Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless [can include oxymoron].
What do I believe. What rings my bell? What gets me going? What turns me on? What rocks my boat? Was it the mile-wide river I swam across when I was fifteen, with my dog balanced on my back, fleeing the Pathet Lao and escaping to the US? Was it my struggle on the streets of New York and my resolve to make something of myself? I sold fake Rolexes and Gucci scarves. I was arrested ten times and paid heavy fines, but never went to jail. Then one day, like magic, I saw the girl I had grown up with. We loved each other. She played the guitar and I sang. We resumed our connection, and soon, became extremely popular among the refugee population, where we sang Western music in a club frequented by refugees and others. So, we got married and we had you.
I know I am rambling here, but I can’t believe how I got here. I can’t believe how lucky I am, going from a boy running for his life, to a wealthy performer. I can’t believe I actually saw your mother on the street that day. It was nothing but luck, or fate, or something greater. It’s about this: you need a partner, you can’t do anything great all by yourself. That, I believe.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.
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Inter se pugnantia (in’-ter-say-pug-nan’-ti-a): Using direct address to reprove someone before an audience, pointing out the contradictions in that person’s character, often between what a person does and says.
I am sick and tired of dealing with your false persona—claiming to be fair, honest, and above reproach. Well, I’ve got a giant dose of reproach for you. You can’t be opposite people at the same time. You can’t say one thing and do another thing. You can’t keep concealing what you’re actually doing from what you say you’re doing. You can’t say you have a commitment to helping the poor when you’re condemning their homes, buying their homes, demolishing their homes and replacing them with high rise condos. The web of corruption enabling this to take place is wide and vile—in fact, it holds it together: public officials, private contractors riding on your rotten scheme, making money, ruining poor peoples’ lives. Everybody that can help the poor, from building inspectors to real estate brokers, is on your payroll: mostly government money you’ve looted— that you’ve stolen on behalf of yourself and your cronies.
Now, since I’ve spoken of your greed, duplicity, and illegal activities on the public record, my guess is that my life will be in jeopardy—that you’ll dig up a hitter from the garbage pile you call “My Colleagues.” While that may be coming, I’m not afraid. I’ve seen the sad look in the eyes of the dispossessed—especially the children. There, I see the future. There, I see my legacy as a public servant, restoring their hope, assuaging their fear. Besides, you’ll be indicted as soon as the evidence (which I’ve provided) hits the DA’s desk. You’re going down. Your mob is going down. Do you know how to spell Attica?
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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 a Kindle edition