Monthly Archives: March 2015

Asteismus

Asteismus (as-te-is’-mus): Polite or genteel mockery. More specifically, a figure of reply in which the answerer catches a certain word and throws it back to the first speaker with an unexpected twist. Less frequently, a witty use of allegory or comparison, such as when a literal and an allegorical meaning are both implied.

Marlin: This is the worst sandwich I’ve ever had!

Pat: You should’ve ordered the wurst like me. This is the best wurst I’ve ever had. Too bad your sandwich is the worst!

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

Astrothesia

Astrothesia (as-tro-the’-si-a): A vivid description of stars. One type of enargia.

Stars are heaven’s asterisks. Bright reference marks spangling night’s page, spanning it with lights.

And after dark’s dark hours, stars yield to the sun’s single light. Then, they float on twilight’s tide toward the rising page of night.

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

 

Asyndeton

Asyndeton (a-syn’-de-ton): The omission of conjunctions between clauses, often resulting in a hurried rhythm or vehement effect. [Compare brachylogia. Opposite of polysyndeton.]

Run! Run! Run! Down! Down! Hurry! Run! Down! Hurry!

Museum, mall, mosque.

Main Street, temple, church.

Police station, train station, bus station.

Cafe, concert, public park.

Morning, daylight, evening, dark.

Doesn’t matter.

Pop Pop Pop

People cry.

People die.

People scatter.

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

 

Auxesis

Auxesis (ok-see’-sis): (1) Arranging words or clauses in a sequence of increasing force. In this sense, auxesis is comparable to climax and has sometimes been called incrementum.  (2) A figure of speech in which something is referred to in terms disproportionately large (a kind of exaggeration or hyperbole). (3) Amplification in general.

(1) See. Look. Like. Gaze. Love. Laugh. Cry. Turn. Go. (Repeat weekly for maximal heartache)

(2) My toothless aspirations chew the air behind my little cardboard sign: I am a beacon. I am a bucket. I am a pylon as high as Mars.

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

 

Bdelygmia

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

Acronym: an alphabet-letter compress pressed against the babble on.

Acronym: what drips from brevity’s rotted gash.

Acronym: a train of letters delivering secret cargo.

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

 

Bomphiologia

Bomphiologia (bom-phi-o-lo’-gi-a): Exaggeration done in a self-aggrandizing manner, as a braggart.

I am the sparks in life’s fire.

I am the headless race car driver.

I butcher the beef. I am the leaf. Roll me. Light me.

I am the cure for all your pain. I am thunder naming your name:

“Tantric Smoke. Cosmic Joke. Belly Tomb. Worn Eraser. Beetle Chaser.”

In all my love,

I am your shadow. I am your fear. I am the magic that brought you here.

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

 

Brachylogia

Brachylogia (brach-y-lo’-gi-a): The absence of conjunctions between single words. Compare asyndeton. The effect of brachylogia is a broken, hurried delivery.

Trust me. I am your ambulance. Cane! Crutch! Wheelchair! Everything that shows I care. Electric chair. Firing squad. Beneficent God. iPod. Oatmeal. Black Seal. Golden rod. Ping pong. Overdose. Comatose. Medicare.

Now mom, here we go. With the Flow. Petroleum rivers. Gasoline falls. Diesel cataracts. Flaming gush.

You sign the waiver. I’ll pull the plug. Hush hush. No rush.

Here’s the pen.

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

 

Cacozelia

Cacozelia (ka-ko-zeel’-i-a): 1. A stylistic affectation of diction, such as throwing in foreign words to appear learned.  2. Bad taste in words or selection of metaphor, either to make the facts appear worse or to disgust the auditors.

Ecru! Ecru! How I adore you! Très jolieТы такая красивая! A light stain–like amarillo, like rubio, like ámbar cautioning the brown to beware: to slow the faint stripe growing on my otherwise bright, purely white, Calvin Klein underwear.

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

 

Catachresis

Catachresis (kat-a-kree’-sis): The use of a word in a context that differs from its proper application. This figure is generally considered a vice; however, Quintilian defends its use as a way by which one adapts existing terms to applications where a proper term does not exist.

You need to hammer that water! Swim! Swim!

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

 

Catacosmesis

Catacosmesis (kat-a-kos-mees’-is): Ordering words from greatest to least in dignity, or in correct order of time.

The fire ignites and speaks in fierce crackling flames. But now in the darkness its silent ashes are all that remain.

Time is a knife that shaves us away until nothing is left but a sliver in bed.

Fearing the silence, the dawn, day, and night, I moan at the wall, “There is no Phoenix. There is no cure. Bring me water and morphine and vodka and meat and wrap my dead body in a fine golden sheet.”

The wall doesn’t answer. The wall doesn’t care. The wall is a wall. It just stands there.

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