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” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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