Monthly Archives: January 2015


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

Snow, buried, blizzard, frozen, freezing, shoveling, plowing, salting, sobbing.

From Machias, to Merrimac they’re sobbing for the collapsing roofs.

They’s sobbing for the burning homes.

They’re sobbing for the bursting pipes.

And worst of all, because of you, Juno, they’re sobbing at the wailing sirens–at the flashing lights of ambulances saving the injured and delivering the dead.

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



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.

Pack, trek, seek–week after week, always searching for the time of your life as your life runs out of time. If you want to find the time of your life, stop, look, and listen: you may see somebody to love and hear the echoes of a lost incarnation–of a nearly sacred voice, warm and shy and from a time together.  Standing there, you will struggle to remember each other.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (



Correctio (cor-rec’-ti-o): The amending of a term or phrase just employed; or, a further specifying of meaning, especially by indicating what something is not (which may occur either before or after the term or phrase used). A kind of redefinition, often employed as a parenthesis (an interruption) or as a climax.

This is not a drill!  It’s a pipe wrench and I’m going to whack you in the head with it if you don’t stop humming that damn Mario Brothers chip-tune!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (



Deesis (de’-e-sis): An adjuration (solemn oath) or calling to witness; or, the vehement expression of desire put in terms of “for someone’s sake” or “for God’s sake.”

I swear by the hood ornament on my Rolls, if you don’t eat your caviar I will ground you for a fortnight, spank little Oodles with my cricket bat and show your soiled linens to your school chums!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (



Dehortatio (de-hor-ta’-ti-o): Dissuasion.

Last week you told me that you were going to climb Mt. Everest. This week it’s “try out for the NY Yankees.” What’ll be next week? Discover America?

Look, you’re way past your prime. Instead of going ‘Quixote’ on me, why not set a goal that’s within your grasp like taking a shower and changing your underwear?

Bottom line: Stop kidding yourself. Impossible dreams are for teenagers, not grandfathers.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (