Monthly Archives: March 2012


Anamnesis (an’-am-nee’-sis): Calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author [apparently] from memory.  Anamnesis helps to establish ethos [credibility], since it conveys the idea that the speaker is knowledgeable of the received wisdom from the past.

“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.  Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.” To these three options, Camus could have added a fourth: “Betray me and these boots are going to walk all over you.” However, it wasn’t until 1966 that Nancy Sinatra made explicit and popularized this profoundly negative ‘way of walking’ in her hit song titled “These boots are made for walking.” What remains to be considered, though, is the ethical import of “walking all over” another person and whether betrayal provides justifiable ‘grounds’ for doing so.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Gorgias has inserted the bracketed words [apparently] and [credibility].

Quotation from “The Quotations Page” (


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].

Forgive and forget? Forgive and regret? Where do we go from here?

Is the risk of regretting too great to bear the weight of mercy?

Forgive or regret?

Is that the question?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text added by Gorgias.


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

Question: “Are you for or against ‘stand your ground’ laws?”

Answer: “I’m for fair and balanced discussion. Let’s talk about what ‘fair and balanced’ means.”

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

I’m not for sale at Toys “R” Us, and certainly, I am not a plaything! Clearly, ‘Etch-A-Sketch’ is not the proper word to use to describe me.  Rather, I think ‘Flip-Flopper’ is much more accurate–like a pair of those comfortable rubber sandals that make a delightful sound when you walk around in them.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Enallage (e-nal’-la-ge): The substitution of grammatically different but semantically equivalent constructions.

Government service is not a vocation–it’s an executive management position. It’s a job! The President is the CEO of the United States of America.

I want to be CEO of the United States of America! CEO of the United States of America is what I want to be!

I’ve been there! I’ve made lots of money! Economic virtues are political virtues. Make me your Capitalist-in-Chief!

Hire me! Vote for me! Invest in me! America’s stock will climb!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Epistrophe (e-pis’-tro-fee): Ending a series of lines, phrases, clauses, or sentences with the same word or words.

Stand up for change. Speak out for change. Spark a movement for change. And, for a change, the world may be a better place!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

What you’ve done to these innocent people today will haunt you tonight. There is no one to turn to, no place to run, no place to hide. The red of the rising sun will be eclipsed by your shimmering blood as it soaks the land of our birth and justly heralds your slow and painful death!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.

Sure, he’s going to be elected President of the United States just like that bag of kitty litter is going to feed the hungry.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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.”

If elected President, I swear in the name of everything I hold near and dear that I will lower taxes, build a fence around Arizona, and work tirelessly to Michigan-size every tree in the United States of America with chainsaws made in the USA, fueled by Alaska, Texas, Louisiana, and New Jersey, and operated by non-union workers for minimum wage!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (