Monthly Archives: April 2015


Apothegm (a’-po-th-e-gem): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adage, gnomemaximparoemiaproverb, and sententia.

“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of revenge.” Ralph Dubya Emerson (The Over-Sole: Under-Where?)

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (



Appositio (ap-po-sit’-i-o): Addition of an adjacent, coordinate, explanatory or descriptive element.

The long night has drawn to a close. That is, the rioting, the burning, and the looting are past us. Baltimore’s fires are extinguished, the liquor stores are emptied, and most people have gone home .

While that’s true, a new day is just beginning–a day wide-open with recriminations, apologies, accusations, encomia, vituperation and every other kind of voiced interest that may have influenced judgments of what motivated last night’s unrest.

The diversity of conflicted narratives about Baltimore is not unusual. Strife is rife with difference and the vexed narratives flow from standpoints. People speak, often unconscious of being situated somewhere within the universe of deeply-cultured sensibilities–a universe with no center.

Rather, people experience, inhabit and are divided and identified  by their named ethno-centers. These “centers” are distinguished and divided by their ways of knowing, being, believing, and valuing that, ironically, are more or less opaque and unintelligible even to their inhabitants who, by imputation and avowal bear, are categorized by, and judged by their ethno-center’s name.

Yet, while there is no center, the spaces or border areas between the centers provide sites, the only sites, for enabling relationships between them.  It is what is between US–our relationship–that is negotiated and constituted when we meet and talk or fight at the ethno-categorical borders. WE are responsible for the affect of that relationship on the quality of OUR lives–not my life, not your life.

From the outside, to the inside, to the borderlands, what’s most important right now–at this time and place–is the borderland and the space it provides to constitute something good for US, and WE have the power to make it right by what we say and how we say it to each other today.  We must acknowledge this and build something good together and WE may want to name it “OUR desire for peace and justice.”

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (



Ara (a’-ra): Cursing or expressing detest towards a person or thing for the evils they bring, or for inherent evil.

I am sick; sick of the inhumane atrocities daily committed in the name God.

The depraved serial killers running amok in Syria, Nigeria, Yemen and elsewhere steal God’s name, debase God’s name, shit on God’s name, every time they praise God’s name while raping, decapitating, shooting, looting, every time they burn a human being alive: EVERY TIME.

God damn them! Please!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (



Articulus (ar-tic’-u-lus): Roughly equivalent to “phrase” in English, except that the emphasis is on joining several phrases (or words) successively without any conjunctions (in which case articulus is simply synonymous with the Greek term asyndeton). See also brachylogia.

Articulus 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 the slower speed of concatenated membra (see membrum) to the quicker speed possible via articulus.

China. Yemen. Syria.

Hacking. Bombing. Destroying.

One word, one meaning?

Or do they all add up to a planet that’s bleeding?

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Definition and commentary 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. You smell.

2. Your tailwind is a foulwind!

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



Asphalia (as-fay’-li-a): Offering oneself as a guarantee, usually for another.

Jeez! He’s just a kid! If you have to blame somebody, blame me. But please, leave my little brother alone. I’ll get your Glock back from him and ground him for 10 years! He’s too stupid to take the blame. I’ll take the hit.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (



Assonance (ass’-o-nance): Repetition of similar vowel sounds, preceded and followed by different consonants, in the stressed syllables of adjacent words.

All along the way, from tomorrow, to today, to yesterday I’ve come to see that my life is a broken promise–a promise I made to us to trust and care and always be there–like some vapid Valentine’s Day card mailed by fate and delivered too late to make me love you, the truth is, you bore me more than death.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (



Assumptio (as-sump’-ti’o): The introduction of a point to be considered, especially an extraneous argument. See proslepsis (When paralipsis [stating and drawing attention to something in the very act of pretending to pass it over] is taken to its extreme. The speaker provides full details.).

Today, I’m not going to talk about Sen. Cruz’s apparent insanity, Mitt Romney’s chronic indecision, or more generally, the Republican party’s cadre of nut-cases and the nearly intractable Congressional conflicts they have consistently created. Why bother to even mention their weirdness? It is, as they say “water under the bridge.” Or, more accurately, a bridge that will be under the water and washed away by the floods by discontent rolling across our nation.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if, on New Years Eve 2016, it started raining frogs on Arizona and Texas, with, of course, the 15th, 16th and 19th Texas Congressional districts being spared!

No, today I want to talk about the next President of the United States. She . . .

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (