Monthly Archives: May 2018

Tricolon

Tricolon (tri-co-lon): Three parallel elements of the same length occurring together in a series.

The tree had fallen. My house was crushed. My insurance had lapsed.

Now, what would I do?

I packed what I could in my truck. I backed out of the driveway without looking. I got hit by a bulldozer pushing branches.

No car insurance. No common sense. No Plan B.

Damn. Crap. Hell.

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

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Abating

Abating: English term for anesis: adding a concluding sentence that diminishes the effect of what has been said previously. The opposite of epitasis (the addition of a concluding sentence that merely emphasizes what has already been stated. A kind of amplification).

Your haircut is very stylish. Too bad that the ‘style’ is somewhere between a terrier tonsure and a vulture mullet!

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

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Abbaser

Abbaser [George] Puttenham’s English term for tapinosis. Also equivalent to meiosis: reference to something with a name disproportionately lesser than its nature (a kind of litotes: deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite).

Nice death rock–how many people died from the civil wars your big sparkly stone and others like it have afforded? Or, maybe your fiancé checked its point of origin? Anyway, it signifies your engagement–but possibly your engagement in something far more sinister than you imagined when your future spouse slipped it on your finger.

If there’s no way of telling whether it has blood on it, you should give it back. Otherwise, every time you look at it, you may see murder and mayhem, rape and starvation rather than love and building a beautiful future together.

Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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Abecedarian

Abecedarian (a-be-ce-da’-ri-an): An acrostic whose letters do not spell a word but follow the order (more or less) of the alphabet.

A big cloud descended everywhere, fiendishly generating hexamethylenetetramine onto jurisdictions, kens, locations, municipalities, nooks, oceans, ponds–quickly ruining sausages, tacos, upma, vanilla wafers, yams, zucchinis–all set out on a long table to celebrate Abraham Washington’s birthday.

Soon, everything will go up in flames and the world will end. I wish Pruitt had listened to the real environmentalists’ advice. Instead, he flew first class to the South Pole “where it is too cold for fire.” He’s an idiot. He has killed us all.

However, there may be hope yet! Jeff Sessions says he can “arrest” the fire with a “handful” of dedicated, brave and sober Federal Marshals.

Oh well, he may as well be at the South Pole with Pruitt.

Sad to say, it’s over.

Post your own abecedarian on the “Comments” page!

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

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Accismus

Accismus (ak-iz’-mus): A feigned refusal of that which is earnestly desired.

Don: A Nobel Prize nomination? Oh–I don’t deserve it. I am but a humble public servant. Saving the world is simply a part of my job description along with cheating on the First Lady, winning the Korean War, separating babies from their mothers at the Mexican border, and collecting pictures of Mother Pence bending over.

I’m just doing my job. Thanks anyway. However, if you can’t find anybody else, give my attorney Rudy a call. He’s not too bright, but he knows how to use a cellphone.

Nobel: Sorry for the confusion Don. It’s your son Don Jr. who has received a nomination for his work as a ‘Get Hillary’ collaborator with a Russian operative at one of your hotels.

Don: What? My son is a marginally functional idiot! I make him look like the hair gel addict he really is!

Nobel: Again, sorry for the mix-up Don. The bottom line is that you did not receive a nomination and it is probably because there is no reason to nominate you, given your track record as President so far–you know, sparking trade wars with most of the world and driving US farmers and factories out of business, nominating a known torturer to run CIA, spending $80,000,000 on a military parade when veterans are living in the streets, pulling out of the Paris Agreement, taking money from the Children’s Health Insurance Program, declaring open season on Grizzly bears, scrapping the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and more!

Don: Ok Nobel, that does it. I’m taking you down–you and your two-bit awards are going to disappear.  It will be dynamite–ha ha–when we invade your stupid little commie country and bomb the hell out of Stockholm–maybe even drop the ‘Big  One’ on one of your commie hospitals. I’m calling Ollie North right now! He commands my elite private NRA army and will gladly commit its cache of semi-automatic assault weapons and nearly moronic members to the cause! Beware!

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

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Acervatio

Acervatio (ak-er-va’-ti-o): Latin term Quintilian employs for both asyndeton (acervatio dissoluta: a loose heap) and polysyndeton (acervatio iuncta: a conjoined heap).

Asyndeton: the omission of conjunctions between clauses, often resulting in a hurried rhythm or vehement effect.

Go, hurry, move it! Don’t stop now! Let’s end debate and vote on the insane immigration policy before King Pee Wee Brain changes his mind again about the direction the country should be headed. I know it may be a mistake, but having the NRA work together with ICE to police hapless immigrants and elderly homeless people might just make the USA a better place–a better place than what, I don’t know. Maybe an overflowing septic tank or the surface of Mars? However it does not matter: in order to keep the party intact and mini-brain in office we have to make it look like there is strong consensus on everything coming forward–a consensus that squares with turtle brain’s dimwitted hopes. So–move it, move it, move it!

Polysydeton: employing many conjunctions between clauses, often slowing the tempo or rhythm.

He told us he did not pay the hush money and it was his lawyer who had all the answers, and then his new lawyer told us he has paid the money, and then he told us he did’t pay the money, and then he told us he paid the money, and his new lawyer told us he may have paid tons more than first disclosed to more women to shut them up. At that point he shut up. Did he pay himself to shut himself up? You’ll have to ask his lawyer Rudy, who seems to be a little stupid. But is he stupid like a fox? I don’t think so. I think he’s stupid like a duck.

Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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Acoloutha

Acoloutha: The substitution of reciprocal words; that is, replacing one word with another whose meaning is close enough to the former that the former could, in its turn, be a substitute for the latter. This term is best understood in relationship to its opposite, anacoloutha.

Donald was eating really fast. The food was quickly headed to the cavern under his belt called Belly. Belly ruled Donald’s life and it showed in the upwardly changing size of his presidential pants. Donald was worried that he was becoming fatter than the North Korean dictator and that he would soon lose a key point of ridicule at the negotiating table: Little Fat Boy–what he planned to call him–to cow him and make him pliable. But now, Donald was becoming Big Fat Boy: how he loved KFC; more than he loved his wife and daughter, Sean Hannity and Vlad Putin put together.

“This is an emergency” he said to his new physician Admiral Dr. Frankenstiner. The Doctor grimly nodded and turned on his fettabsaugung–a fat sucking machine made in the Black Forest in a former Cuckoo clock factory.

Donald cried out in pain as his fat oozed from the machine and dripped onto the floor. Dr. Frakenstiner said “A handgun won’t do you much good now Fat Man.”

The doctor’s face mask fell off. It was the North Korean Dictator! He had a sock stuffed with kimchi. He stuffed it into Donald’s mouth. Donald began chewing furiously–like a monkey with a piece of candy.

It was all to no avail. North Korea has annexed Oregon and Donald is nursing a broken jaw. Donald lamented: “If I could’ve spoken more clearly through the sock and kimchi, Oregon would still be ours. Ceding Oregon to North Korea is a pretty bad thing, but not as bad as Obama when he . . . “

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

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Acrostic

Acrostic: When the first letters of successive lines are arranged either in alphabetical order (= abecedarian) or in such a way as to spell a word.

Truth

Troublesome.

Ruthless.

Unbendable.

Trusted since the beginning of civilization.

Helps combat injustice.

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

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.