Ratiocinatio (ra’-ti-o-cin-a’-ti-o): Reasoning (typically with oneself) by asking questions. Sometimes equivalent to anthypophora. More specifically, ratiocinatio can mean making statements, then asking the reason (ratio) for such an affirmation, then answering oneself. In this latter sense ratiocinatiois closely related to aetiologia. [As a questioning strategy, it is also related to erotima {the general term for a rhetorical question}.]

When I was 10: Can I become a millionaire? Yes! This is America—anything’s possible.

When I was 20: Can I become a millionaire? It’s possible! Finish college and move on up.

When I was 30: Can I become a millionaire? There’s a chance. Manage my investments and take risks.

When I was 40: Can I become a millionaire? Fat chance. I lost everything in the stock market and got laid off. There’s still an outside chance to make a million, but it’s not going to be pretty.

When I was 50: I am a millionaire. I’m living in Costa Rica. I barely escaped the US—I walked across the Tijuana border crossing, took a bus to Mexico City, and flew to Costa Rica. Here in Costa Rica, I “collect” ancient artifacts. I do a service to collectors by displaying them on the dark web. Actually I am a multimillionaire, but I’m stuck in Costa Rica.

When I was 60: When will I be paroled? I just wanted to visit my dying father. Bam: handcuffed at the luggage carousel at LAX. Trial. Conviction. Prison. 10 years. Parole possible in 5 years, and my father’s still alive. Damn.

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

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. There is also a Kindle edition available.

Comments are closed.