Anamnesis (an’-am-nee’-sis): Calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author [apparently] from memory. Anamnesis helps to establish ethos [credibility], since it conveys the idea that the speaker is knowledgeable of the received wisdom from the past.

“I won’t say ours was a tough school, but we had our own coroner. We used to write essays like: What I’m going to be if I grow up.” Lenny Bruce never imagined how this joke would resonate with the horrors of the 21st century’s mass school shootings. But, even in the 1950s kids were shooting each other in school. For example, “March 4, 1958, A 17-year-old student shot the future major league baseball player Joe Pepitone (who was also 17 years old at the time) through his stomach at the Manual Training High School.”

If you go to “List of School Shootings” it is startling to see how long school shootings have been going on and how little has been done over the course of history to prevent them. Just now, with the hellish gruesomeness of mass shootings, does it seem that measures are starting to be taken. But, of course, for the murdered and the survivors, it is too late.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Gorgias has inserted the bracketed words [apparently] and [credibility].

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