Ampliatio (am’-pli-a’-ti-o): Using the name of something or someone before it has obtained that name or after the reason for that name has ceased. A form of epitheton.
Here comes the President of the United States—Elon Musk—Tesla Barker, Electric Savior, Twitter King, Rocket Man. But I call him Willy Nilly or Random Silly Pants. He has so much money he could bribe every senator, except Bernie. The House of Representatives would be a snap. Districts be damned. He would spend billions developing an electric tank. He would disband the CIA because secrets keep things secret, and that’s bad. He will double the height of Trump’s wall. Nothing will be permitted to be taught in K-12. Students will be required to work for Twitter, Tesla and Space-X for $2.00 per hour. Wolves will be exterminated. Everybody will be required to eat pork once a week. Vacation will be outlawed. All citizens will tithe 10% of their earning per month. The White House will be demolished and the sear of government will be moved Silicon Valley. Negative comments about the government will earn the death penalty. Elections will suspended. Anybody caught ridiculing President Musk’s name will be summarily executed. Anybody who is past due on installment payments will be jailed and their property confiscated.
Of course, all of the above is crazy. But we should never forget it is possible. Our democracy is always one step away from lunacy, The “step away” consists of majorities opposed to madness, but if for some reason, by some means, the loonies achieve a majority, everything will change. Our fears will be actualized, their hopes will be fulfilled.
Could homosexuality be outlawed? Could women lose the right to vote? Could racial discrimination be legalized? Unthinkable? Ha! How many democracies have slipped into hell driven by the will of the people?
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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