Category Archives: Uncategorized

Topographia

Topographia (top-o-graf’-i-a): Description of a place. A kind of enargia [: {en-ar’-gi-a} generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description].

A tattered carpet with images of Russian helicopters spraying bullets on small crumbling villages. Young girls with shiny black eyes and jingling coins draped from green and red and purple and blue dresses, and boys in baggy pants, white tunics and every color vests. It’s not suburban New Jersey (although it could be). It’s somewhere in Afghanistan where war has been raging for as long as I can remember and it is a miracle that anybody is still left alive.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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Tasis

Tasis (ta’-sis): Sustaining the pronunciation of a word or phrase because of its pleasant sound. A figure apparent in delivery.

“Wow. It’s perrrfect! My own personal private Supreme Court! Our goal is the repeal of evvvvveryyything back to pre-Civil War–back when America was great. Bye bye abortion. Hello Jim Crow. It’s beautiful.”

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

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Thaumasmus

Thaumasmus (thau-mas’-mus): To marvel at something rather than to state it in a matter of fact way.

American history of rough. There was the American Revolution. There was the wanton murder of Native Americans. There was the depravity of slavery. There was the Great Depression. There was Word war II and Third Reich.

Now there is Donald Trump: The cosmic blight. The maker of massive shit stains. The stinking wave of blood-flecked vomit. The end of democracy.

It’s only a matter of time before Trump’s supporters will have the opportunity to yell “Guillotine, Guillotine, Guillotine” as Hilary Clinton is marched down Wall Street.

All that I know right now is that mental illness can have a starring role in politics. Compassion, sanity and honesty are given minor bit parts by the Mad One as he may plot democracy’s demise with Putin, Xi Jinping, the Koch brothers, and the NRA.

The internment camps are open for business.

Beware!

Their purpose may be expanded to accommodate dissenters and other “undesirables.”

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

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Tmesis

Tmesis (tmee’-sis): Interjecting a word or phrase between parts of a compound word or between syllables of a word.

Last week I was in North Ko-wonderful-rea meeting with another humble dictator. I’m a better dictator than he is because I don’t starve people or execute them with Anti-aircraft guns. Instead, I tell lie, after lie, after lie. By murdering the truth, it works as well as murdering people. Once the truth is dead, you can bury it or cremate it and forget about it. Then, you replace the dead truths with vibrant living lies designed to scare, outrage and justify bullying the weak!

Look at Texas. Perfect example. Children “taken” from their families. I blame the Democrats over and over again. It’s a lie (it’s actually my policy). I have my cake (jailed children) and eat it too (blame Democrats). Ha ha! Am I evil? Yes, of course! I’m taking America to hell.

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

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Topographia

Topographia (top-o-graf’-i-a): Description of a place. A kind of enargia [: {en-ar’-gi-a} generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description].

Red velour towels. Purple velvet bedspread. Dark blue carpet (wool) with big orange flowers, flying lips and circling cupids with little bows and arrows pointed outward toward the walls.

This was my getaway–my secret paradise hidden on the back side of an elevator shaft, accessible by my little fingerprints or by my guest yelling “let me out of here” when the elevator reached the secret floor.

Tonight was my ‘encounter’ with Stony–a tall, blond, well-built porn star with long blond hair–the kind you see in shampoo ads–beautiful beyond your imagination.

I heard her yelling “let me out of here” and I flipped the tiny black switch. As the elevator doors opened, I opened my red cashmere bathrobe. She stood there looking at me like I was some kind of circus freak.

“Wow! It’s even smaller than your hands would indicate, and they indicate a micro-penis.”

I was humiliated and closed my robe. I picked up the green glass champagne bottle from the chrome and glass end table and hit her over the head. It made a thudding sound and she made a thudding sound when she hit the floor.

She was dead. I was screwed. I thought, “If I were President of the United States, I could pardon myself. But I’m not, and I can’t. Damn.”

So, my Plan B was to escape. I would hide out in a third-rate nursing home disguised as David Dump, half demented cranky old man. Once things cooled off, I would buy a camper van and drive to Venezuela and get a job as a mid-level dictator. “Plenty of prostitutes there,” I thought as I washed my hands, smiled,  and prepared to call a cab.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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Traductio

Traductio (tra-duk’-ti-o): Repeating the same word variously throughout a sentence or thought. Some authorities restrict traductio further to mean repeating the same word but with a different meaning (see ploceantanaclasis, and diaphora), or in a different form (polyptoton). If the repeated word occurs in parallel fashion at the beginnings of phrases or clauses, it becomes anaphora; at the endings of phrases or clauses, epistrophe.

We have a lunatic for President. Nearly everything he does indicates he’s a lunatic. He accused Canada of burning down the White House during the war go 1812. Lunatic! He takes children from their parents. Lunatic! He claims he can pardon himself. Lunatic! He started a trade war. Lunatic!

Trump is a lunatic.

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

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Tricolon

Tricolon (tri-co-lon): Three parallel elements of the same length occurring together in a series.

The tree had fallen. My house was crushed. My insurance had lapsed.

Now, what would I do?

I packed what I could in my truck. I backed out of the driveway without looking. I got hit by a bulldozer pushing branches.

No car insurance. No common sense. No Plan B.

Damn. Crap. Hell.

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

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Abating

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).

Your haircut is very stylish. Too bad that the ‘style’ is somewhere between a terrier tonsure and a vulture mullet!

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

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Abbaser

Abbaser [George] Puttenham’s English term for tapinosis. Also equivalent to meiosis: reference to something with a name disproportionately lesser than its nature (a kind of litotes: deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite).

Nice death rock–how many people died from the civil wars your big sparkly stone and others like it have afforded? Or, maybe your fiancé checked its point of origin? Anyway, it signifies your engagement–but possibly your engagement in something far more sinister than you imagined when your future spouse slipped it on your finger.

If there’s no way of telling whether it has blood on it, you should give it back. Otherwise, every time you look at it, you may see murder and mayhem, rape and starvation rather than love and building a beautiful future together.

Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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Abecedarian

Abecedarian (a-be-ce-da’-ri-an): An acrostic whose letters do not spell a word but follow the order (more or less) of the alphabet.

A big cloud descended everywhere, fiendishly generating hexamethylenetetramine onto jurisdictions, kens, locations, municipalities, nooks, oceans, ponds–quickly ruining sausages, tacos, upma, vanilla wafers, yams, zucchinis–all set out on a long table to celebrate Abraham Washington’s birthday.

Soon, everything will go up in flames and the world will end. I wish Pruitt had listened to the real environmentalists’ advice. Instead, he flew first class to the South Pole “where it is too cold for fire.” He’s an idiot. He has killed us all.

However, there may be hope yet! Jeff Sessions says he can “arrest” the fire with a “handful” of dedicated, brave and sober Federal Marshals.

Oh well, he may as well be at the South Pole with Pruitt.

Sad to say, it’s over.

Post your own abecedarian on the “Comments” page!

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

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Accismus

Accismus (ak-iz’-mus): A feigned refusal of that which is earnestly desired.

Don: A Nobel Prize nomination? Oh–I don’t deserve it. I am but a humble public servant. Saving the world is simply a part of my job description along with cheating on the First Lady, winning the Korean War, separating babies from their mothers at the Mexican border, and collecting pictures of Mother Pence bending over.

I’m just doing my job. Thanks anyway. However, if you can’t find anybody else, give my attorney Rudy a call. He’s not too bright, but he knows how to use a cellphone.

Nobel: Sorry for the confusion Don. It’s your son Don Jr. who has received a nomination for his work as a ‘Get Hillary’ collaborator with a Russian operative at one of your hotels.

Don: What? My son is a marginally functional idiot! I make him look like the hair gel addict he really is!

Nobel: Again, sorry for the mix-up Don. The bottom line is that you did not receive a nomination and it is probably because there is no reason to nominate you, given your track record as President so far–you know, sparking trade wars with most of the world and driving US farmers and factories out of business, nominating a known torturer to run CIA, spending $80,000,000 on a military parade when veterans are living in the streets, pulling out of the Paris Agreement, taking money from the Children’s Health Insurance Program, declaring open season on Grizzly bears, scrapping the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and more!

Don: Ok Nobel, that does it. I’m taking you down–you and your two-bit awards are going to disappear.  It will be dynamite–ha ha–when we invade your stupid little commie country and bomb the hell out of Stockholm–maybe even drop the ‘Big  One’ on one of your commie hospitals. I’m calling Ollie North right now! He commands my elite private NRA army and will gladly commit its cache of semi-automatic assault weapons and nearly moronic members to the cause! Beware!

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

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Acervatio

Acervatio (ak-er-va’-ti-o): Latin term Quintilian employs for both asyndeton (acervatio dissoluta: a loose heap) and polysyndeton (acervatio iuncta: a conjoined heap).

Asyndeton: the omission of conjunctions between clauses, often resulting in a hurried rhythm or vehement effect.

Go, hurry, move it! Don’t stop now! Let’s end debate and vote on the insane immigration policy before King Pee Wee Brain changes his mind again about the direction the country should be headed. I know it may be a mistake, but having the NRA work together with ICE to police hapless immigrants and elderly homeless people might just make the USA a better place–a better place than what, I don’t know. Maybe an overflowing septic tank or the surface of Mars? However it does not matter: in order to keep the party intact and mini-brain in office we have to make it look like there is strong consensus on everything coming forward–a consensus that squares with turtle brain’s dimwitted hopes. So–move it, move it, move it!

Polysydeton: employing many conjunctions between clauses, often slowing the tempo or rhythm.

He told us he did not pay the hush money and it was his lawyer who had all the answers, and then his new lawyer told us he has paid the money, and then he told us he did’t pay the money, and then he told us he paid the money, and his new lawyer told us he may have paid tons more than first disclosed to more women to shut them up. At that point he shut up. Did he pay himself to shut himself up? You’ll have to ask his lawyer Rudy, who seems to be a little stupid. But is he stupid like a fox? I don’t think so. I think he’s stupid like a duck.

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

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Acoloutha

Acoloutha: The substitution of reciprocal words; that is, replacing one word with another whose meaning is close enough to the former that the former could, in its turn, be a substitute for the latter. This term is best understood in relationship to its opposite, anacoloutha.

Donald was eating really fast. The food was quickly headed to the cavern under his belt called Belly. Belly ruled Donald’s life and it showed in the upwardly changing size of his presidential pants. Donald was worried that he was becoming fatter than the North Korean dictator and that he would soon lose a key point of ridicule at the negotiating table: Little Fat Boy–what he planned to call him–to cow him and make him pliable. But now, Donald was becoming Big Fat Boy: how he loved KFC; more than he loved his wife and daughter, Sean Hannity and Vlad Putin put together.

“This is an emergency” he said to his new physician Admiral Dr. Frankenstiner. The Doctor grimly nodded and turned on his fettabsaugung–a fat sucking machine made in the Black Forest in a former Cuckoo clock factory.

Donald cried out in pain as his fat oozed from the machine and dripped onto the floor. Dr. Frakenstiner said “A handgun won’t do you much good now Fat Man.”

The doctor’s face mask fell off. It was the North Korean Dictator! He had a sock stuffed with kimchi. He stuffed it into Donald’s mouth. Donald began chewing furiously–like a monkey with a piece of candy.

It was all to no avail. North Korea has annexed Oregon and Donald is nursing a broken jaw. Donald lamented: “If I could’ve spoken more clearly through the sock and kimchi, Oregon would still be ours. Ceding Oregon to North Korea is a pretty bad thing, but not as bad as Obama when he . . . “

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

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Acrostic

Acrostic: When the first letters of successive lines are arranged either in alphabetical order (= abecedarian) or in such a way as to spell a word.

Truth

Troublesome.

Ruthless.

Unbendable.

Trusted since the beginning of civilization.

Helps combat injustice.

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

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Adage

Adage (ad’-age): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings, or traditional expressions of conventional wisdom.

“Ye shall hammer swords into shareware.” Binary Bill Routerburger, Programming Peace in the Digital Age: One Hard Drive at a Time (2018).

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

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Adianoeta

Adianoeta: An expression that, in addition to an obvious meaning, carries a second, subtle meaning (often at variance with the ostensible meaning).

We must ask: Why didn’t Trump attend former First Lady Bush’s funeral? It must’ve been his golfing. He is trying to improve it and any time spent away from the golf course leads to slippage. 

Also, he may have wanted to avoid a lengthy conversation with form President Obama and his former First Lady.

Additionally, he probably wanted Melania there alone so she could ‘shine’ in her own right as the extremely amazing current First Lady she is.

All good reasons for hunkering down a Mar-a-lago: SO Presidential.

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

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Adnominatio

Adnominatio (ad-no-mi-na’-ti-o): 1. A synonym for paronomasia [punning].  2. A synonym for polyptoton.  3. Assigning to a proper name its literal or homophonic meaning.

1. The mathematician had Pi for dinner: he wasn’t hungry and wanted to work on a perplexing problem with a circle.

2. When he said “I can” I had no idea he was talking about preserving vegetables. So, there’s a difference between canning and coulding! If you could can, you can can (without dancing the can-can).

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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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.

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)

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Aetiologia

Aetiologia (ae-ti-o-log’-i-a): A figure of reasoning by which one attributes a cause for a statement or claim made, often as a simple relative clause of explanation.

Let’s go out to dinner. I’m not hungry right now, but I want to ‘hit the town’ tonight. Also, you haven’t had a night off from cooking in a couple of weeks. We can go some place that’s good and cheap too. I know just the place–they’re sold trillions of hamburgers and they’re right down the street. After dinner we can take a walk around the block. It’ll be just like a date! I can feel the romance building already!

Put on your shoes. We’re going out!

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

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Affirmatio

Affirmatio (af’-fir-ma’-ti-o): A general figure of emphasis that describes when one states something as though it had been in dispute or in answer to a question, though it has not been.

Chemical agents used on civilians in Syria by the Syrian government. Those questioning this fact are not paying attention to reality–they would see us slip into the abyss of ignorance while the world goes to hell around us. We, on the other hand–we believers–are stalwart defenders of the USA and its intelligence apparatus which tells us, after conducting blood tests on victims, that chemical agents were used and caused many fatalities. And, as for who did it, clearly it was the Syrian government, as every eyewitness reports.

If you want to question this, perhaps you should join denier Putin and blame Israel–an idiotic charge made by an idiotic man.

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

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Aganactesis

Aganactesis (ag’-an-ak-tee’-sis): An exclamation proceeding from deep indignation.

Kelly: You fired another cabinet member! How are we supposed to maintain a level of professionalism with a revolving back door on the White House?

I’m beginning to think you do what you do simply because you want to do it. No thought given to consequences. No thought given to the welfare of the people of the United States–just you’re own self-absorbed pettiness and complete lack of foresight.

In short Mr. President, you’re ruining the United States.  You’re a disaster worse than Mount St. Helens, Deepwater Horizon, and Hurricane Katrina combined.

You should do the right thing.

Trump: You’re fired. I can’t tolerate crybabies, and you are the biggest crybaby in the White House. You’re a whiner like all the other Generals and Admirals you hang out with. Pack your garbage and get out of my White House.

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

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Allegory

Allegory (al’-le-go-ry): A sustained metaphor continued through whole sentences or even through a whole discourse.

There once was a large man with a clownish blond hairdo. His hair was pasted to the sides of his head and the middle part swirled like a Dairy Queen; more like a yellow scoop of mashed potatoes resting on his head than actual hair.

This man was Emperor and nobody imitated his hair. Well, when they did imitate it, the hair was more like a parody: exaggerated like a Matterhorn with wings resting on his head, ready to fly away from Switzerland to France.

In fact, none of the Emperor’s cherished quirks were imitated anywhere throughout the kingdom. When he was crowned, Diet Coke’s stock plunged, seemingly because it was his favorite beverage and people refused to drink it any more. When it was disclosed that he loved red meat, three-quarters of the Kingdom became vegetarian. When it was discovered that he has a fondness for prostitutes, pimps were left to fend for themselves as the Kingdom’s men gave up whoring.

The Emperor was befuddled, thinking that he was worthy of imitation on all fronts because he was the Emperor. But he was wrong. ‘The shoe didn’t fit so the people didn’t wear it‘: no matter how much power you have, barring death threats, arrest, torture, imprisonment, and execution the ‘people’ will make the right choices.

No Dairy Queen hair. No Diet Coke. No red meat. No prostitutes. No problem.

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

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Alleotheta

Alleotheta (al-le-o-the’-ta): Substitution of one case, gender, mood, number, tense, or person for another. Synonymous with enallage. [Some rhetoricians claim that alleotheta is a] general category that includes antiptosis [(a type of enallage in which one grammatical case is substituted for another)] and all forms of enallage [(the substitution of grammatically different but semantically equivalent constructions)].

You was the craziest person I ever knew. Where there was lots of herd, you dove right in. You was a rustler’s rustler. You taken everything in sight worth taking–as long as it mooed and look at you with those solemn brown eyes. You would make them cows a pets–all of them–if we didn’t have to make a living the hard way.

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

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Alliteration

Alliteration (al-lit’-er-a’-tion): Repetition of the same letter or sound within nearby words. Most often, repeated initial consonants. Taken to an extreme alliteration becomes the stylistic vice of paroemion where nearly every word in a sentence begins with the same consonant.

There has to be at least two sides to that broken bicycle’s end.  You see, if you look at it from the front, it has a small dent in the front forks. If you look at it from the rear, it’s brake has been unbolted and is ready to fall to the ground.  If you look at the front and the rear, there’s a problem that we shouldn’t even be talking about! Let’s just say, the bicycle belongs to the end of the day–we’ll have the junkman come a get it in the morning.

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

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Allusion

Allusion (ə-ˈlü-zhən):[1] A reference/representation of/to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art . . . “a brief reference, explicit or indirect, to a person, place or event, or to another literary work or passage”. It is left to the reader or hearer to make the connection . . . ; an overt allusion is a misnomer for what is simply a reference.[2]

Who is going to tell Trump to “tear down that wall”? Well, the wall isn’t built yet and maybe it never will be built. In that case, “the world will be a better place for you and me, you just wait and see!”  But, I’ll still “be on the pavement thinking about the government.” Why? I’ve “walked forty-seven miles of barbed wire” to get to this place, and I’m not going to let “some stupid with a flare gun” burn my dreams to the ground!

1. Phonetic transcription courtesy of Miriam-Webster’s On-Line Dictionaryhttp://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/allusion <3/6/08>.

2. Definition courtesy of Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allusion <3/6/08>.

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