Monthly Archives: March 2017


Antimetathesis (an-ti-me-ta’-the-sis): Inversion of the members of an antithesis.

You are big.

You are small.

Big and small. Small and big.

Your belly hangs over your pants–so big!

Your conscience can dance on the head of pin–so small.

Big body. Tiny soul.

You need help. A good diet and exercise program will help your body. Maybe psychological counseling will help your soul.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Antiprosopopoeia (an-ti-pro-so-po-pe’-i-a): The representation of persons [or other animate beings] as inanimate objects. This inversion of prosopopoeia or personification can simply be the use of a metaphor to depict or describe a person [or other animate being].

A: Hey Weedwhacker!  How’s the landscaping business going?

B: Come on, my name is Edward–I’m not a piece of lawn maintenance equipment!

A:  Ha! Ha! Weedwhacker has a first name! Hey Edward Weedwhacker, how’s the landscaping business going?

B: I got your weedwhacker–and you’re a big fat weed. Get over there against the fence! Right now! Pull up your pants legs or I’ll shove this weedwhacker into your face.

A: Ok. Ok.

Ow! Ow! Hell! What’re you doing? Ow! No! No! My ankles are bleeding! Stop it! Pleeeeease!

B: What’s my name?

A: Edward. Edward. Edward. Your name is Edward. Edward!

B: Very good Weeny Weed-head. I’ve got to get back to work now. Please don’t ever bother me again when I’m on the job. You’re lucky I didn’t mow you.

A: OK Edward, I get the message, but I’m going to have you arrested.

What’s that?

B: Hedge clippers. But, in your case, we’ll call them head clippers.

A: I promise, I won’t have you arrested! I swear. Get away from me!

No . . . !

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



Antirrhesis (an-tir-rhee’-sis): Rejecting reprehensively the opinion or authority of someone.

Why do I hear “quack, quack, quack” when you start talking about climate change? Do you really think the white lab coat you’re wearing gives you any credibility? Maybe, if you’re playing Ken & Barbie and you’re modeling Ken’s Halloween costume, it would work to afford you some credibility, but only as Dr. Barbie’s bumbling sidekick Prof. Hoax.

As far as being a ‘real’ scientist goes, the white coat’s not enough–especially when you start talking about so-called “natural” forces as the cause of climate change, rather than human agency.  The ‘natural forces’ you cite are humanly induced effects first, and secondarily, causes of bad things: like melting polar icecaps, flooding Pacific islands, destruction of coral reefs, wildfires, etc.

The only positive thought I have whenever I hear you speak is that it is your Constitutional right to do so. That’s after I yell “boo!” at you and wonder once again, who the hell is paying you to fill peoples’ heads with lies and nonsense. In short, who’s the evil rich person buying the bullshit you’re selling? Who?

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Definition courtesy of Silva Rhetoricae (

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Antisagoge (an-tis-a-go’-gee): 1. Making a concession before making one’s point (=paromologia); 2. Using a hypothetical situation or a precept to illustrate antithetical alternative consequences, typically promises of reward and punishment.

1. I know I’m not the smartest person in the world, but it does not take a genius to drive a school bus. It takes a spotless driving record, a sense of direction, an abundance of patience, consistent promptness, and genuine concern for the kids’ well being.

I’m blessed with all four of those attributes!  Whoops. I mean all five of those attributes.

Do I get the job?

2. So you want a pet turtle. Ok, but on one condition: Neither I nor your father will have anything to do with it.

But now, imagine this: You’ve been invited to go snowboarding for the weekend. You plan on being gone for 3 nights and 2 days.

As you’re packing in your room, your turtle looks up at you with his little beady black eyes. Already, the lettuce you gave him for breakfast is turning brown. His water is hosting an armada of little turtle poops, is starting to smell like rotten eggs, and may be brewing a batch of salmonella.

How are you going to make sure your turtle gets fed and has clean water to paddle around in?

It comes down to this: Either you stay home and take care of the turtle and the turtle continues to flourish, or you go snowboarding and let the little guy possibly die. What will it be: take care of turtle or go on snowboarding trip?

You can’t realistically go snowboarding and take care of the turtle (unless you get one of your so-called friends to help–which, given your friends, is a very remote possibility).

Given that some version of this dilemma will happen over and over, I think, for you, not being tied down by a turtle is your best option.

In summary:

No turtle=go snowboarding for the weekend. Have turtle=stay home for the weekend.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Antistasis (an-ti’-sta-sis): The repetition of a word in a contrary sense. Often, simply synonymous with antanaclasis.

You should be sorry for being such a sorry example of parenting. Some people shine at parenting, you can’t even shine your grubby-looking shoes.

Don’t you think you embarrass our children? Ned does not to be seen in public with you. Nel wants to divorce us. I don’t know if it’s legal, but she says she’s going to try.

Put down the beer. Take a shower. Brush your teeth. Put on some deodorant. Comb your hair. Change your underwear. Try shaving for God’s sake!

Bottom line: change your act or my next act will be starting proceedings toward a divorce.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Antisthecon (an-tis’-the-con): Substitution of one sound, syllable, or letter for another within a word. A kind of metaplasm: the general term for changes to word spelling.

Your proposals are a bunch Coop doop! Your ideas are like little pellets shot out of a rabbit’s butt and stuck in the wire mesh floor of your muddled brain’s imagination.

Get a life. Find a purpose. Bad ideas are bad ideas–just because you support them Donny, it does not make them worthy of my vote, or anybody else’s for that matter. You are not a King or a Dictator.

You should consider getting out of politics before it’s too late.  You should get back to plastering your name on anything anybody will pay for. I know there’s a damarama ding-dong landfill somewhere that should have your name on it. After all, it seems you have an affinity for making garbage and talking trash!


Trump Dump–A familiar smell?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

I look up and you look down. I look down and you look up.

In our antithetical gazes do we contradict each other or do we compliment each other? And what’s between us? What’s between your up and my down, my up and your down?

What’s between us is us.

There is no other place for us to be: we are created between the oppositions and may recognize and work out our juxtaposed differences there–where, perhaps, up and down set the limits of our individual and unique identities, and in the in-between-space, the differences are a platform that we jump from into the fields of us–we lose me and you. We take mutual responsibility for what we do in between the opposites, what we make here is us.

Blame evaporates in our shared space, where together we constitute our quality of life on the foundation of us: not you, not me, but US.

Who is to blame? We are to blame.

Who should be praised? We should be praised.

Who should be pitied? Maybe you and me, but not us!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Antitheton (an-tith’-e-ton): A proof or composition constructed of contraries. Antitheton is closely related to and sometimes confused with the figure of speech that juxtaposes opposing terms, antithesis. However, it is more properly considered a figure of thought (=Topic of Invention: Contraries [a topic of invention in which one considers opposite or incompatible things that are of the same kind (if they are of different kinds, the topic of similarity / difference is more appropriate). Because contraries occur in pairs and exclude one another, they are useful in arguments because one can establish one’s case indirectly, proving one’s own assertion by discrediting the contrary]).

Good and evil. Darkness and light. No middle ground. A site of choice-making that makes choosing easy. But, if we don’t find an in-between to complicate our choice-making we run the risk of being blinded to what amounts to a chasm between either/or as we fail to bridge it with compromise. We must co-create a measure of shared hope borne on a joint project undertaken in a spirit of moderation well-suited to democracy’s messiness and freedom’s fields of fallibility.

Reject the binary pairs, roll up your sleeves, and rejoice in the working through of differences undertaken in the space between extremes.

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Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apagoresis (a-pa-gor’-e-sis): A statement designed to inhibit someone from doing something. Often uses exaggeration [or hyperbole] to persuade. It may combine an exaggeration with a cause/effect or antecedent/consequence relationship. The consequences or effects of such a phrase are usually exaggerated to be more convincing.

You thought Obamacare was a bad deal. Look at what’s coming our way through Congress to replace it!

Trumpcare (or whatever you want to call it) mistakenly uses the word “care” as in “health care.” As I read it, it should be called the “The Republicans and Trump Don’t Care About Sick People Death Warrant.”

If it passes in its present state (or even with further modifications to appease the Republican Conservative Evildoers), you are screwed–yes–Totally SCREWED. It’s like a health insurance plan for people who will never use it, because, if they do, it will cost an arm and a leg and probably their feet and some fingers too & that’s just for treating something like a case of the flu.

So, if you are prepared to die, support Trumpcare–it’ll kill you soon enough. When you see your insurance premium and your policy’s scope of coverage you’ll be clutching your chest and dialing 911. Can you do that–clutch & dial? Better start practicing. Or, better start calling your Republican Representative and begging her or him NOT to support the legislation.

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


Aphaeresis (aph-aer’-e-sis): The omission of a syllable or letter at the beginning of a word. A kind of metaplasm.

‘Round, and ’round, and ’round she goes. Where she stops, I think I know: The MacDonald’s drive through on Erie Blvd. She loves those chocolate shakes, French fries, and quarter-pounders with cheese, and it’s just about dinner time.

Let’s go see if we can find ‘er. Maybe we can all eat together. That would be fun! Here we go!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Aphorismus ( a-phor-is’-mus): Calling into question the proper use of a word.

You call that health insurance? It looks more like a death warrant! It’ll deprive millions of people of health insurance by driving up monthly premium costs.

Can you imagine having to pay half your monthly salary for health insurance? You better start imagining it and contact your representative in Congress and let them know you’ll never vote for them again if Trumpcare becomes the law of the land.

Trumpcare is a heartless inhumane piece of legislation, laced with cruelty and a complete lack of empathy for the thousands of people who will die as a result of its passage. In sum, Trumpcare is plainly evil–the work of Devils disguising themselves as Congressional saints.

I guess if you want to serve Satan, that’s your business. Go ahead and support Trumpcare.

Oh, if you can, give my regards to the Evil One at the rally that’s due here in a couple of weeks. I’ll be home reading my Bible and praying for your soul.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apocarteresis (a-po-car-ter’-e-sis): Casting of all hope away from one thing and placing it on another source altogether.

YOU: Do you remember the dollar bill? It used to be as good as gold, but that’s not the case any more. I’m putting everything I have in cash into gold. Gold will never let me down. Paper money is increasingly questionable. If inflation doesn’t get you, the Apocalypse will.

Given my faith and convictions I will survive the Apocalypse. I will walk out of my bunker a little thinner and a little wiser, and in my hands I’ll have my war chest filled with bright shiny golden planchets ready to be minted into survivors’ currency!

ME: How are you going to protect your gold from the marauding hordes that will surely be ravaging the world?

YOU: Machine gun and lots of ammo. That’s the other thing I’m in the process of taking care of: how to most efficiently dispatch  the Godless marauders. I’m stocking up on automatic weapons. Most of them have seen action in Syria! Can’t go wrong there. So, although I’ve just got this one machine gun now, I’m hoping to have at least five in the next six months–then I’ll be ready for anything! I’m currently in the market for a rocket launcher. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do with it, but it sounds impressive: R-O-C-K-E-T  L-A-U-N-C-H-E-R.  Woo hoo!

Given our new President’s predilections, you better consider stocking up on gold and guns too.

ME: That’s a bunch of BS. I’m sticking with paper money and my credit card, and possibly, Bitcoins. As far as weapons go, that’s just inviting trouble. You should expect a visit from ATF.

Bottom line: I think you’ve gone way around the bend.

YOU: Go away! Get out! You poor fool. You’ll see! And make sure to keep your mouth shut, or else. Got it? We are no longer friends.

ME: When were we friends in the first place?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apocope (a-pok’-o-pe): Omitting a letter or syllable at the end of a word. A kind of metaplasm.

Am I havin’ fun yet? Ha!  I’ve been tryin’ to win this goldfish for  about an hour. I think I tossed aroun’ a hundred ping-pong balls and spent around fifty dollars. If I win it, it’s goin’ to be the world’s most expensive goldfish ever.

Help me get out of here before I spend my daughter’s lunch money, my mortgage payment, and my car payment too! I’m out of control!

Take me home from the Fair!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apodioxis (ap-o-di-ox’-is): Rejecting of someone or something (such as the adversary’s argument) as being impertinent, needless, absurd, false, or wicked.

What? You say you need to have a tattoo of a USB cable done on your right butt cheek to balance out the tattoo on your left butt cheek?  Come on, don’t be absurd!

Maybe you need to “balance out” how you think about tattoos! I still don’t know why you have a MAC-Book tattooed on your left butt cheek! As far as I’m concerned, the only thing that will balance out the MAC-Book would be its removal, and I’m willing to pay for it!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apodixis (a-po-dix’-is): Proving a statement by referring to common knowledge or general experience.

ME: What?

It’s 23 below zero outside. I don’t have a coat on (my coat’s in the front hall closet). Do you really think I would be outside singing the National Anthem and banging on the windows a little while ago? I would freeze to death.  Here–here’s my coat–feel it–it’s room temperature! I couldn’t have been outside in the past ten minutes. My coat would still be cold.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apophasis (a-pof’-a-sis): The rejection of several reasons why a thing should or should not be done and affirming a single one, considered most valid.

Should I get another hamster?

1. No–I have too many hamsters all ready–7 should be enough!

2. No–there’s a constant sound of hamster wheels whirling in the background of my life. Adding more will drive me insane.

3. No–their health insurance is astronomical: $22.00 with a huge deductible for the MetLife Rodent Plan.

4. No–they are very prolific–I have to have separate cages for males and females.

Ah, what the hell. I think I’ll get 3 more. The way they look at me with their big bulgy dark eyes makes all their drawbacks fade into nothing!

Headed to the Pet Store! I’ll buy some hamster food & definitely some of those little hamster hats too!

Uh oh–last problem: I’m running out of names.

I’ll start using numbers!

Problem solved!

Eight, Nine, and Ten, I’m coming to get you!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apoplanesis (a-po-plan’-e-sis): Promising to address the issue but effectively dodging it through a digression.

Wolf: What can you tell us about some of Tumpcare’s negative consequences? For example: 25 million people will lose their current coverage–they will join the ranks of the uninsured, even if they are fully employed–some will surely die. What about that?

Donald: Negative consequences? I wrote that damn bill myself Wolf! Sure, Ryan and his committee were there–a gaggle of supposedly silent partners who were  actually making choking sounds and giggling while I did the heavy lifting. Well actually, I had a little help from my daughter Ivanka (the smart one).

But really–the negative consequences are coming from the fake news coverage–that’s the only place: the enema–whoops–I mean the enemy of the people: they continue to sh**t the place up.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Aporia (a-po’-ri-a): Deliberating with oneself as though in doubt over some matter; asking oneself (or rhetorically asking one’s hearers) what is the best or appropriate way to approach something [=diaporesis].

Everything’s going so well! I mean it! “Excellent” is the right word for it! Perfection: stock market, jobs report–up, up–breaking records. This is real perfection–not fake perfection! Well maybe “perfection” does not apply across the board.

Sadly, I’ve been given a sort of a mandate by a Congressman I don’t like or respect–it consists of two options.

What should I do?

Hand over the evidence or drop the charges and apologize?

What a pair! You all know I mean the two options–the pair of options! Ha! ha!. What a pair! Right?

What should I do?

Maybe I’ll give both options a Presidential squeeze, and see what kind of a response I get.

Still deciding.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Aposiopesis (a-pos-i-o-pee’-sis): Breaking off suddenly in the middle of speaking, usually to portray being overcome with emotion.

My hands are freezing. Little Joram is shivering in his stroller.  I can’t walk much farther in this frozen . . . it, it, it’s just not right.  Will they give us food and shelter? Will we be arrested? What will become of us? How far is the border?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apostrophe (a-pos’-tro-phe): Turning one’s speech from one audience to another. Most often, apostrophe occurs when one addresses oneself to an abstraction, to an inanimate object, or to the absent.

Everything is gone. My family and my home are swept away. I am at a loss for words. I feel sick to my stomach, but, I want to say something to the River.

Cruel River: you have taken all that I have loved.

Powerful River: you have destroyed what took a life-time to build.

Wild River: If I could dam you, you would be tamed and never again murder innocent people and wash away their homes.

But there’s only one way I can dam you and that is to damn you: to curse you, to pour out my anger and rage: rotten river, filthy river, stinking river: conveyer of mayhem, tragic heart breaking loss, and deep emotional pain: DAMN you foul waterway: DAMN you today, tomorrow and forever.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

“When the going gets tough, it’s time to go home.”

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


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

Given the largely negative reaction to the undocumented Tweets alleging illegal wiretaps conducted by former President Obama against President Trump, Trump may want to find more productive ways to work the Tweetsosphere.

That is, the White House should consider using  Twitter to create realistic, upbeat, well-considered fact-based “headlines” for each day. That is, something like “President Trump Resigns” could keynote a given day in a very positive light and help put the USA back on course.

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.

Damn. Damn. Damn.


I am sick of the lies spewing out of President Trump. It seems that he does not realize (or care) how foolish he looks, or the gravity of accusing people of crimes without offering any supporting evidence.

Who is protecting him? How does he get away with it?

He is driving me crazy: Maybe that’s his point!

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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.

Libya. Sudan. Yemen. Syria. Iran. Somalia.

Excluded. Xed-out. Persona non gratis. Don’t call us, we’ll call you!

That’s how we do refugee resettlement and immigration now.

Let’s see how well excluding six countries’ refugees  and immigrants works to keep terrorists out of the USA!

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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 like borscht.

2. Where did you get that expensive vodka?

3. Your answers are like pieces of fruit with all the juice squeezed out.

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