Expeditio


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]).

Why did you vote for Donald Trump?

1. You thought he could get things done?

2. You thought he was going to make life better for you?

or

3. He is honest and trustworthy?

Three strikes! He has turned out to be none of the above. Just read the papers!

(Oh, that’s right–the truth is fake news.)

Maybe you need to reassess your motives and prepare for the next election! There are actually politicians who exemplify the virtues you are looking for. Look for those politicians! Vote for those politicians. Forget about Trump. He is a big phony.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text

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