Category Archives: adynaton

Adynaton

Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.


Dear Diary 9/1/22:

I was walking in the woods adjacent to my house. I went for a walk on the trails every day. I was getting old and thought I needed exercise to add a few years to my life. It was early September and I had wandered off the trail looking for mushrooms—usually oyster mushrooms because they were easy to identify. Suddenly I heard a tiny muffled voice. It sounded like it was coming out of the ground—it was a woman’s voice crying “Help me! Help me! Please!” I looked around and there was a beautifully colored ceramic urn laying underneath a small rotting tree that had fallen down years ago. The little voice was coming from the urn! I was astonished and frightened, but I lifted the tree and kicked the urn out from under it. “Unscrew the lid” the voice said. I did. Out crawled a woman about six inches tall. She had midnight black hair, gentle brown eyes, an open smile, wore a red silk dress, and had the kind of body I lusted after when I was in high school. I didn’t care if she was the size of a Barbie Doll. She was beautiful. My fear melted away and I yelled “This can’t be! Holy shit, I’ve won the lotto—this is like flying to the moon in a Cadillac! Marry me!” She touched my big toe sticking out of my sandal. I started to shrink and she started to grow. When I stopped shrinking, she grabbed me by my shirt collar and shoved me in the urn, and quickly screwed on the lid. I was terror stricken. I begged her to let me out. She said, “As long as you are sealed in The Magic Urn you will not age, you will not need to relieve yourself, you will not need food and water, and you will not need air. When liberated you will remain whole.” She said her name was Anya and that her husband Rudra had fallen in love with an imp from South Jersey named Boopsie, and Boopsie had cast the “Shrinker Spell” on Anya so Boopsie and Rudra could run off together. “I must find them and reverse the spell.” I could hear the leaves rustle as she hurried away.


I was totally dejected until I remembered my cellphone and wondered if it’s shrunken version would work. I called my daughter Madeleine who was visiting for a week from her job in NYC. Her mother had left us a few years earlier and Madeleine had developed the grit to handle anything. The phone connected! I told her to use the find my phone app and she would find me in a ceramic urn in the woods by our house. She was skeptical, but soon I heard her feet swishing through the leaves. She picked up the urn, unscrewed it’s lid, and looked inside. I told her not to touch me, and to put down the jar. Madeleine took it all in stride.

As soon as my tiny feet hit the ground there was a bright flash of red light and the smell of cedar shavings all around us. It was Anya! She touched my forehead and I started to grow, and she didn’t shrink! She put a surgical glove on her hand and opened the mesh bag she was carrying and pulled out a little flailing man, shoved him into the urn, and screwed on the lid. “Meet Rudra,” she said “I found him and Boopsie in a small suburban town in New Jersey. I forced Boopsie to shrink him by threatening to hit her in the face with a cricket bat. As soon as she shrunk my husband, I made her disappear forever with this Thai vanishing monkey dust I bought in Newark.” I was impressed and in love. Anya and I have been living together for 6 years. We keep her husband in a linen closet in our home’s media room. We enjoy listening to him whine and beg in his sealed urn each night before Anya and I watch “Murdoch Mysteries” and eat dinner.


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

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Adynaton

Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.


A: You’ve heard the saying, “Make hay while the sun shines.” I’m not sure, but I think it means you shouldn’t make hay at night. You could be injured operating heavy equipment after dark, and also, get lost in the hayfield, maybe ending up driving your tractor on the freeway and getting a ticket.

But all that is nothing compared to your latest Big Idea, which has as much of a chance of succeeding as a pony in college, or climbing a ladder to the moon, or living in “an octopus’s garden in the sea.” We know Ringo had a bit of a “problem” when he wrote that, and you’ve got a bit of a problem with what you’re proposing. Blue-Tooth? It sounds like a dental disease. And God, what a stupid idea. People already plug their headsets into their media players with a nice skinny little cable. Voila! Music! Your idea is doomed. Being ‘wireless’ is like being shoeless on hot sand. It’s like Hansel and Gretel without bread crumbs. You are done. Finished. Defeated. Pack it in.

B: I just got an e-mail from Bose this this morning and Apple last night. I think I’m about to be a billionaire. They love my Blue-Tooth, even though you don’t. I’m taking out a lease on a condo overlooking the Bay. I pick up my Tesla this afternoon. Let’s go for a ride so you can tell me again how stupid electric cars are. I remember you said, “Electric cars have as much of a chance of succeeding as killing a wolf with a fly swatter.”


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.

Video readings of the example are available on YouTube: Johnnie Anaphora—All the Figures of Speech

Adynaton

Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.


I can’t tell you how far away from the truth that is! It’s like the truth is right there in the front row, here in New York, and what he’s just said is in a dumpster in LA. Big gap. Huge gap! It’s impossible that this soon-to-be indicted liar will ever tell the truth. Do not believe a single word he says except “goodbye” when he absconds with all your hopes. Better you say “goodbye” before he does! Don’t vote for him. Don’t pay any attention to him. Don’t be fooled by his pathological bluster.


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.

Adynaton

Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.

Making President Trump into an honest, ethical, caring person is like trying to teach symbolic logic to a cockroach: impossible.

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.

Adynaton

Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.

When I was younger, I thought I had a shot at becoming a millionaire. Now I realize that my hope to be a millionaire had as much of a chance of being realized as a brick has of reciting the alphabet.

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.

Adynaton

Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.

Today Putin spoke at the UN.  His speech was touted by Russian media, forecasting it as a “speech that will change the world.”

Every time I fart, I change the world.

Every meter I walk changes the world.

Everything we do and say changes the world.

So, if Russian media meant that, like a fart blown into the wind, or a footprint on a piece of grass, Putin’s speech would change the world, to be sure, they were correct.

But, if the world-changing speech they forecast was supposed to affect other aspects of the world, beyond its blowing wind and the electricity used to broadcast it, their forecast was a dream–an impossible dream prompted by somebody’s megalomania and the misguided, if not psychotic, delusion of grandeur exemplified by a smallish balding shirtless man on horseback single-handedly liberating Crimea from its Western oppressors and stamping out the disease of democracy infecting its political institutions with the virus of social media and festering elections.

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.

Adynaton

Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.

There is no way the crisis in Syria is going to have a happy ending–it’s like expecting to find maple syrup on Mars!

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

Adynaton

Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.

Sure, he’s going to be elected President of the United States just like that bag of kitty litter is going to feed the hungry.

  • Post your own adynaton on the “Comments” page!

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

Adynaton

Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.

You have as much of a chance of winning the lottery as a chicken does of climbing Mt. Everest!

  • Post your own adynaton on the “Comments” page!

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

Adynaton

Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.

You have as much of a chance of changing his mind about buying a motorcycle as a cinder block has of doing your income taxes!

  • Post your own adynaton on the “Comments” page!

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