Daily Archives: December 23, 2007


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

Letter t omitted: He was an hon-es nuisance!

Final syllable cle omitted: He could bi-cy from here to outer space on that old ten-speed!

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

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


Barbarism (bar’-bar-ism): The use of nonstandard or foreign speech (see cacozelia); the use of a word awkwardly forced into a poem’s meter; or unconventional pronunciation.  Like solecisms (elements of speech or writing that are incorrect grammatically), barbarisms are possible according to each of the four categories of change (addition, subtraction, transposition, substitution).

Addition, subtraction, transposition, and substitution comprise the four categories of change. These are fundamental rhetorical strategies for the manipulation and variation of discourse across a vast array of linguistic levels: word forms, sentences, paragraphs, entire texts or speeches, etc.

Addition: Today he is happy-ay!

Subtraction: I’m sad and he’s happ, specially when he’s took my bap!

Transposition: Happy was he.

Substitution: He was happy and so too was his pet weasel.

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

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


Metaplasm (met’-a-plazm): A general term for orthographical figures (changes to the spelling of words). This includes alteration of the letters or syllables in single words, including additions, omissions, inversions, and substitutions. Such changes are considered conscious choices made by the artist or orator for the sake of eloquence or meter, in contrast to the same kinds of changes done accidentally and discussed by grammarians as vices (see barbarism). See: antisthecon, aphaeresis, apocope, epenthesis (example below: the addition of a letter, sound, or syllable to the middle of a word), paragoge, synaloepha.

Metaplasms are fanlastastic!

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

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