Aetiologia (ae-ti-o-log’-i-a): A figure of reasoning by which one attributes a cause for a statement or claim made, often as a simple relative clause of explanation.

A: We should go backpacking in Belarus because it’s a strange place that nobody goes to. No fighting crowds of rude American tourists!

I got this blurb about Minsk from the Tripadviser website: “Minsk is a unique city where you can feel the spirit of the lost USSR epoch. The city has the biggest in the world complex of Stalinist Empire style architecture, statues to soviet leaders which still stay untouched around the country, and the remnants of communism era left at different corners.” Also, Belarus is run by a dictator! Just think, we’ll get a glimpse of how things will be if Trump gets re-elected!

B: I would consider going, but I think you’re crazy. I don’t want go anywhere because it’s “so strange” nobody goes there! I really don’t see the value of looking at Stalinist architecture. Stalin was a brutal murdering pig. The buildings should be demolished and, oh, if I said that out loud in Belarus, I’d probably be looking at jail time. Again, I’m sorry: there is no way in hell I want to tour a dictatorship that celebrates Stalin. I’d just as soon tour Afghanistan! What about Costa Rica or Canada?

A: Wait, we’re both Canadian. Where’s joy in trekking around our own country?

B: The joy is because we’ve hardly ever been out of Toronto. How about the Maritimes? We could get a of couple kayaks.

A: I’m in!

B: Ok! Let’s start our research now and put our plan together.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Video readings of the examples are posted on YouTube: “All the figures of speech: Johnnie Anaphora.”

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