Expeditio


Expeditio (ex-pe-di’-ti-o): After enumerating all possibilities by which something could have occurred, the speaker eliminates all but one (=apophasis). Although the Ad Herennium author lists expeditio as a figure, it is more properly considered a method of argument [and pattern of organization] (sometimes known as the “Method of Residues” when employed in refutation[, and “Elimination Order” when employed to organize a speech. The reference to ‘method’ hearkens back to the Ramist connection between organizational patterns of discourses and organizational patterns of arguments]).

Me: Why did you get a tattoo of a garage door opener on the right cheek of your butt? Wait, wait, don’t tell me! Knowing you, I think there are three possible reasons: 1. Donny Osmond has one.  I know for a fact that Donny has no tattoos on his butt (check out the YouTube video), so that’s out. 2. Your ‘little friends’ ordered you to do it. You’ve been taking your medication, so that’s out. 3. You acted on random impulse.  Since you’ve spent your life doing things without without considering their consequences (e.g. when you amputated your pinky), I’m going with option 3: random impulse, right?

You: I did what to my butt?

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text

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