Monthly Archives: July 2020

Chiasmus

Chiasmus (ki-az’-mus): 1. Repetition of ideas in inverted order.  2. Repetition of grammatical structures in inverted order (not to be mistaken with antimetabole, in which identical words are repeated and inverted).

I gave my life to my stamp collecting club. To my stamp collecting club I gave my life! My life dammnit!  Sitting for hours with a magnifying glass. Traveling great distances to meet with buyers and sellers. And then!

I am dumpster diving with my daughter on a hot June afternoon. We’re at the local college where the students have just left for the academic year. Each dorm has its own dumpster and the students toss a lot of good stuff–lamps, ball gowns, candy, even a wristwatch! But this year is special. My daughter retrieves what looks like a scrapbook. Whoa! Its a stamp collection. I page through it. All but one stamp is garbage–no value, as rare as the air we breathe. The one stamp that’s not total crap is almost a one-of-a-kind stamp: a stamp commemorating the invention of the yo-yo in 1210 BCE by Zeus Phallusidides, a Greek baklava merchant living in Sparta and supplying the Spartan government with tons of baklava for the naked army and also local peasants. He invented the yo-yo to distract his customers while his co-conspiritor Calliope Thermidor picked the customers’ purses.

Now, I had the stamp! It was worth at least $1,000,000.00. Climbing out of the dumpster, I tripped and fell in a puddle. I put my hand out to stop the fall and the stamp fell in the puddle. The puddle turned red–my hand was bleeding. We looked for the stamp for two hours, siphoning all the water from the puddle. No stamp. All we could find was a soggy fragment of baklava inscribed with a yo-yo.

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

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Chronographia

Chronographia (chro-no-graph’-i-a): Vivid representation of a certain historical or recurring time (such as a season) to create an illusion of reality. A kind of enargia: [the] generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description.

Summer is at its height–robust warmth encircles the green leaves and red, and pink, and blue flowers–birds, butterflies and bees make their rounds–earthworms, nectar, pollen–all natural, all the same as always all so beautiful to see and to care about. All is well in natural order, but all is not well with social order.

It is the worst of times. It is the season of malfeasance, lies, and outrages against the people: jailed, executed, buried in unmarked graves. They told us but we didn’t listen. “Fake news” we said as we were told he was going to declare martial law.

As part of this year’s census they will be scanning our birth certificates, and under the new “Long Time American Act” we are subject to incarceration and deportation no matter what our current citizenship status is. There’s more, but suffice it to say, we are no longer free.

The Fascist Revolution crept up on us like a stealthy cat. One day we woke up and it had all happened overnight: libraries closed, Internet shut down and the day’s newspapers burning in pits sending up the smoke of dread and oppression.

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

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Climax

Climax (cli’-max): Generally, the arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in an order of increasing importance, often in parallel structure.

I am not happy. I feel bad. I am going to cry:

Cry for the homeless people.

Cry the for the boys and girls in cages on the Texas/Mexico border.

Cry for the suffering of the 1,000s of people with COVID 19.

Cry for the US Constitution, pissed on,dragged through the dirt, soon to be burned and replaced with a ticket to dictatorship.

Our country is collapsing under the weight of lies, psychosis, and treason.

I don’t know what to do.

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

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Coenotes

Coenotes (cee’-no-tees): Repetition of two different phrases: one at the beginning and the other at the end of successive paragraphs. Note: Composed of anaphora and epistrophecoenotes is simply a more specific kind of symploce (the repetition of phrases, not merely words).

You made me love you. Everything was so beautiful. Colors were brighter. Food tasted better. I could see the stars more clearly. And now you’re going to leave me.

You made me love you like a puppy. I followed you around. I sat up and begged for biscuits. I fetched. I made cute whining sounds. And now you’re going to leave me.

You made me love you like sunlight and shadows; like ice cream, like gold, like Cornhole, like my weed eater. And now you’re going to leave me.

Today, when you announced your impending departure, I stopped loving you. Call me shallow, but I want back the $10.00 I loaned you last week, my Bluetooth earbuds, my vape pen, my Guns N’ Roses t-shirt, my drone, my Bible, and my cordless toy.

I’ll help you leave: I’m kicking you out of the apartment. Whatever you leave behind will be burned in the parking lot or donated to Salvation Army.

I never want to see your tattooed ass ever again. Go ahead and leave me. Two weeks with you was enough. In fact, it was too much! You’re a two-legged sow!

Whoa! Put down the steak knife. That’s not funny. . . .

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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

 

Colon

Colon (ko’-lon): Roughly equivalent to “clause” in English, except that the emphasis is on seeing this part of a sentence as needing completion, either with a second colon (or membrum) or with two others (forming a tricolon). When cola (or membra) are of equal length, they form isocolon.

Colon or membrum 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 slower speed of concatenated membra to the quicker speed of words joined together without conjunction (articulus).

I love Tide. The bubbles pop. They scintillate wickedly. There is nothing like laundry getting beaten around–bunka-hunka, bunka-hunka, bunka-hunka. Its like the backbeat on so many rock n’ roll songs. If only washing machines could sing they would eclipse over half of today’s rockers:

Mickey Stag and the washing machines. Set one machine on delicate for the low tone and one machine on heavy duty to spin our heads around–bunka-hunka, bunka hunka:

I started washin’ my clothes today,

because my honey went away

Bunka-Hunka Bunka-Hunka hey, hey, hey

I loaded the washer with a pile of clothes

They was dirty, I could tell with my nose

Bunka-Hunka, Bunka-Hunka hey, hey, hey

I’m gonna wash my blues away.

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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Commoratio

Commoratio (kom-mor-a’-ti-o): Dwelling on or returning to one’s strongest argument. Latin equivalent for epimone.

I think we are losing our train of thought. Remember, the strongest argument we can summon? I think it has something to do with his hair as a major reason to reelect him. As you will recall, we likened it to well- sculpted icing on a birthday cake, and then we drew the inference that it celebrates everything he stands for: unhealthy and deliciously wicked food, powerful arguments about birth certificates and citizenship–all he needs to do is point at his head and and smile and the electorate will bend to his will. He just needs to make sure that his finger does not stick to the “secret gel” his devoted hairdresser uses to shape his hair.

So, its all about the hair–it is a sort of hairku that mystically summons awareness of what’s up and what’s down by pointing toward what’s up and shooting at what’s down. His blinding white smile is like the burning bush. His hair knows God.

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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Comparatio

Comparatio (com-pa-ra’-ti-o): A general term for a comparison, either as a figure of speech or as an argument. More specific terms are generally employed, such as metaphorsimileallegory, etc.

Living in the USA is like living in a once-beautiful cruise ship that has run aground and is slowly rusting on the rocks.  If some kind of salvage operation isn’t undertaken soon, it will slip into the sea and disappear forever.

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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Comprobatio

Comprobatio (com-pro-ba’-ti-o): Approving and commending a virtue, especially in the hearers.

You are all awake! I commend you, class, for listening to me blabber for the past hour. I had nothing interesting to say, and clearly don’t know what I’m talking about, but your amazing attempts to look interested in my lecture warmed my heart and made me decide not to kill myself in the parking lot after class.

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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

 

Conduplicatio

Conduplicatio (con-du-pli-ca’-ti-o): The repetition of a word or words. A general term for repetition sometimes carrying the more specific meaning of repetition of words in adjacent phrases or clauses. Sometimes used to name either ploce or epizeuxis.

Why? Why? Why do I need s motor scooter? Why? Why not? Nobody has ever been killed driving one, except the guy who stood up going under a bridge overpass and lost his head right there. I would never do anything like that unless I wanted to die. He probably wanted to die.

Well. ok, according to your book of facts there are at least 110 recorded deaths per year of drivers of motor scooters. Damn it all anyhow. I’m too old to walk everywhere. I guess I could just go with Uber or find some some charitable organization that gives old people rides. Or, I could hitchhike–just like back in the 60s, man. That’s how I met your mother. She picked me up outside of Salt Lake City and we’ve been together, off and on, for the past 40-something years. We both take the same medications and enjoy listening to Hall & Oats. I don’t mind eating vegetables all the time, although sneaking down to MacDonald’s helps keep my digestion in balance; that along with my “Poo Brauen” (“Poo Brew”)–a special low-impact bowel mover concocted by a 16th century German Nobleman named Sir Smoothy Sphincterhosen. He invented “Poo Brauen” originally for Martin Luther, a religious figure known for his horrendous constipation. Sir Sphincterhosen probably added 10 years to Luther’s life and helped usher in the Protestant Reformation.

I bet Martin Luther would’ve had a motor scooter, zipping around Germany, hunting Papists, and pooping regularly. Why not Me?

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

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Congeries

Congeries (con’ger-eez): Piling up words of differing meaning but for a similar emotional effect [(akin to climax)].

Masked, wary, frightened, and determined, crawling through the grocery store staying below the killer mist drifting up and down the aisles. We need food, but if it’s not on the floor I won’t touch it–advice of FOX TV News. I crawl past a woman standing up examining a head of lettuce. I tell her to get down with me or she will die. She laughs and beans me on the head with the lettuce. Ha! Now it’s on the floor. I grab the lettuce and crawl as fast as I can to checkout. My knees are bleeding. My back hurts. I don’t think I’ll watch Fox TV News any more.

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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Consonance

Consonance: The repetition of consonants in words stressed in the same place (but whose vowels differ). Also, a kind of inverted alliteration, in which final consonants, rather than initial or medial ones, repeat in nearby words. Consonance is more properly a term associated with modern poetics than with historical rhetorical terminology.

Too bad for quiet Eddie. It was just a matter of time before he flipped. Today, he caught his wife standing naked in the back of the laundromat and some guy running out the back door–butt in full view. He started questioning her–he was pushing too hard. She had a psycho streak that he had stepped around for the past 15 years. She started yelling and the naked stranger came back through the back door. “Whatsa matter honey?” “His teeth are too yellow,” she answered, picking up a bottle of bleach. Eddie turned, said “dead” and fainted. The naked stranger grabbed Eddie by his limp shoulders, “Let’s brighten up your smile pretty boy.”

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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Correctio

Correctio (cor-rec’-ti-o): The amending of a term or phrase just employed; or, a further specifying of meaning, especially by indicating what something is not (which may occur either before or after the term or phrase used). A kind of redefinition, often employed as a parenthesis (an interruption) or as a climax.

You’re a shit for brains. Uh, well, I mean, your brain is a fertile plain littered with life’s organic droppings. Very fertile. Like overflow from a sewage treatment facility. Is that better?

Yes. Now I get it. Thanks for the compliment. I will tell Ivanka how fluent you are. You’re welcome.

Now, got to hell. Uh, well. I mean . . .

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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Deesis

Deesis (de’-e-sis): An adjuration (solemn oath) or calling to witness; or, the vehement expression of desire put in terms of “for someone’s sake” or “for God’s sake.”

DT: I swear by all that’s holy that I did not know about the bounties.

NP: Ok. What is “all that’s holy?”

DT: Money, young babes, and money, and more, lot’s more, money.

NP: Where’s God in your list? Is God there?

DT: No, God’s a bigger con than me. Ha Ha. Just kidding.

NP: I believe you knew about the bounties and ignored them in exchange for some young (Russian) women in your suite at Mar-A-Lago and a big pay off. We have surveillance video of you in bed with couple of women. Although you seem to be asleep, there you are.

DT: Fake news.

NP: The truth.

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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.