Monthly Archives: February 2013


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.

We climbed up and over (despite the rain and falling rocks) the steep canyon wall so we could reach the tomb ahead of the band of looters who took the lazy trail about six miles up the canyon. We would get there first. We would save the sacred site and, with luck, capture the craven thieves.

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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.

Those cupcakes are de-cuppa-wuppa-huppa-duppa-licious! Where can I get some more?

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

The new Appple iGod is indestructible, immutable, and runs on pure sweet love beamed from above by iDove. Its media player will supposedly “restoreth your soul” with endlessly looping ambient angelic music available on iHymn for all eternity for only 99¢! Bottom line: like all things Appple, it’s beyond biblical, man! It’s like, hyperousion!

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

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


Apocarteresis (a-po-car-ter’-e-sis): Casting of all hope away from one thing and placing it on another source altogether.

When I was young beauty was in the eye of the beholder–I was the beholder and I was delighted  to be in the presence of beauty–of beautiful bodies and beautiful things.

Now that my sight has faded and my other senses are failing, I have found that being in the presence of beauty and beholding its glory can no longer be a source of delight: there is no beholding, just a dull awareness of the material world–of light and darkness and moving shadows and the garble of human speech.

Yet, as I drift into old age’s oblivion it is the persistance of the idea of beauty that lingers and embraces me and excites me and delights me! For this, I am grateful. For this, I am not fearful of what will come next.

When I was young, I thought Plato was an idiot. Now, I can ‘see’ the Truth of what he was telling me and why you should take him seriously.

  • Post your own apocarteresis on the “Comments” page.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Palilogia (pa-li-lo’-gi-a): Repetition of the same word, with none between, for vehemence. Synonym for epizeuxis.

Snow snow snow and more snow! The first foot was fun, but now you need to stop! Stop!

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Diazeugma (di-a-zoog’-ma): The figure by which a single subject governs several verbs or verbal constructions (usually arranged in parallel fashion and expressing a similar idea); the opposite of zeugma.

I couldn’t get to sleep because my report wasn’t finished, my psycho neighbor was playing with his musical clapper, the handgun my mother had given me was missing, and worst of all, my Sleep Number bed’s 5-part fully adjustable electric frame was stuck at 9–AKA spine bending speed bump.

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

Definition courtesy of Silva Rhetoricae (


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.

A specific form of epitrope is the (apparent) admission of what is wrong in order to carry our point.

Take your time–go ahead, obey the speed limit! It can’t matter that much. I’ll have the baby right here on the front seat.  It’s better than a hospital. I won’t die. You won’t be sorry, and our baby won’t suffer! Why don’t you just slow down a little bit more–there’s no rush.

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

Trees! Tall trees. Small trees. All trees. Dark bark maybe grey, birch bark black and white; day and night with leaves–leaves hanging by their thread-thin stems feeding light to sap, and in the sunny breeze of dawn’s mortal moment they swarm like clouds of butterflies waving winged shadows over tangled bumpy stumpy roots reaching deep beneath the soddy earth. The smell of pine. The womb of woods. The trees!

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

I drove. I parked. I shopped. I dropped.

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Traductio (tra-duk’-ti-o): Repeating the same word variously throughout a sentence or thought. Some authorities restrict traductio further to mean repeating the same word but with a different meaning (see ploce, antanaclasis, and diaphora), or in a different form (=polyptoton. . . . ). If the repeated word occurs in parallel fashion at the beginnings of phrases or clauses, it becomes anaphora; at the endings of phrases or clauses, epistrophe.

Being free is to be human, and being human is to be free. You may think that wild animals or pets off their leashes run free, but running free is not being free. Rather, it is being loose. Just because a living body can move, it does not mean that it is free. To be free is to choose, and choice is induced by persuasion, and persuasion is engendered by symbols, and symbols  are endowed with meanings by humans being free!

Again, bodily movement does not signify freedom. Being free is symbolically constituted in your humane human head as it searches for, or listens for a good reason to to do something and a plan for taking action to make it be or not be.

That’s the Burkean way!

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

Scesis Onomaton

Scesis Onomaton (ske’-sis o-no’-ma-ton): 1. A sentence constructed only of nouns and adjectives (typically in a regular pattern).  2. A series of successive, synonymous expressions.

1. Wild nights, bleary mornings, sunburned days. Spring break !

2. I have your best interests close to my heart. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. The sky’s the limit. Just ask.

  • Post your own scesis onomaton on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Symploce (sim’-plo-see or sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.

We never know what the future will bring. We never know what a promise will bring. We never know and yet we must travel on, not knowing, but hoping  for what only hope will bring.

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Polyptoton (po-lyp-to’-ton): Repeating a word, but in a different form. Using a cognate of a given word in close proximity.

Lovers love loving and being loved.

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

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.

It’s cold today. The bills are due today. I’ve got to do my laundry today. My cat is driving me nuts today. Why can’t tomorrow be today, today?

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (