Daily Archives: January 19, 2022


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).

You’re no Albert Einstein, but you’re good enough to teach here at Ponzi University. You will be teaching mathematics, physics and horseback riding, three subjects that you not qualified to teach, but the Trustees want you to teach anyway. Given the quality of students we attract, nobody will be the wiser. Just don’t get anybody seriously injured or killed, unless you are told to: as we say, “Anything’s possible at Ponzi.” That covers us for liability and was made up by Billy Bar, one of our most devious alums who bribed his way through law school and paid a real law student to take his bar exam. When he took horseback riding, he never managed to mount a horse, let alone saddle it, and was permitted to draw a picture of My Little Pony to pass the course.

So, welcome to Ponzi University, one of the most successful scams in the history of higher education. Never forget: here at Ponzi, if you can fake it, you can make it. If you can’t, somebody might find you naked in a landfill, dismembered in a suitcase, or holding a sort of tenure, working for life on the janitorial staff.

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

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