Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.
“Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.” This is a song lyric from the mid-twentieth century, when there were still a few horses and carriages around. People would actually know what the lyric meant. But here we are in the 21st century. What’s left that rhymes with marriage? What about: Love and marriage go together like croutons and borage. Or, love and marriage go together like grease and sausage. Or, love and marriage go together like stamps and mucilage.
The further I go with this line of thought, the worse I get. Given my experiences with love, I should shut up. But, there was Rosalie. She was the horse and the carriage. She was like a native-English speaking Melania Trump. She had the looks but she’d never modeled nude, and she had a brain that was beyond mine. She was an AI developer for Eagle Claw Enterprises. When I first met Rosalie, I thought AI had something to do with “indoor” something, like maybe “Agriculture Indoors.” When I found out it was “Artificial Intelligence” I wanted to get some—I had always been a little bit “slower” than my friends. Maybe, if I got enough AI, I could get really smart—like add and subtract without using my fingers or tie my shoes real fast.
Rosalie called me “Mac.” She said it was short for Macho. But, I heard her talking to some colleagues and she referred to me as “Mech” and they all laughed and pretended they were plugging something into the wall. I wanted to know what Rosalie was up to. I got a job as a janitor at Eagle Claw Enterprises. I wore a big black beard so nobody would recognize me—especially Rosalie. The first thing I noticed was a group of hula-dancing hot dogs. They were wearing grass skirts and had flexible toothpick arms and were wearing dark glasses. Wouldn’t you know it? The were dancing to Don Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles.”
I heard Rosalie call my name. She followed that with “You idiot. Take off that stupid beard and leave the little Hula Dogs alone!” She told me she wanted to make me smarter so we could get married and live happily ever after. I would be the culmination of her AI project. We went to her lab. She stuck me with hundreds of colored wires. It took five hours. Then, she flipped five toggle switches, one after another. She told me the process would take another five hours. The feeling was wonderful. It felt like a heated feather duster brushing across my exposed skin.
When the process was completed, Rosalie pulled out all the wires and asked me how much 2+2 is. I said “four” without using my fingers. while I was calculating. We rejoiced and we went home and opened a bottle of champagne. I was smarter. Rosalie asked me if I wanted take out for dinner. I laughed and asked “Why would I want to take something out for dinner? I think I would rather be taking something in for dinner.” Rosalie cried “Oh my God!!” and we ordered take in from Tokyo Corn Dogs.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.