Daily Archives: May 11, 2023


Abating: English term for anesis: adding a concluding sentence that diminishes the effect of what has been said previously. The opposite of epitasis (the addition of a concluding sentence that merely emphasizes what has already been stated. A kind of amplification).

The oak tree in our back yard was huge, but it wasn’t that big. My father told me that Abraham Lincoln planted it after he was sentenced to six months community service for chopping down a cherry tree in Norma Park, Clifton, New Jersey. He planted oak trees throughout North Jersey. They called him “Acorn Abe.” When he finished his sentence, he hitchhiked to Florida where he became one of the first professional alligator wrestlers—Alligator Abe. When he got a little older, he moved back up to New Jersey where he opened a successful guacamole stand—Abe’s El Paso Verde—on the boardwalk at Seaside Heights. There, he was called Avocado Abe. Then, one day he mistakenly shortchanged one of his customers. He rans after the customer and corrected the change. “You’re honest Abe.” “That’s it!” Abe exclaimed. “Honest Abe.” After all the stupid nicknames he had had, “Honest Abe” hit the bullseye. He thought maybe he could sell used carriages: Honest Abe’s Pre-Owned Buggies. He would make tons of money! Then, he got a telegram.

The family business in Illinois—Lincoln’s Leisure Lounge—had been raided and his Ma, Lucille Lincoln, had been jailed without bail. Honest Abe had to go home to take care of things. The first thing he did when he got there was to change the Leisure Lounge into a school for girls called the Honest Abe Academy. Abe taught lessons with a shovel and piece of coal as a blackboard. He taught English, Math, history and Rail-splitting. The Academy’s rail splitting team was the best in the state. The newspapers said “They could split more rails in ten minutes than a beaver on coca!”

The Governor of Illinois presented the annual rail-splitting award. it had been won by Honest Abe Academy every year. This year was no exception. As Coach, Abe received the award. As he handed him the award the Governor told Abe that he was destined for greatness and could win any office he ran for (except Governor). Honest Abe ran for Representative and won, and that was it. He was off and running.

Eventually, Honest Abe was elected President. His plan was to secede from the South and be done with slavery. The plan had originated in New York as the “Fuhgeddaboudit Manifesto.” However, before it could be enacted, the South started a war. The rest is history.

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

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