Monthly Archives: September 2015


Adianoeta: An expression that, in addition to an obvious meaning, carries a second, subtle meaning (often at variance with the ostensible meaning).

I am so excited that Armageddon is showing its face in Syria, Afghanistan, Niger, Iraq, Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Somalia, Yemen, CAR, and even Ukraine!  I am sure I’ve left out some additional sites of blood, stench, bombing, bullets, and the slaughtering of innocent people. I apologize for that!

Do you think the United Nations is excited too? One would think so! After 70 years of endless turmoil, perhaps its end is finally in sight!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Adnominatio (ad-no-mi-na’-ti-o): 1. A synonym for paronomasia [punning].  2. A synonym for polyptoton.  3. Assigning to a proper name its literal or homophonic meaning.

1. Your math is trouble sum.

2. The deal dealt dealing with the current refugee crisis leaves a great deal to be desired, especially where Hungary is concerned–an EU member nation with an F-U attitude toward the suffering, displaced, hungry, tired, frightened women, men and children fleeing death.

3. Headline: “Trump Wins Bridge With Lawsuit”

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

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Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.

Today Putin spoke at the UN.  His speech was touted by Russian media, forecasting it as a “speech that will change the world.”

Every time I fart, I change the world.

Every meter I walk changes the world.

Everything we do and say changes the world.

So, if Russian media meant that, like a fart blown into the wind, or a footprint on a piece of grass, Putin’s speech would change the world, to be sure, they were correct.

But, if the world-changing speech they forecast was supposed to affect other aspects of the world, beyond its blowing wind and the electricity used to broadcast it, their forecast was a dream–an impossible dream prompted by somebody’s megalomania and the misguided, if not psychotic, delusion of grandeur exemplified by a smallish balding shirtless man on horseback single-handedly liberating Crimea from its Western oppressors and stamping out the disease of democracy infecting its political institutions with the virus of social media and festering elections.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Aetiologia (ae-ti-o-log’-i-a): A figure of reasoning by which one attributes a cause for a statement or claim made, often as a simple relative clause of explanation.

My daughter’s life is an open book, because it’s my checkbook.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Affirmatio (af’-fir-ma’-ti-o): A general figure of emphasis that describes when one states something as though it had been in dispute or in answer to a question, though it has not been.

They question the legitimacy of the Bible as the fundamental guide to goodness and the rule of our lives. “It’s just another book. A wonderful work of ancient literature” they say. They scoff at religion’s foundation in faith and its belief in what cannot be seen or known. “It’s unscientific. It’s a delusion. The opiate of the masses” they say.

We say they stand in the shadows of evil casting off the chords of conscience, rejecting faith, resisting the divine prompting of God’s saving grace and His invitation to the wonders of His endless love.

We know. Sinners will sin.

Yet, the righteous glory in God’s love and pray for the sinners’ salvation.

By the grace of God’s mercy and the almighty grip of His righteous hand, we pray for God’s forgiveness–for the instant salvation of the damned.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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

Your dog crapped on my lawn again.

You just stood there and watched!

If it happens again, you’re having dog crap for dinner you feckless poopmeister!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (



Allegory (al’-le-go-ry): A sustained metaphor continued through whole sentences or even through a whole discourse.

Grecian Debt Krisis

There was this Greek who lived in a cave. His name was Agamomhen. Agamomhen’s cave was located on the edge of the Mountain of  Debt near the Valley of Austerity. Agamomhen had no pants, no wallet, no shirt, no car, no bicycle, no donkey, no MasterCard, no hat. However, he did possess the Magic Honey Jar.  When Agamomhen put his hand in the jar his fingers became sticky. But sticky fingers did not help.  For there was nothing he could stick to them anywhere near the Mountain of Debt.

Ah ha! Agamomhen thought, “I can woo Queen Merkle-Pickle of Germymany. She has much coal and good lager. With luck, my fingers may stick to her!”

So, Agamomhen covered himself with an empty can of Sun*Med giant beans and walked out into the sunlight.

He tripped over a bag of worthless drachma and tumbled down the steep slope of The Mountain of Debt. He lay badly injured in the hot dust, paperwork, and sheep dung littering the Valley of Austerity. Agamomhen gazed upon the empty bean can concealing his manhood.  It was dented. The label had been torn off by his fall. He peed in it while he waited for the government ambulance.

Bladder drained, Agamomhen felt good. Suddenly he heard the sirens! The OOOH-YOU ZONE Rescue Vehicle was coming!

As he was transported from the Valley of Austerity, Agamomhen struggled to look forward from his Binding Gurney. He couldn’t see where he was going.

Instead, the foul smells of schnapps, urine, bratwurst, and mustard coming from the front seat made Agamomhen wretch. From his Binding Gurney, all he could do was watch the swirling cloud of dust, paperwork, and sheep dung trailing behind the wailing OOH-YOU Rescue Vehicle.

Agamomhen could not help but think, “I should’ve stayed in my cave on the Mountain of Debt.”

Just then, the Rescue Vehicle hit a huge pothole. Agamomhen was thrown out the back into the cloud of dust, paperwork, and dung, still strapped to his Binding Gurney. To his great dismay Agamomhen landed in a fresh pile of sheep dung with the Binding Gurney now strapped firmly to his back. He was injured, immobile, and stranded on the floor of  The Valley of Austerity. Through the dust and litter Agamomhen could barely see the hand waving from the departing Rescue Vehicle’s driver’s side window. It’s middle finger was extended.

Emptied of its unwanted passenger, the OOH-YOU Rescue Vehicle raced madly toward Bruzzels leaving six or seven empty schnapps bottles and two to three jars of mustard in its wake.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (



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Alleotheta (al-le-o-the’-ta): Substitution of one case, gender, mood, number, tense, or person for another. Synonymous with enallage. [Some rhetoricians claim that alleotheta is a] general category that includes antiptosis [(a type of enallage in which one grammatical case is substituted for another)] and all forms of enallage [(the substitution of grammatically different but semantically equivalent constructions)].

I’m at I.H.O.P. enjoying a pile of pancakes covered with chocolate ice-cream, Reese’s Pieces, and blueberry-flavored maple syrup when a guy walks in the door dressed in sweatpants, flip-flops, and and a t-shirt with a picture of Moe from the Three Stooges on it.

He started waving a napkin and yelling “I surrender, I surrender.”

I pick up my napkin and stand up and yell, “I surrender too!”

Next, everybody in the place follows our lead!

I sat down on my pancakes and then run out the door.

I hear sirens coming and breaking china from inside.

I pass out. I wake up. I am a pancake. Destitute. No butter. No Syrup. No nothing. Draped on the rim of a trashcan. Waiting for sundown and the roaches that will swarm on me.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Alliteration (al-lit’-er-a’-tion): Repetition of the same letter or sound within nearby words. Most often, repeated initial consonants. Taken to an extreme alliteration becomes the stylistic vice of paroemion where nearly every word in a sentence begins with the same consonant.

When will the United States’ presidential primary campaign clown show be over with? We want world leaders running for office.

Ask yourself:

Could Bozo do the job?  No.

Could Ronald MacDonald do the job? No.

What about Pee Wee Herman or Clarabell or Side-Show Bob or Benny Hill? No. No. No.

Well, maybe Benny Hill, but he belongs in British Parliamentary politics. Too bad he’s gone to the Big Panto in the sky.

Ralph Nader, where are you? Probably trapped in a Corvair somewhere in Canada.

Ross Perot, you are not demented (yet)! ‘Merica needs you now more than ever! Get out there! Wear your cowboy boots!! Walk all over Walker!  Strangle Trump with your bolo tie!! Make Hilary ride side-saddle!! Put pearl snaps in Jeb’s corn flakes!! Ride Christie bareback around Trenton!!

Go Ross go!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Allusion (ə-ˈlü-zhən):[1] A reference/representation of/to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art . . . “a brief reference, explicit or indirect, to a person, place or event, or to another literary work or passage”. It is left to the reader or hearer to make the connection . . . ; an overt allusion is a misnomer for what is simply a reference.[2]

It was raining like crazy. Lightening. Thunder. Trees uprooted. Branches snapping. Fire! Sirens! Mobile homes flying by! Now I know what “gone with the wind” really means!* Catastrophe.

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1. Phonetic transcription courtesy of Miriam-Webster’s On-Line Dictionary <3/6/08>.

2. Definition courtesy of Wikipedia <3/6/08>.

*Allusion to movie “Gone with the Wind.”


Amphibologia (am’-fi-bo-lo’-gi-a): Ambiguity of grammatical structure, often occasioned by mispunctuation. [A vice of ambiguity.]

I saw my cat in my pick-up truck with my prescription sunglasses. 

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



Ampliatio (am’-pli-a’-ti-o): Using the name of something or someone before it has obtained that name or after the reason for that name has ceased. A form of epitheton.

(1) Nite nite my wonderful wife! Just think–tomorrow morning we’ll be married! I can’t wait! Tomorrow night calling you my wonderful wife will be a dream come true! Talk to you in the morning! Is it really possible to get married on SKYPE?

(2) Stop calling me “Captain Thruster.” The last time I thrusted was when I jumped out of the way when you almost ran me over in the driveway! And I peed my pants too!   Why don’t you just call me “Private Noodle” and bring me another martini and some nachos? Where the hell are my glasses? Dammit!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (