Monthly Archives: October 2013


Antimetathesis (an-ti-me-ta’-the-sis): Inversion of the members of an antithesis.

At the border of hope and fear, fear hopes and hope fears.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Colon (ko’-lon): Roughly equivalent to “clause” in English, except that the emphasis is on seeing this part of a sentence as needing completion, either with a second colon (or membrum) or with two others (forming a tricolon). When cola (or membra) are of equal length, they form isocolon.

Colon or membrum is also best understood in terms of differing speeds of style that depend upon the length of the elements of a sentence. The Ad Herennium author contrasts the slower speed of concatenated membra to the quicker speed of words joined together without conjunction (articulus).

After the so-called “partial” US government shutdown, I bought a plane ticket, packed my bags, and flew to Canada.

Hello Vancouver! Goodbye “Teddy and the Texas Cruza-a-Nuts.”

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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 don’t eat your spinach your ears will fall off and you may have a heart attack! Ha! Ha! Just kidding! Actually, you’ll be grounded for life without parole. Eat the spinach! Now!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Paenismus (pai-nis’-mus): Expressing joy for blessings obtained or an evil avoided.

I am blessed: the drugstore is well-stocked with gallon-sized bottles of Malox. Now I’m ready to drink mint-flavored liquid chalk and ride out “Brinky Boehner and the Conserva-Nuts” cacophonus rendition of “Bye Bye American Pie.”

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Aphaeresis (aph-aer’-e-sis): The omission of a syllable or letter at the beginning of a word. A kind of metaplasm.

If you don’t ‘ear me, I can’t say much that’ll ‘fluence you! [ear for hear; fluence for influence]


Self-conceit ‘dores the looking glass when lights are low, and shadows ‘mooth the wrinkled truth, filling ruts of time. [dores for adores, mooth for smooth]

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Aganactesis (ag’-an-ak-tee’-sis): An exclamation proceeding from deep indignation.

You cheated. You lied. You broke my heart. Now, my father’s going to break your legs.

Crawl to hell, you worthless bag of DNA!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Synaloepha (sin-a-lif’-a): Omitting one of two vowels which occur together at the end of one word and the beginning of another. A contraction of neighboring syllables. A kind of metaplasm.

Shutdown, meltdown, showdown, fall down.

Screw up, mess up, give up, throw up.

Up or down, down or up, one thing’s for sure: Those politicians are headed straight t’election day with hell to pay–a debt with no ceiling eternally funding the wages of their sins.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Bdelygmia (del-ig’-mi-a): Expressing hatred and abhorrence of a person, word, or deed.

“Negotiate” has lost its lustre as politicians shamelessly defame it in their obscene media machinations, as if refusing their cynical call to “negotiate” somehow signifies a Presidential character flaw.

Do we negoitiate with terrorists? No.

Do we negotiate with hostage takers? No.

Do we negotiate with highjackers? No.

We say that it’s a sign of courage to do one’s duty and refuse to negotiate when there’s a metaphorical gun to one’s head.

We say give back “negotiation’s” promising and hopeful meaning so it may further our shared democratic project. Let’s negotiate so that we may fill the political fissure with a common ground wherupon we may charitably pursue the common good.

Put down the gun.

Pick up the phone.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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 [can include oxymoron].

What exactly does the US House of Representatives represent?

Constipated regularity?

Sincere insincerity?

Adult adolescence?

Who exactly does the US House of Representatives represent?

John Galt?

John Birch?

John Calvin?

John Belushi?

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


Metallage (me-tal’-la-gee): When a word or phrase is treated as an object within another expression.

Today, the US finds out what “government shutdown” means.

Here are some possibilities:

Congressional Sabotage


What Happens in Washington Stays in Bed

Swing Low Sweet Patriot, Your Government’s Going to Carry You Nowhere

Mad Hatter Tea Party Celebrates Un-Government Day

Business as Usual

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (