Category Archives: enigma

Enigma

Enigma (e-nig’-ma): Obscuring one’s meaning by presenting it within a riddle or by means of metaphors that purposefully challenge the reader or hearer to understand.


Little Ones: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

What? You laugh and point to your heads and wag your fingers around?

I’m crazy?

That could be, but it is more likely the opposite is the case. The big word here is “if.” Woodchucks chucking is a sort of sophisticated pun playing with the word “chuck.” To some extent it is a critical commentary on the naming of the fat brown mammal. It does not “chuck” anything and there is no wood involved in its life. Nevertheless, this does not preclude the insertion of the word “if” illustrating, much like the tree that falls in the forest with nobody around, that we don’t know with absolute certainty whether woodchucks are chucking wood with nobody around. We don’t. Moreover, the homophones “wood” and “would” (how much wood would a woodchuck chuck) indicate the inadequacy of language, bridge the material (wood), the sentient (woodchuck), and the moral (would), and suggest it may be in the woodchuck’s nature to chuck IF it may indeed do clandestine wood chucking with beavers, assisting them at night in the construction of their dams. If you put a beaver and a woodchuck together, the only thing that distinguishes them are the beaver’s webbed feet and it’s big flat tail. Woodchucks have neither. Perhaps the woodchuck has an ancient genetically coded desire to “be” a beaver and chuck.

So, what have we learned today boys and girls? Answer: asking questions about woodchucks chucking wood is unhealthy. It’s like asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. When you speculate and conjecture it should be about the stock market or gold futures, or you may find yourselves chucking wood at the penitentiary.


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

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Enigma

Enigma (e-nig’-ma): Obscuring one’s meaning by presenting it within a riddle or by means of metaphors that purposefully challenge the reader or hearer to understand.

I ask you my children: What does it take for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle?

Alas, you are unable to answer.

So, I shall answer for thee: A meat grinder set on extra fine.

Now, let’s do a parable. There was once a fat wicked man with specially stiffened blond hair and a painted-on face-tan. He was a Twitter addict. He tweeted day and night. He Tweeted lies with misspellings. One day he tweeted a fact with no misspellings. Nobody believed him because he always lied and misspelled: they thought someone had stolen his phone.

He had fallen and could not get up. They found him dead the next morning. He had hit his head on his toilet and bled to death. A huge funeral was planned in accord with a fifty page instruction booklet found under his pillow. On the day of the funeral nobody attended the parade in his honor, not even his wives and children. He was dumped into a landfill outside of Baltimore and subsequently erased from history.

In the end we must say: Eagles don’t Tweet, shit birds do. He was a shit bird.

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. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.

Enigma

Enigma (e-nig’-ma): Obscuring one’s meaning by presenting it within a riddle or by means of metaphors that purposefully challenge the reader or hearer to understand.

We are living in strange times–times that are riddled with the prospect for riddles!

So:

Q: Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it you die. What is it?

It is kind of like health insurance.

The answer is nothing. It does not quite fit, but it’s good enough to make my point.

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. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.

Enigma

Enigma (e-nig’-ma): Obscuring one’s meaning by presenting it within a riddle or by means of metaphors that purposefully challenge the reader or hearer to understand.

Hey! Stop! Stay where you are and listen to my riddle:

“The more you take, the more you leave behind.”

What’s the answer to this riddle?

It’s footsteps: the more you take the more you leave behind.

Okay, be patient, I’m getting to my point and here it is:

When you come in after playing outside in the snow, stay on the tiled entryway until you’ve taken off  your boots! Then, when you step into the living room, walk across its carpet into the kitchen, and grab a snack out of the refrigerator,  all you’ll leave behind will be steps–not snowy, slushy or muddy footprints.

So, take the necessary step (ha ha): take off your boots before you step on the living room carpet.

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

Enigma

Enigma (e-nig’-ma): Obscuring one’s meaning by presenting it within a riddle or by means of metaphors that purposefully challenge the reader or hearer to understand.

What gets hotter and hotter the more it cools?

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

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

Enigma

Enigma (e-nig’-ma): Obscuring one’s meaning by presenting it within a riddle or by means of metaphors that purposefully challenge the reader or hearer to understand.

You always win and always lose when you compete against whom?

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

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