Monthly Archives: April 2013


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

It’s as easy as one, two, three: 1. Buy it; 2. Use it; 3. Use it again! Batteries not included.*

*Caution: May cause slothfulness, hallucinations, gas, self-loathing, and loss of appetite. Not recommended for use when driving, standing, walking, jumping, swimming, meditating, or consuming alcohol. If you can’t stop using it, call the Better Business Bureau and ask for Pat.

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Consonance: The repetition of consonants in words stressed in the same place (but whose vowels differ). Also, a kind of inverted alliteration, in which final consonants, rather than initial or medial ones, repeat in nearby words. Consonance is more properly a term associated with modern poetics than with historical rhetorical terminology.

Sad dreaded bard speaks to my heart–his lamentation sifts through the ashes of my war-torn life–son gone, blood on the wall, twilight beckons, darkness calls. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. How can I believe that God is just?

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Acervatio (ak-er-va’-ti-o): Latin term Quintilian employs for both asyndeton (acervatio dissoluta: a loose heap) and polysyndeton (acervatio iuncta: a conjoined heap).

Asyndeton: the omission of conjunctions between clauses, often resulting in a hurried rhythm or vehement effect.

Close your eyes, feel your heart, open your eyes, now start. Start being here, being where is was is, now and again.

Polysydeton: employing many conjunctions between clauses, often slowing the tempo or rhythm.

After doing a little shopping, on my way to the parking lot I tripped in a pothole and I dropped my bag of oranges, and I skinned my knee, and I twisted my ankle, and I was humiliated, and I was late to work, and I got yelled at by the manager, and I’m going to hire a lawyer, and I’m going to sue Walymart!

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

Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Epergesis (e-per-gee’-sis): Interposing an apposition, often in order to clarify what has just been stated.

When my new Roomba 700, the robo-vacuum, showed up late last night I was slightly alarmed.

At 11:00 pm the doorbell rang. I opened the door and  there there was Roomba, all charged up and sweetly humming on the stoop. I let Roomba in. We had a drink.

It was late.  Roomba put me to bed, and went to work sucking the dirt out of the filthy shag carpet in my man cave.

As Roomba’s sweetly droning hum sent me off to sleepy land, I thought, I love you Roomba, nighty-night.

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Adage (ad’-age): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings, or traditional expressions of conventional wisdom. [Others include apothegmgnomemaximparoemiaproverbsententia, and anamnesis {a related figure}]

“I respect faith, but doubt it will get you an education.” (Wilson Mizner)

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

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


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.

I can’t imagine what the world would be like without the internet–if John Lennon were still alive I bet he could write a song about it–

“Imagine there’s no email, push notifications, tweets, or chats:

No emoticons or Facebooks, no stupid threaded gmail spats.

Imagine all the people living face-to-face:

Smelling and touching each other, dancing, and hugging and actually being some place.

I know I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one:

If we shut down the internet the world would be more fun.”

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

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


Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.

We live in a dictatorial democracy.

Our political system is like a supermarket where all the shelves are already stocked by the management and the only freedom that shoppers have is the freedom to choose from what’s already on the shelf–as dictated by the  management.

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

Thanks for the kidney Uncle Eddy! I owe you my life! There’s no way I’ll ever be able to do the same for you, but if you need a lung or some other body part or organ & I’ve got one to spare, I’m here for you!

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Antimetabole (an’-ti-me-ta’-bo-lee): Repetition of words, in successive clauses, in reverse grammatical order.

Plant what you can. Can what you plant. You’ll save a bundle at the grocery store!

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (