Colon (ko’-lon): Roughly equivalent to “clause” in English, except that the emphasis is on seeing this part of a sentence as needing completion, either with a second colon (or membrum) or with two others (forming a tricolon). When cola (or membra) are of equal length, they form isocolon.

Me: I am obliged, obliged to tell you. Somebody spray painted their anger on your dog. A snow-white American Eskimo makes a perfect blank canvas for a painted display of ire.

You: My God! What did the miscreant paint on my little Pandora? I can’t imagine what the motive would be. She’s never seriously injured anyone. I muzzle her when we go for walks. She growls and yips, but to no avail, I keep a tight rein. Oh, but she managed to slip her collar yesterday for a few hours when I couldn’t find her. I should’ve mentioned that.

Me: Well, somebody else found her, and they paid for it, I think. Surely, the frank messages on her sides indicate there was an unpleasant encounter, and when she was netted, I am told she growled and wouldn’t let go of the piece of bloody denim in her mouth. On her right side it says “Please euthanize me!” On her left side it says “Beware, I will tear you to shreds!” I was told you may pick her up at the dog pound.

You: I don’t believe it. This a cruel prank impugning my little Pandora’s character. She is a purebred! She bathes every week. She eats gourmet dog biscuits. She is groomed once a month. There are genuine Swarovski crystals mounted on her eel skin collar. Her nails are painted red and she wears a black bow on her head. How could anything so royally treated and beautifully arrayed be such a biting ripping monster?

Me: Wake up! I don’t suppose you remember the time she bit me on the hand when I reached down to pet her. They had to sew my hand back together in the emergency room. It looked like Chucky Doll’s face for a month. I still can’t make a tight fist. I probably should’ve reported Pandora.

You: What? I can’t believe you really said that. Pandora is a happy little fluff ball.

Me: I don’t think so. I think it’s high time you considered putting her to sleep.

At that moment Pandora pranced into the living room, returned from the dog pound. She jumped up, and sat on the couch directly across from me. She was staring at me. She wasn’t wearing her muzzle. The painted slogans were still on her sides.

You: That’s insane—you are no friend of mine. Pandora! Eat him!

Me: Pandora flew off the couch like fighter jet. She was heading straight for my face. I didn’t know what else to do. I pulled out my tactical pen and stabbed her in the throat just as she was going to tear my face off. She gasped and landed in a heap on my lap.


The police took my used-to-be friend away in handcuffs. Pandora recovered and is currently in a rehab center for homicidal dogs. I have visited her a couple of times. She wags her tail and licks my face—a far cry from tearing it off. My never-again-friend is serving 7 years for attempted murder-by-dog. I don’t visit him.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

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