denying there was a problem when we could’ve been making progress toward managing it. We lost valuable time due his arrogant, self-interested, monarchical shitlyhood.

It will tear me apart when the pandemic subsides and I have to listen to him gloating over how he saved us all. Many lives could have been saved if he had approached this catastrophe from the outset with an honest appraisal and a compassionate hand. He didn’t.

We all would have been better off if he had self-quaranteened from day one and let people who know what they’re doing handle the mess.

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

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Exuscitatio

Exuscitatio (ex-us-ci-ta’-ti-o): Stirring others by one’s own vehement feeling (sometimes by means of a rhetorical question, and often for the sake of exciting anger).

My anger isn’t going away. It is never going away as long I’m lied to every day by the feckless lout named Trump. It was bad enough when he lied about his accomplishments–taking credit for everything good and shifting the blame for everything bad. Then came coronavirus, a real tangible measurable threat to the well being–even the lives–of 100s of 1,000s of people. But the piece of shit still lied–he told us it was contained, that it would be over in a few weeks, that it was like the flu, and more bullshit. Since people started dying and his lies were blown away by the force of nature, he’s rolled out a new array of lies, about his previous lies.

He is the hoax. He is disloyal. He is devious. He needs to go–to somewhere where we won’t see him or hear his lying wheeze ever again. Prison?

Yell it with me: Lock him up! Lock him up! . . .

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

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Gnome

Gnome (nome or no’-mee): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adageapothegmmaximparoemiaproverb, and sententia.

Epictetus tells us that “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” I think this captures the essence of Donald Trump–mired in stupidity he continuously touts his “unbelievable” intelligence, yet he has has failed at nearly every decision point he has engaged. This is disturbing enough, but what about his supporters? They live somewhere in the ‘dupesphere’. How they got there and why they stay there, I can’t tell. If America survives all this bullshit, I hope we’ll be able to learn something from it. We must learn something from it. It must never happen again or our country might dry up and blow away.

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

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Graecismus

Graecismus (gree-kis’-mus): Using Greek words, examples, or grammatical structures. Sometimes considered an affectation of erudition.

In the present krisis I see the gleaming Acropolis, shining as the polis burns and Zeus dances wildly waving a roll of χαρτί υγείας (toilet paper) like Mr. Tambourine Man with “one hand waving free” his shadow cast across the sickly masses: They cry “Where is Odysseus? Will he ever come home to rid us of this menacing peril?” I think to myself, “This is an enthymeme from hell–a sorites without end. What’s the hidden premise? What does it all add up to? WTF?”

Suddenly I woke up on the filthy floor of my apartment. I saw fire-like shadows flickering on my bedroom wall. I looked out my window to the street below. It was deserted. The light flickering on my wall was neon flashing in the barber shop window across the street: closed, closed, closed. “What a bunch of skatá,” I said to my roommate who had been dead for two days, killed by the coronavirus.

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

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Hendiadys

Hendiadys (hen-di’-a-dis): Expressing a single idea by two nouns [joined by a conjunction] instead of a noun and its qualifier. A method of amplification that adds force.

I’m tired and beat to the ass. We’ve been driving three days nonstop. I don’t think our dog having puppies back home is that big a deal. We could’ve watched it on Skype and encouraged her. And how can your mother predict five days before that the puppies are on the way? Sounds sketchy to me. They are nutty and crazy and I wouldn’t put it past them to pull some weirdness just to get us to come home early. I need to pull over and rest, or why don’t you drive for awhile? We’re almost there.

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

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Heterogenium

Heterogenium (he’-ter-o-gen-i-um): Avoiding an issue by changing the subject to something different. Sometimes considered a vice.

News Reporter: Most people believe you took your sweet time getting emergency measures up and running to deal with the Corona virus. Nobody that I’ve talked to has seen it any other way–even your staunch allies on Fox News. They say it was like you were standing in cement waiting for it to dry. What happened?

Donald: Well, being President is like playing golf–you want to make the fewest swings possible on your way to the final hole. I am an avid golfer, as you know, and I am committed to taking as few swings as possible. So, if I can just do one thing to go from point A to point B, I am doing what I think I should be doing: hitting a hole in one.

I’ve only hit one hole-in-one in my life. It was beautiful. My first child was conceived that night. I wanted to call him “Player” Tump after Gary Player, but my wife wouldn’t hear of it. We named him Eric after some soap opera star she adored at the time, and incidentally, who she had an affair with. It broke my heart, but provided me with a whole new supply of insults coauthored on gin laced weekend with Howard Stern–brilliant man. He’ll be wearing a Medal of Freedom soon!

News Reporter: Ok, I understand. I don’t know what to say. You make about as much sense as a drunken duck.

  • Post your own heterogenium on the “Comments” page!

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

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Hyperbaton

Hyperbaton (hy-per’-ba-ton): 1. An inversion of normal word order. A generic term for a variety of figures involving transposition, it is sometimes synonymous with anastrophe. 2. Adding a word or thought to a sentence that is already semantically complete, thus drawing emphasis to the addition.

Last night I dreamed of a virus, dreaded. There’s something about virus that I think is cool. First, not all viruses are deadly. Second, it is unrestrained–that’s a joke about its strains. In virus world they say, “No strain no gain.”

Understanding this, I’m trying! But why aren’t there new strains of people? You would think that if some mucous-borne purple-colored slime sphere could be a new strain–a deadly strain–of virus, there could be new strains of people. Actually, maybe there are!

I see people gathered at red-hat rallies that seem a little off, or maybe a little on, given your perspective. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but maybe they are a new strain of human. Are they dangerous? Don’t try to take their guns away, get an abortion, or tell them you’re gay, or ask them to tell you about Jesus, or criticize their Uber Spore, Donald Trump. I’ve seen them get all puffed up, change colors, and gang up on people of ‘other’ strains, even run them over or desecrate their cemeteries.

Oh well, I’m probably wrong. Just like the COVID-19 virus, it’s probably a lot worse than I think. Wait we must, and wash our hands we will. We’ll get through these loony times.

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

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Hypozeuxis

Hypozeuxis  (hyp-o-zook’-sis): Opposite of zeugma. Every clause has its own verb.

I went out toward my backyard. I trudged through the snow. I arrived at my swimming pool. It was filled with ice, looking like a giant snow cone with no flavor. I looked at my iPhone and saw that it was 52 degrees. I am standing here waiting for spring, like I’m waiting for a bus filled with bluebirds, watermelons, and lemonade that’s going to pull up and spray my yard with warmth and sunshine. I can almost hear its gears grinding, coming up the hill.  But no, it isn’t going to happen.  It will snow 10-15 more times before spring arrives. It will go down to below zero one more time, and I’ll just have to keep wearing this stupid orange ski mask, these worn out old black boots, raggedy mittens, and cheap coat stuffed with duck feathers and covered with cigarette burns that I’ve had since I checked out of the VA facility nearly eleven years ago. But, like every year, I’ll still be around when the Bluebirds do arrive, the fruit trees begin to blossom, and the ramps start springing up all over the woods–that’s why they call it spring–things spring up and begin their journeys  toward fruition. I will till my garden boxes. I will plant seeds. I will wait.

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

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Hysterologia

Hysterologia (his-ter-o-lo’-gi-a): A form of hyperbaton or parenthesis in which one interposes a phrase between a preposition and its object.  Also, a synonym for hysteron proteron.

I went over–flying like a mangled frisbee–the huge bump in the road called Thrill Hill. I must’ve lifted three feet off the pavement. Sparks flew from the car’s rocker panels when I landed. I immediately turned the car around to have another go. I was under–the stakes were high–no illusions that I might wreck my car or get arrested, or something worse. But I was an inveterate thrill seeker. It ran in my family. It was in my blood.

That’s when I saw her standing by the side of the road waving a flashlight back and forth, beckoning me to take another run over Thrill Hill. She was almost transparent with golden hair. She was wearing what looked like a veil made into a dress. Her lips were red and were dripping red. “Oh my God!” I yelled, “It’s the Fury of the Hill beckoning me to my death.”

I took her challenge, and I wouldn’t be writing this if I had died.  No sir. I am slightly transparent now and wear overhauls made from a veil. I help the fury. I put, for the sake of safety, new batteries in the flashlight every night. I also do our laundry, which isn’t much. Also, I tidy up after she eats her latest unfortunate victim(s).  She tells me that someday I’ll get to wave the flashlight. Until then, I am quite satisfied with the way things are.

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

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Hysteron Proteron

Hysteron Proteron (his’-ter-on pro’-ter-on): Disorder of time. (What should be first, isn’t.)

I went to bed and put my clothes on. The sun was just coming up, so I knew it was time for lunch. I took off my clothes, went into the kitchen, and put the bologna away.  I saw a small monkey sitting on my couch wearing orange lipstick on his mouth. I pulled up my my pants and sat on the toilet. That’s when I remembered I had taken acid. I stood up and my legs looked like something from a poultry farm, all covered with feathers. I had the urge to cluck but made a quiet peeping sound. Suddenly the haze started to clear. I looked in the mirror and to my surprise I had a tattoo of a chainsaw on my cheek. When I tried to count, I could only count backward. I went down in the basement and found a dark corner to keep me awake and ride out this psychedelic  nightmare.

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

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Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless [can include oxymoron].

I can’t believe you’re making “peace” with the Taliban the way you are, especially bombing them a few days ago in the middle of negotiations. What the hell is that about? I wonder what your next move will be? Have you considered sending them flowers to apologize?  I’m sure they’ll be receptive to that. They’ll probably reciprocate with some freshly crafted IEDs and well-placed suicide bombings.

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

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Inter se pugnantia

Inter se pugnantia (in’-ter-say-pug-nan’-ti-a): Using direct address to reprove someone before an audience, pointing out the contradictions in that person’s character, often between what a person does and says.

You come to this hearing and tell us, “It’s all lies, it never happened, it’s a witch hunt–a vendetta.” But you lie, you hunt witches and you make it happen right before your eyes. All of you refuse to give sworn testimony. Why? Because you don’t want to go to jail for perjury–you say you want justice, but you evade justice. You say you want to “get to the bottom of things” when in fact you are the bottom of things. You so-called witnesses say you are champions of justice while you smother justice with lies and swarm all over your master like flies on shit.

Why are you willing to compromise your integrity, your morality, and your oath of office for a man whose sole interest is himself? I feel sorry for you, but that’s not going to save our country. If the ballot boxes are intact and well-monitored in November, we still have a chance. Otherwise, I’ll be applying for Canadian citizenship.

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

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Intimation

Intimation: Hinting at a meaning but not stating it explicitly.

One of our primary goals in this relationship is to demonstrate unerring respect for each other. There are so many ways it can be done–words and deeds are the most usual ways of showing respect, or disrespect, ha ha. There are all kinds of things you can do to show respect–holding the door, being on time, making an effort to dress nicely–in clean clothes that help you smell good. If you don’t smell good everything else may fall apart. Think of it, a person losing out on love because he doesn’t shower regularly, or a person whose children won’t sit on his lap because he smells like horse manure and onions. How sad, but how avoidable!

Anyway, let’s watch some TV. You sit on the couch over there,  and I’ll sit over here by the scented candle. Let’s watch another episode of “The Outsider.”

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

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Isocolon

Isocolon (i-so-co’-lon): A series of similarly structured elements having the same length. A kind of parallelism.

The boat. The car. The mower. The house. The kids. The wife. It was his dream come true, but he felt that he needed more things with wheels to drive around on–to round things out.

A motorcycle? An ATV? A tractor? He thought about roller skates and a skateboard, but decided against them because they’re not self-propelled. He decided on a motorcycle for starters.

The first time he rode it, he ran head-on into a tree and was instantly killed. His children and wife fought over the boat, car, mower, and house. Luckily, their lawyers talked them into selling the lot at auction and dividing the proceeds equally. They all agreed, auctioned the stuff, got the payout, split it equally, and continued their lives.

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

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