Monthly Archives: July 2013


Antenantiosis  (an’-ten-an’-ti-os’-is): See litotes. (Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty [downplaying one’s accomplishments] in order to gain the audience’s favor [establishing ethos]).

Yes, I am faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but I’m not a bird or a plane. If I was, I would have feathers and a propellor and would be much more interesting to see up in the sky.

No, I’m just this guy from the planet Krypton who grew up in a small midwestern village, have two wonderful adoptive parents, X-ray vision, and a dog that wears a red cape.

So please, don’t call me “Superman.” Please,  just call me “Commendable Person” and leave it at that.  Ok, Lois?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

If you don’t stop the political craziness in Washington, DC, we’re going to stop paying federal income tax.  We’re sick of shelling out money to pay for bickering boring bunglers blaming their way toward dystopia in buggies drawn by toadies, sycophants, and lickspittles wearing cocked hats, smelly wool suits, and manifest destiny flip-flops.

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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. My age. My gender. My height. My weight. My hair color. My race. My marital status. My license plates. My IPS. My email. My cellphone. My account numbers. My credit history. My prescriptions. My DNA. My retinas. My fingerprints. My face.

My God!

I am information, therefore I am.

2. Wherever I go, somebody’s watching. Wherever I am, somebody knows. Whatever I do, somebody sees it. Whomever I’m with, somebody records it. Toll booths. Traffic lights. Sidewalks. Parking lots. For public safety and law enforcement, ok.  But not you–you information-sucking market research leech! Get my permission! Pay me a commission!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

I think we’re going to hear a Royal “waaa-waaa” pretty soon!

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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.

I thank you for coming here today.  You all know why you’re here. Nevertheless, I want to remind you, what you’re about hear and see is explicit, vivid, gruesome, and heartbreaking. It will make some of you sick, again. It will make some of you cry, again. It will outrage some of you, again. But, again, and again, and again, this experience will deepen our conviction, and it will strengthen our voices as we ground what we speak in the sights and sounds of this presentation, again, and again, and again, until the pundits and the powerful and the politically anointed come to their senses and support our cause.

Ok? Nobody? All right, here we go.

“While you’re sitting comfortably in suburbia sipping your piña colada by the pool and trying to decide which color BMW to buy your daughter for college, or when you’re roosting up in your rooftop condo counting your blessings as you gloat with your broker, counting the whopping profit you just made, somewhere else . . .”

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apodixis (a-po-dix’-is): Proving a statement by referring to common knowledge or general experience.

What? I did not try to run your mother over with my lawn tractor yesterday. The grass was wet and she was running in front of it when she slipped and fell.  It was broad daylight.  The whole family was watching, laughing, and cheering her on. Do you really think I would run over my beloved mother-in-law on purpose, on the lawn, right there in front of everybody? My God, she’s your mother!

Come on dear, cheer up–let’s put those burgers on the grill and have another gin and tonic. What’s done is done. May she rest in peace.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

I swear, I won’t release any more NSA secrets. I want to stay in Москва, drink Шуба, eat Шуба, and Барыня ты моя, сударыня ты моя all night long! Anyway, I’ve run out of clean socks and underwear, it’s too hot in Bolivia, and I miss my mommy.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Ennoia (en-no’-i-a): A kind of purposeful holding back of information that nevertheless hints at what is meant. A kind of circuitous speaking.

Have you climbed over the mountain of dirty clothes in your room lately? If you haven’t, you better watch out–you could be killed by an underwear avalanche, or if you reach the summit, you will most likely pass out and die from a lack of oxygen!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Aschematiston: The use of plain, unadorned or unornamented language. Or, the unskilled use of figurative language. A vice. [Outside of any particular context of use or sense of its motive, it may be difficult to determine what’s “plain, unadorned or unornamented language.” The same is true of the “unskilled use of figurative language.”]

1. I am going to school now.

2. I’m flying to the learn-house before the tick goes tock!

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


Dicaeologia (di-kay-o-lo’-gi-a): Admitting what’s charged against one, but excusing it by necessity.

A: Did you take my duct tape from the garage?

B: Yes, but I was forced to do it by Bob Vila’s insane brother Tooly.  I had no choice. He threatened me with a Ryobi 4.5 inch barrel grip angle grinder. It was cordless. I couldn’t just run away. He said he was desperate–that he needed the duct tape because his life was coming apart and the duct tape would temporarily hold it together until he was able to get to Ace Hardware and steal 12  Bessey Classix, 12″ x 4-3/4″ Bar Clamps with Heavy Duty Pad, Model GSL30; 1 gallon of Loctite® Vinyl, Fabric & Plastic Flexible Adhesive; and 2 ten-packs of Keeper® Ultra Bungee Cords.

A: Well, that settles it. Pack your tools honey. It’s time for you to move out of this old house for awhile.  I’ll drive you to Home Depot’s “Center for the Treatment of  DYI Addiction” & you’ll get better before you can say “BLUE MAX 18-inch 45cc Chainsaw!”

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apostrophe (a-pos’-tro-phe): Turning one’s speech from one audience to another. Most often, apostrophe occurs when one addresses oneself to an abstraction, to an inanimate object, or to the absent.


The destruction, the mayhem, the hatred, the violence, the brutality, the killing, the stench.

War!  You incinerate my hope. You nourish my fear.

War! You are the spawn of Eden. You are the Father of nations.

War! You engender solidarity. You slaughter the flock.

People, must we have enemies in order that we be friends?

War says “Yes!” Peace says “No!” History says “Yes and No.”

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (