Monthly Archives: February 2008


Paramythia (pa-ra-mee’-thi-a): An expression of consolation and encouragement.

You gave it all you had. There’s only so much you can control. Think of all the good that was accomplished.  Think of all the good things we did from the first day you announced your candidacy. We learned so much. Now, you have so many options. I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next! Whatever it it is, it’s going to be great!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

Your willingness to risk your life to save our child’s life–to save our little William–merits our everlasting gratitude.  We thank you for your courage and your commitment to what is good and right. You are a hero and we want the world to know how truly wonderful and blessed you are. Thank you for wearing that uniform. Thank you for going out into the night. Thank you for serving our community. Thank you for saving our son’s life.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Epanodos (e-pan’-o-dos): 1. Repeating the main terms of an argument in the course of presenting it. 2. Returning to the main theme after a digression. 3. Returning to and providing additional detail for items mentioned previously (often using parallelism).

The past, the present, and the future are the sum of time: the agents of regret, satisfaction, surprise, and suspense. The past seals what-is-done and the future is-not-yet–the present presses into one mass what is known and what is imagined.  Added together, what makes the sum of time some time is me–the measure and the measurer: the clock with feelings counting out the times that will never come again and counting on the future for another chance before it all ends–the past, the present, the future–the agents of regret, satisfaction, surprise, and suspense; and I who bear it all in full awareness that sometimes I revise and sometimes I forget.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Assonance (ass’-o-nance): Repetition of similar vowel sounds, preceded and followed by different consonants, in the stressed syllables of adjacent words.

We are,  far and above,  about hopes and dreams, coping with uncertainty without cynicism, and making real what seems to some to be empty promises refracted through brightly-colored distracting prisms.  But we know there’s a difference between empty promises and hopes and dreams deferred by those who use their high offices–their elected offices–to silence the call for positive change.  But our time has finally come.  We are many.  As we raise our voices together during these days, and vote together on election day, these promises will be fulfilled–our hopes and dreams will be made real, and bearing the stamp of truth that the law impresses upon what is right and good by those who rightly use their high offices, they will bring our lives–and all of us–into closer concord with justice.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Paromoiosis (par-o-moy-o’-sis): Parallelism of sound between the words of adjacent clauses whose lengths are equal or approximate to one another. The combination of isocolon and assonance.

Today we headed back to good old New Jersey–back to the place we love.

We went to the West Coast just to see–to decide if we should move.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Orcos (or’-kos): Swearing that a statement is true.

I stand by that document. What it says is true. I give you my word it is true–it is factual. But that’s not enough–find out for yourselves. Read what I read–the official statement of their policy–and draw your own conclusions.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Acoloutha: The substitution of reciprocal words; that is, replacing one word with another whose meaning is close enough to the former that the former could, in its turn, be a substitute for the latter. This term is best understood in relationship to its opposite, anacoloutha.

I am here in Texas to meet you–to stand face-to-face so that we may see the common ground between us.  Yes my friends, I have come to the Lone Star State to join together on the common ground between us.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.

Time and effort. Truth and justice. Nothing worth doing or having comes easy. Let’s remember this as we move ahead to make a better future.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Synzeugma (sin-zoog’-ma): That kind of zeugma in which a verb joins (and governs) two phrases by coming between them. A synonym for mesozeugma.

With hope we move ahead, and with well-considered goals.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Prodiorthosis (pro-di-or-tho’-sis): A statement intended to prepare one’s audience for something shocking or offensive. An extreme example of protherapeia.

Given last week’s tragic events, please be advised that what I’m about to show you and tell you will be deeply disturbing–it may even sicken you. However, given our sworn duty and obligation to serve the people, we must examine all the evidence and know all the facts.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Parabola (par-ab’-o-la): The explicit drawing of a parallel between two essentially dissimilar things, especially with a moral or didactic purpose. A parable.

A lone tree standing in an open field may attract lightning.

A person without peers may likewise invite destruction.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

Well, this isn’t exactly our worst effort to date.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Protrope (pro-tro’-pe): A call to action, often by using threats or promises.

If you pass this legislation, I promise you the world will be a safer place.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Protherapeia (pro-ther-a-pei’-a): Preparing one’s audience for what one is about to say through conciliating words. If what is to come will be shocking, the figure is called prodiorthosis.

It benefits us all to face the cold hard facts, carefully examine them, and be satisfied that we’ve honestly considered everything that bears upon this important decision. This is a good thing. This is what we are entrusted to do. This is our charge. So, prepare yourselves to know the truth and be grateful that we have it in hand.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Ominatio (o-mi-na’-ti-o): A prophecy of evil.

When hopeful words are called platitudes, when leadership is mocked, when the people’s voice is muted, and the media fails to take stock; then the Republic will drift into disrepair and demagogues will hold sway serving their self-interests as the state’s foundation decays, the public trust turns to dust, and all that held us dear and near quietly blows away.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Paregmenon (pa-reg’-men-on): A general term for the repetition of a word or its cognates in a short sentence. Often, but not always, polyptoton.

This victory is our victory. This day is our day. The time has come to seize the future!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

You cheated. You lied. You broke my heart. You are vile.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Dilemma (di-lem’-ma): Offering to an opponent a choice between two (equally unfavorable) alternatives.

Either you made a mistake, or you did it on purpose–either way, you must respond to the accusation.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Metabasis (me-ta’-ba-sis): A transitional statement in which one explains what has been and what will be said.

Now that I’ve explained three of the major causes of air pollution, let’s look at three of the major effects of air pollution.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Perclusio (per-clu’-si-o): A threat against someone, or something.

If you walk out now–when we need you more than ever–I will make sure that you never see the inside of this house again.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Pareuresis (par-yur-ee’-sis): To put forward a convincing excuse.

The power went out last night while I was asleep & my alarm clock shut down–that’s why I’m a little late.  Sorry. I’m going to put fresh back-up batteries in it when I get home tonight.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Enigma (e-nig’-ma): Obscuring one’s meaning by presenting it within a riddle or by means of metaphors that purposefully challenge the reader or hearer to understand.

You always win and always lose when you compete against whom?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

According to Global Health Reporting.Org, “Malaria, one of the world’s most common and serious tropical diseases, causes at least one million deaths every year–the majority of which occur in the most resource-poor countries.”

The persistence of this disease and the death toll it annually exacts on “at least one million” of our fellow human beings are truly deserving of a depth of anger, a degree of disgust, and yes, a pointed feeling of guilt on our part for failing to demand every day that the world’s leaders allocate the medical and material resources to help those who are stricken, and to eradicate this evil disease from the face of the earth forever.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

You’ve asked me to elaborate on my health care policy, and I will. These questions are good questions and our face-to-face engagement of these pressing issues is one of the best ways to sort out our differences and provide people with a clear-cut avenue of choice. Making choices and  . . .

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Asphalia (as-fay’-li-a): Offering oneself as a guarantee, usually for another.

If my brother can’t come through for you, take it out on me–he’s too young and too idealistic to take that kind of hit.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (