Monthly Archives: October 2016


Eucharistia (eu-cha-ris’-ti-a): Giving thanks for a benefit received, sometimes adding one’s inability to repay.

X: I can’t believed how helpful you’ve been. I didn’t have a chance, and literally one snap of your fingers and I’m promoted to VP!

I am eternally grateful for your kindness. I can never repay you.

D: I’m glad you mentioned “eternally” as the duration of your gratitude. That’s just what I had in mind.

When you asked for it, you knew my famous ‘finger snap’ is not gratis. You knew repayment was part of the deal–you were just too stupid to ask exactly how the repayment was to be made–what form it would take.

X: Oh my God! I never believed you could actually do it.

D: Well, sorry about this being so soon after your promotion, but it’s time . . .

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Euche (yoo’-kay): A vow to keep a promise.

ME: I will faithfully keep my promise to you.

You: Which promise? You’ve made so many promises–I’m losing track.

Me: Let’s edit that: I will faithfully keep my promises to you. If I put it in the plural, I don’t have to specify which one!

You: Clever, but let’s face it, two weeks ago you promised to clear the leaves out of the gutters. Now there’s two feet of snow on the roof and there are still leaves in the gutters.

Me: Well, I didn’t break my promise, I just haven’t kept it yet. There’s a huge difference!

You: Yeah, the difference is so huge it sounds like bullshit.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Eulogia (eu-lo’-gi-a): Pronouncing a blessing for the goodness in a person.

You have gone above the call of duty. You have gone beyond the call of duty. I don’t know what ‘Duty’ says when it calls, maybe somethin’ like “Get off your butt” or “Get your head out of your ass.” And I don’t know how ‘Duty’ feels about you goin’ above and beyond it, but I’ll tell you Laura-Bob, we don’t care what duty thinks, feels, or says about anythin’ because we are grateful to you for saving our prize chicken Toni from the clothes dryer.

Elmo was bad for puttin’ her in there, but it gave you a chance to be good by pullin’ her out.

As you can see, we’ve given Elmo the spankin’ of a lifetime–why the back of his britches is smokin’ like a wet campfire. Ain’t that right Elmo? You little dickens!

So, to conclude this little speech: Laura-Bob, your goodness passes my ability to capture it in words. Let’s just say we and Toni are grateful you saved her. As a token of our forever thankfulness, we will be sure to give you Toni’s next egg. Elmo will deliver it with a smile on his regretful face. It may take a few days before she’s layin’ again, so just be patient–a promise is a promise–you’ll get that egg, special from Toni.

Thank you.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

Post your own eulogia on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Eustathia (yoos-tay’-thi-a): Promising constancy in purpose and affection.

ME: I am your shopping cart with wings. I am your forever piece of string. I will hug you until you are flat.  I will get you a big ring with a shiny gem and a very small monthly payment. I will ask you a big question (probably on your birthday, but no sooner). I will stick around for a long time.

Don’t you see what I’m trying to say?

YOU: No.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Eutrepismus (eu-tre-pis’-mus): Numbering and ordering the parts under consideration. A figure of division, and of ordering.

There are two answers to the following question: 1. Yes. 2. No. “I don’t know” is not an option.

Were you at home last night from 9-11pm?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Exergasia (ex-er-ga’-si-a): Repetition of the same idea, changing either its words, its delivery, or the general treatment it is given. A method for amplification, variation, and explanation. As such, exergasia compares to the progymnasmata exercises (rudimentary exercises intended to prepare students of rhetoric for the creation and performance of complete practice orations).

My shoe. My shoe. I lost my left shoe.

Uh oh. I can’t find my right shoe either.

Where are my shoes? Taking a vacation?

Where are my shoes? On the way to a landfill?

Where are my shoes? I don’t care about your shoes. I’m looking for my shoes!

Where are my shoes? I know where my socks are! Look–they’re on my feet! I’m looking for my shoes!

I give up. I’ll order a new pair of shoes from Zappos. So, I’ll be here at least another two days waiting for them to arrive. I hope you don’t mind.

What! You found my shoes?

What? You’re going to stick them up my what? Please don’t.

I hid them under the bed so I could spend another couple of days with you while I waited for my new pair from Zappos.

Don’t you see? I love you. I just want to spend more time with you.

Wait! Those aren’t my shoes.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Exouthenismos (ex-ou-then-is’-mos): An expression of contempt.

You make me sick! You cheat on your wife. You cheat on your taxes, and you’re going to cheat the American people if you get elected. You make me sick.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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 pattern of arguments]).

Me: Why are you going to school today?

1. To hang out with friends?

2. To make trouble?


3. To learn something?

Number One is a waste of time. Number Two is a total disaster. That leaves number three–learning is school’s purpose!

So, “to learn something” is why you’re going to school today. Right?

You: Yes, Ma.

Me: Good! You’re on your way to fame and fortune!

You: Yes, Ma.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text


Exuscitatio (ex-us-ci-ta’-ti-o): Stirring others by one’s own vehement feeling (sometimes by means of a rhetorical question, and often for the sake of exciting anger).

How many times are we going to let them get away with it? I am sick and tired of the same old excuses and attempts to “quiet us down” like we’re small children.

You know what I want, and it’s what WE want too!

I want my chocolate milk!

I want chocolate milk with breakfast!

I want chocolate milk with lunch!

I want chocolate milk with dinner!

I want chocolate milk!

Are you with me!!?

WE want chocolate milk?

Yes, We want Chocolate milk!

All right!

Let’s crowd around the med dispensary window and show these zookeepers who’s boss!

Chocolate milk!

All power to the people!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Gnome (nome or no’-mee): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adageapothegmmaximparoemiaproverb, and sententia.

Ingratitude is the essence of adolescence.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Graecismus (gree-kis’-mus): Using Greek words, examples, or grammatical structures. Sometimes considered an affectation of erudition.

One’s pathos is a function of soma. All the logos in the world won’t budge it.

This is a common topos of Western thought–the psyche/soma distinction. As long as we believe in its epistemic virtue we will continue to divide ourselves along along the line the distinction draws, which, as a matter of fact, is a deeply cultured pattern of self-understanding that opens and forecloses opportunities for accounting for experience.

Do I feel in order to think?

Do I think in order to feel?

Oh–what about ethos–your perception of my credibility? Not ‘pure’ logos? Not ‘pure’ pathos?

What then?


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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Heterogenium (he’-ter-o-gen-i-um): Avoiding an issue by changing the subject to something different. Sometimes considered a vice.

News Reporter: Some Republicans say you’ve built a wall between yourself and the rest of the Republican party. What’s your take on that?

Donald: There are walls and there are walls. Let me tell you about the wall I know the most about! It’s a big tall wall along the Mexican border. It will keep out the illegal immigrants, drug smugglers and gang members that are wreaking havoc all over this once-great country of ours.

After I win the election in November, the first thing I will do is build the wall. And you know what? Mexico is going to pay for every inch of it–from San Diego, California to somewhere in Texas, they’re going to pay for every inch! Believe me!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

There is a print edition of “The Daily Tope” available for $9.99 on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.


Homoioptoton (ho-mee-op-to’-ton): The repetition of similar case endings in adjacent words or in words in parallel position.

Note: Since this figure only works with inflected languages, it has often been conflated with homoioteleuton and (at least in English) has sometimes become equivalent to simple rhyme: “To no avail, I ate a snail.”

He was running amok with a blowtorch. He lit up the front porch. It went up like a gasoline-soaked pile of leaves, flames licking the eaves as if to be burning the whole house down; hot bubbling paint dripping and oddly sticking to the charring wood.

Everybody cheering, for the old cranky man was thwarted–no front porch–no old man screaming! No more obscenities hurled at every adult and every child within earshot (and beyond).

It was cruel, yes, but it was necessary–everybody on the block agreed.

The firefighters came and put out the fire, but little did anybody even imagine that there would be a ‘next round’ of cranky old-man ire.

6.00am, Tuesday, October 17, 2016: Person walking past the cranky old man’s house. Second-story window flies open: “Hey you ass$ole, get the fu%k off my fu*king sidewalk.”

When I heard the news, all I could say was, “Here we go again, goddammit.”

The Cherry Street Neighborhood Association called a special meeting for 7.00pm. Everybody already agrees that murdering the cranky old man is probably right. The BIG QUESTIONS ARE: how are we going to do it, who exactly is going to do it, and should it be done during the day or during the night?

I arrive promptly at 7.00pm. The discussion moved quickly.

“Nobody wants to spend their life in prison, but nobody wants to spend their life being cursed every time they walk down their street.

Who will volunteer to murder the cranky old man?

Should we hire a professional assassin?

Maybe we should just have the cranky old man’s vocal chords removed? There must be a veterinarian in the neighborhood who could silence the cranky old man for good.”

The meeting-hall doors burst wide open.

“You sh%t for brains bastard motherfu#king toad-ass slime-bucket fu#k-faced sh*t eaters need to get a fu#king life!”

It was the cranky old man!

Ed Wallace (mild-mannered insurance salesman) pulled out his Glock.

“Blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam.” Fifteen times!

Every shot missed.

“Fuc* you deadeye” yelled the cranky old man as he hobbled out the door, two middle fingers extended in the air.

The Cherry Street Block Association took a vote.

“Remove vocal chords” got the most votes. They would kidnap the cranky old man, blindfold him, and take him to the Joyful Noise Pet Clinic for silencing by Joel Gruber, a successful veterinarian who lives in the Cherry Street neighborhood.

It was risky and cruel, but it had to be done. The cranky old man was not one single tiny-teeny-weeny bit of fun: he was a menace–an earsore that had to be silenced by the removal of his disgustingly vulgar vocal chords.

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Definition and commentary courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Homoioteleuton (ho-mee-o-te-loot’-on): Similarity of endings of adjacent or parallel words.

I left my watch on the dresser alongside of my bed. What was going through my head? Here I am without doubt about where I left it, but without a clue to when I can get home to retrieve it.

I guess “mess” is too strong a word to describe what it is for me to be watchless.

Anyway, my cellphone gives me the time of day! That’s more than I can say for my colleagues here at the office.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Horismus (hor-is’-mus): Providing a clear, brief definition, especially by explaining differences between associated terms

CLEAR: Time is change given utility by its humanly crafted measures (i.e., seconds, years, etc.). Additionally, time may be an opening providing the rationale for what happens/happened next  (i.e., season, opportunity, etc.).

CONVOLUTED: Time is a feature of human consciousness creating and comparing differences within archetypal oppositions of now and then afforded by memory and imagination; where accounts of experience are scripted as mechanical increments and organic openings–where actions are constrained by the ever-present confluence of chronology and opportunity constituting circumstances and the application of deeply cultured ideals of what is fitting as motives to decision.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Hypallage (hy-pal’-la-ge): Shifting the application of words. Mixing the order of which words should correspond with which others. Also, sometimes, a synonym for metonymy (see Quintilian).

I was eating a piece of wistful chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream on top of it. I had worked for the Crown of Creation Casket Company for 45 years.

I am retiring, and this is my party.

My retirement gift is a beautiful burgundy smoking jacket made from the finest velvet the company uses to line it’s “Regal Cruise” selection of caskets.

I tried the jacket on in the men’s room and couldn’t help feeling like I was important–like I was going to a better place–not the better place where our clients go–just a better place, like the mall, or a state park, or the movies.

I nearly laughed out loud as I grabbed another piece of cake and scooped a giant plop of vanilla ice cream on top of it. There’s a problem: I don’t even smoke!


But, I do drink 4 glasses of wine every night.


You can sit in a big comfy chair and drink and smoke. Consequently, drinking won’t put undue strain, or wear, on the jacket! That is, like smoking, drinking is a sedentary activity. It may involve a bit more exercise, like getting up and pouring another drink, but by and large one sits and drinks just like one sits and smokes.

Problem solved: I will make my smoking jacket into a drinking jacket. Instead of keeping a lighter in its pocket, I’ll carry a corkscrew.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Hyperbaton (hy-per’-ba-ton): 1. An inversion of normal word order. A generic term for a variety of figures involving transposition, it is sometimes synonymous with anastrophe. 2. Adding a word or thought to a sentence that is already semantically complete, thus drawing emphasis to the addition.

There, ‘enough’ isn’t what it’s supposed to be. How does one get ‘enough’ happiness, beauty, love and the all the rest of want’s wanting–haunting every aspect of life’s ongoing disintegration, enough! Enough! Damn it! That’s enough! Quite enough.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

Hypozeuxis  (hyp-o-zook’-sis): Opposite of zeugma. Every clause has its own verb.

I forgot how to make bread, turned off the TV and sat on the floor. Things were getting too weird even for me. Why was I sitting on the floor? Why did I turn off the TV? How do I make bread?

It seems like only yesterday I was baking up a batch of whole wheat. Wait! There are at least eighty loaves of whole wheat bread scattered around the apartment. Am I seeing things? No, definitely not.

This proves my theory of memory. We only have ‘so much’ memory, then it’s gone. Clearly, I used up my bread baking memory baking all that bread. If I had done a loaf of whole wheat per month, my bread baking would’ve lasted 10 years!

Well, that does it for the bread. Now, it’s time to make dinner rolls–I know exactly how to make them. However, I will be prudent & never make more than 6 in one day. That way, I’ll remember how to make them for a long, long time–maybe until the end of the world (as we know it)!

Now, where did I put that flour?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Hysterologia (his-ter-o-lo’-gi-a): A form of hyperbaton or parenthesis in which one interposes a phrase between a preposition and its object.  Also, a synonym for hysteron proteron.

I was in with bare feet the recycling bin. Luckily there was no broken glass so I was able to dance the “Ecology Dance” in celebration of Earth Day.

It was awesome. As I danced, I became an organic cucumber anxious to ‘go salad’ for a happy little vegetarian family or single mom living a terrible life in the filthy crime-ridden city. I would bring magical ‘cuke rays’ to dispel her darkness, and allowing myself to be sliced up, become part of her fresh, safe, and healthy salad.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

Hysteron Proteron

Hysteron Proteron (his’-ter-on pro’-ter-on): Disorder of time. (What should be first, isn’t.)

The applause shook the building. I was on my way to my final performance of “Rigatoni.” Why am I hearing applause? Why am I in a building?

I’m not. I’m riding in a limo. Time is going forward and backward. I am a child. I am a baby. I am a teenager. I am warping full speed toward the end of my career. In 45 minutes I’ll be tossing the pasta for last time–smooth marinara sauce, spicy sausage, sumptuous cheese–stringy, sticky–the applause! Oh the applause. I haven’t done anything–the applause comes after, not before my performance of “Rigatoni.” Why am I hearing applause?

I’m watching the Weather Channel. I’m lost. How did I get here: I got out of the car. I got in the car. I took off my pajamas. I got in bed. I woke up. Oh, I know: it’s my birthday. Give me a drink and I’ll perform “Rigatoni.”

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (