Category Archives: syntheton

Syntheton

Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.


Peanut butter and jelly. Perhaps our first lesson in taking delight in the melding of unlike things—we see and taste the compounded edibles juxtaposed on two slices of bread—making a sandwich—a handwhich holding the potentially conflicted elements in a baked vise tightened by our fingertips as we pull out little semicircles following the curvature of our chomping teeth, then swallowing the mashed up mess, and maybe taking a gulp of milk to speed it down our throat.

You can choose what to slap on a sandwich. Whatever lands there, for better and for worse, is held there in your grip. In a way it’s like a belief—you hold it and it projects a future, but you don’t know how it’s going to work out—until you take it up, bite it, and chew it, and swallow it: until you eat it.


But all prepared food, except grilled meat, fowl, and fish, is a mixture—a mixture that is calibrated to the measure of the tongue and the gradual development of taste. Taste: a compelling inducement—maybe the most compelling inducement. The palate is a powerful competitor for truth’s clear gruel-like substance. Truth’s lack of flair, it’s flavorless presentation, it’s nearly invisible presence, has set it above taste in cultures that devalue desire and it’s earthly foundation, even if it may fail to influence anybody to do what’s right or good. But, truth can be put into a sandwich—a sloppy, dripping, tomato-laden, mayonnaise-soaked sandwich. Yum! The truth can taste good when it’s surrounded by condiments. Even baloney can help make the truth effective when it’s smeared with the right kind of mustard.! And perhaps, served with a slice of cheese on freshly baked rye bread.

A Parable of Desire

Once there was a man who loved Subway Sandwiches. He had eaten every sandwich Subway makes and became wise. If he had a decision to make, he would look at the Subway Menu, and remember each sandwich’s effect. One day, he had a particularly difficult decision to make. He had never been circumcised. His girlfriend was pressuring him to have his tip snipped even though he had just turned thirty. He had been studying his wrinkled Subway menu for hours, looking for a sandwich that would help him decide what to do. His eye fell on the Tuna sandwich: “Bite into it, and experience flavour that’s as fresh as an ocean breeze. Submerge yourself in its waves of unique taste!” He thought: “That’s it! I must free myself from staid misconceptions and leap into a new me as a circumcised man, with a fresh loaf of love! My girlfriend will hold me in higher esteem and will court my hooter in an attitude of total desire. Thank you Subway!”

Well, there we have it. For the man in the parable, happiness is a warm bun, packed with tuna salad. It is important to note that palates are as diverse as there are tastebuds. One man’s tuna is another man’s snot. So, you’ve got to discover the non-destructive desires that drive you ahead—the things you like that like you. When I’m in trouble and I need direction, I eat two or three brain-scarring jalapeños. I wear gloves and have a lot of water by my side. When I’m half-blinded and feel like I have a nuclear reactor melting down in my throat, the answer inevitably comes to me in the form of crying and running out the front door yelling “¡eureka!”

So, nobody’s perfect. If you can remember that, you have a chance.


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.

Syntheton

Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.


Up and down. Off and on. Good and evil. Permanence and change. These dialectically situated markers denote the imbalanced trajectories of our lives. We wander back and forth along the limits of their otherness. Sometime for desired purposes. Sometimes by accident. Sometimes by necessity. Psychically, we may fluctuate between up and down, possibly taking medication to pin us to the middle (wherever that is). Physically, the fluctuation may depend on the terrain, as we climb and descend, take off and land.

Off and on: flip the switch due to a desire for light; off the platform, onto the train; off the record, on the record, off the deep end. The tensions involve timing and anxieties over disclosures and unwarranted excesses. Maybe I’m just off my rocker.

Good and evil: Ha ha! Can we get beyond them like Nietzsche asks? That’s all I have to say here, except all they have as markers of these two extremes are paradigm cases, particular instances bearing the weight of their idea as in Nazis and Jesus.

Permanence and change: things are permanently changing. That’s everything, but in infinite ways. The worship of permanence is the greatest and most destructive activity that humans may perform. It leads to apathy, slavery, and an obsession with worship and its means. It marginalizes coping as a fundamental life skill and subordinates everything to rites and rituals as displays of truth’s penetration into suppliants’ forged souls. Change is the harbinger of creativity and the foundation of one’s humanity, allowing for, and tolerating, the cacophony of human existence—the uniqueness of each of us circumscribed by similar exigences—the common experience, the disparate responses that need to be bridged to work collectively— to accomplish the greatest things; the things we cannot do alone: this is persuasion’s work: to build bridges connecting hope and fear, perpetuating persuasion in a spirit of love, the only thing worth retrieving from Permanence’s graveyard and resuscitating in service of persuasion: love.

Listen to public speech. If it lacks a loving tenor you must reject it, but first, you must learn what love is. I think the Apostle Paul can help, in 1 Corinthians 13.


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.

Syntheton

Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.


Hopes and dreams can frame a healthy attitude toward the future—but realize, your hopes may be somebody else’s fears, and your dreams, their nightmares. Proceed accordingly.


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.

Syntheton

Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.

Life and death

Hope and fear

Winning and losing

Words have their opposites creating trajectories from one to the other, from the other to the other in dialectical repetitions, in circles unbroken by time, in bent lines.

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.

Syntheton

Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.

Brownies and ice cream!

Bacon and eggs!

This food and that food, if they belong together, they belong together!

Brownies and ice cream–yum!

Bacon and eggs–yum!

Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum.

They belong together!

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.

Syntheton

Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.

Eggs and bacon

United on a plate.

White and yellow embryos and strips of pinkish flesh.

Break the yolk and bathe the pork in what could have been a bird.

“Isn’t breakfast lovely?”

“Isn’t this weather is absurd?”

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

Syntheton

Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.

Fire and ice.

Together, we turn to smoking slush.

And then become an ashen paste.

Melted and extinguished by each other’s embrace.

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

Syntheton

Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.

Time and effort. Truth and justice. Nothing worth doing or having comes easy. Let’s remember this as we move ahead to make a better future.

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