Protherapeia (pro-ther-a-pei’-a): Preparing one’s audience for what one is about to say through conciliating words. If what is to come will be shocking, the figure is called prodiorthosis.

We take too much for granted. Life seems to go on over the smoothness of our daily routines—called “hum drum” because they drone on, beating out their beat monotonously. But then, in a couple of hours, this morning, the mall burned down: right to the ground. Now, it’s a smoking heap. Who could know? Who would ever believe there would be a riot that put the mall in flames? What started with a small peaceful group protesting the parking lot’s inability to accommodate all shoppers’ cars, turned into the most destructive criminal act in our city’s history. But don’t worry: the perpetrators (mostly from out of town) will be brought to justice and the mall will be rebuilt with a larger parking lot. All will be made well.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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