Daily Archives: July 22, 2022


Apoplanesis (a-po-plan’-e-sis): Promising to address the issue but effectively dodging it through a digression.

There is snow on the roof, snow on the sidewalk and the driveway. Who’s going to take care of it? There’s snow in the yard! Snow, snow, snow. Somebody’s got to shovel the driveway and walkway.

I’m busy finding things out. Did you know the snow shovel was invented in 1812, while the War of 1812 was raging and Tchaikovsky was writing a song about it with canons going off? Did you know the name “shovel” comes from the shoving motion required to get under and pick up the snow? Did you know countless back injuries are fostered by snow shovels each year? I know a man who is permanently wheelchair bound due to an injury he sustained shoveling snow. A pickup truck skidded, jumped the curb, and ran him down. Then there’s the snow blower invented in 1968 at the height of the Vietnam War. The first snow blower was made from a Hoover vacuum with the hose stuck in the exhaust port; unlike later versions, that had auger-shaped blades that took some toes and fingers, and threw them along with the snow out of a square pipe on top of the machine. Now we have rubber mats with wires running through them that melt the snow. If you’re not careful they’ll melt the soles of your shoes too—you’ve got to keep moving. Don’t stand still for more than minute or else you may be glued to the mat.

Then there’s Florida where there’s no snow at all. I’ve bought us plane tickets, and booked a hotel in South Beach Miami for three weeks. Let’s pack, call Uber and get the hell out of here. Who wants a Margarita for the road?

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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