Anamnesis (an’-am-nee’-sis): Calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author [apparently] from memory.  Anamnesis helps to establish ethos [credibility], since it conveys the idea that the speaker is knowledgeable of the received wisdom from the past.

PT Barnum tells us “A sucker in born every minute.” I think Donald Trump believes this. But, I think he believes everybody is a sucker. He has good reason to believe it’s true. After all, there were enough suckers to get him elected, and now it seems that everything he has done as President is based on his “everybody’s a sucker principle.”

The latest example: his new nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Ronny Jackson. He wouldn’t have nominated him if he didn’t believe that Congress is a pack of suckers–who are sucker enough to confirm somebody who’s key “qualifications” may be that he’s a Navy Admiral and Trump’s White House Physician. Where’s the administrative experience for managing an organization with thousands of employees and a 200 billion dollar budget?

I believe his nominee’s key qualification is his absolute allegiance to Trump. Remember when he claimed that 239-pound Trump was not obese?

Let the hearings begin!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Gorgias has inserted the bracketed words [apparently] and [credibility].

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Anaphora (an-aph’-o-ra): Repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of successive clauses, sentences, or lines.

I found out today that President Trump signed an executive order allowing the dumping of coal mining waste into waterways.

This is another day that makes me angry.

This is another day that makes me mad.

This is another day that makes me scared.

This is another day–another day of coping with our President’s disregard for the consequences of his actions.

What’s next? Dismantle the Civil Rights Act? Declare war on Canada? Legalize fully automatic machine guns?

God only knows!

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Anapodoton (an’-a-po’-do-ton): A figure in which a main clause is suggested by the introduction of a subordinate clause, but that main clause never occurs.

Anapodoton is a kind of anacoluthon, since grammatical expectations are interrupted. If the expression trails off, leaving the subordinate clause incomplete, this is sometimes more specifically called anantapodotonAnapodoton has also named what occurs when a main clause is omitted because the speaker interrupts himself/herself to revise the thought, leaving the initial clause grammatically unresolved but making use of it nonetheless by recasting its content into a new, grammatically complete sentence.

The other day when I was at a meeting . . .  Don’t listen to what they say!  I stand tall everywhere I go. Nobody can push me around unless they want to end up face down on the hardwood floor. When I’m at a meeting . . . You know me better than anyone else. I am tuned in, focused and on track. I am sick of the rumors about my behavior. Ok, so I threw my cellphone at Gifford! But God, what an idiot–he just keeps asking the same question over and over again–he’s like my kid asking every ten minutes “Are we there yet.”

To hell with all of them–whiners, dolts and yodel heads one and all. We’re the only normal ones! Let’s grab a beer. I’ll buy!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Anastrophe (an-as’-tro-phee): Departure from normal word order for the sake of emphasis. Anastrophe is most often a synonym for hyperbaton, but is occasionally referred to as a more specific instance of hyperbaton: the changing of the position of only a single word.

My days are numbered–like a clock ticking out my hopes. But–just because I have a time finite here on the planet, it does not mean that tomorrow is not another day!

I think I may be good for another 30 or 40 years. Given my age already, that’s a lot of years, but what the hell, I like to hope BIG. It’s a great way of stifling worry and stifled worry is worth more than I can say, especially when the stifling is effortless! Another day tomorrow is. I’m betting on being there.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Anesis (an’-e-sis): Adding a concluding sentence that diminishes the effect of what has been said previously. The opposite of epitasis.

Your dog is beautiful, but don’t you get tired of picking up his shit and bagging it every time you go for a walk?

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Antanaclasis (an’-ta-na-cla’-sis): The repetition of a word or phrase whose meaning changes in the second instance.

There isn’t enough room in your room to even call it a room: it’s more like a walk-in closet with a window. You need to do some remodeling. If you knock out that wall over there, you’re room will be a knock out! You’ll say “wow” to yourself every time you go to bed–it’ll be like sleeping in a bed of roses.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Antanagoge (an’-ta-na’-go-gee): Putting a positive spin on something that is nevertheless acknowledged to be negative or difficult.

You got your MBA. You got you’re first job!   So what, if you work 14 hours a day for peanuts. At least you’ve got a job. That’s more than a lot of people can say. Also, so what if nobody’s ever heard of the company you’re working for. I bet the FBI has! But that’s a positive thing–eventually you could end up being a star witness, gaining the kind of notoriety lots of people would pay for! Or, if you help steer the company’s woes in the ‘right’ direction, you could get a huge pay raise and a high-powered promotion to the top of the heap!

Wow! I envy you, and I hope you don’t get shot on the job or anything like that. And hey, even if you do, somebody will want to make a movie, and if you survived being shot, you’ll get tons of money just for being a consultant.

Things are looking good for you my friend! Take care! Keep you head down! See you around.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Antenantiosis  (an’-ten-an’-ti-os’-is): See litotes. (Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty [downplaying one’s accomplishments] in order to gain the audience’s favor [establishing ethos]).

I don’t deserve this award–really–I bribed the judges. But the judge was not totally corrupt–he needed the money to his not so small medical bills. Its not like my admission ruins the entire competition. I’ve seen worse–my behavior’s not too bad, but it could be better.

Will I be arrested, or can I just give back the award and we forget about it? If you arrest me, I’ll let them you’re not exactly the most perfect person in this world, or any other world for that matter! You know what I mean Mr. My-Hands-Are-Clean.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Anthimeria (an-thi-mer’-i-a): Substitution of one part of speech for another (such as a noun used as a verb).

Trump has porn starred his way to to a whole new level of impropriety. Sure, he had sex with her before he was President. But what the hell does that matter. He cheated on his wife with a porn star while Melania sat home patting her baby bump.

As the dribs and drabs of the despicable personal life Trump leads come out, and his treatment of women as sex objects is made public, one wonders what’s next. Will it be a Roy Moore mockery? A Carlos Danger defection? An Eliot Spitzer $15,000 hooker blitzer?

Or, do we just end up with the Donald Trump Hump-a-Dump–a sexually charged dance routine on Saturday Night Live? Alec Baldwin–are you ready to Trump Hump-a-Dump?

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Anthypophora (an’-thi-po’-phor-a): A figure of reasoning in which one asks and then immediately answers one’s own questions (or raises and then settles imaginary objections). Reasoning aloud. Anthypophora sometimes takes the form of asking the audience or one’s adversary what can be said on a matter, and thus can involve both anacoenosis and apostrophe.

Where are we headed? More expensive cans! More expensive cars! More expensive bridges! More expensive skyscrapers! More expensive steel.

Trade wars are good? Easy to win? No, they are not easy to win. In fact, nobody wins–short term or long term, everybody takes a hit.

And then there’s aluminum: we only mine a tiny bit of bauxite (makes aluminum) in the US. Is there going to be a tariff on bauxite? What can we do about that? Nothing.

Is this trade war thing a good idea? No, certainly not!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Antimetabole (an’-ti-me-ta’-bo-lee): Repetition of words, in successive clauses, in reverse grammatical order.

We go forward, we go back. We go back, we go forward. Again and again. Nothing gets resolved. “Resolved” gets nothing.

He said, “Promises are made to be kept” and he kept promising and the promises were never kept. He said at the Town Hall Meeting: “Ask not what I promised, but promise what I ask.” We all looked at each other, stunned. What he had said seemed to carry some deep meaning.

But I didn’t care what meaning it carried. I was hungry and angry!

Tonight, I wave my axe handle and move along with the crowd. We are storming the White House. We are seeking justice for the lies we had been told. We don’t have a chance of breaking down the fence, but we are moving ahead anyway.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Antimetathesis (an-ti-me-ta’-the-sis): Inversion of the members of an antithesis.

You’re so hot–everybody wants a piece of you.

You’re so cold–you could care less as you rest on your flimsy laurels.

You better start paying attention to your fans: fans are notoriously fickle. Their hot fires of admiration will turn into icebergs over night if you don’t warm up to their overtures.

Cold and Hot, hot and cold: you need to turn up the heat and fan your fans’ flames of love and wonder. They will think it’s cool!

Go for it!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Antiprosopopoeia (an-ti-pro-so-po-pe’-i-a): The representation of persons [or other animate beings] as inanimate objects. This inversion of prosopopoeia or personification can simply be the use of a metaphor to depict or describe a person [or other animate being].

Hey look–it’s President Dump! I’m not talking about that kind of dump. I’m talking about the random collection of garbage euphemistically called a land fill. President Dump has been in office over a year and all he’s done is accumulate trash–he calls it executive orders, I call it swill–rotten waste material stinking up the USA.

Let’s face it, President Dump’s mind is a garbage pail that’s never been emptied. It’s overflowing with 71 years of slop. There’s no way to fix it. We’ve just got to hold our noses until 2020 and hope he goes back to doing what he does best: swindling, declaring bankruptcy, and being a jerk (which he’s doing now).

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text added by Gorgias.



Antirrhesis (an-tir-rhee’-sis): Rejecting reprehensively the opinion or authority of someone.

Your idiocy outstrips itself as you dance the dullard dance toward yet another belief that’s right up there with the moon being made of green cheese, which you actually believe!

You think we should so something about gun control. So far, so good. But, my God–you want to arm cats and dogs–dogs with rifles and cats with handguns. You want to mount dash cams on them and somehow hook them up to a remote trigger-pulling mechanism?

First, your idea is utterly insane–especially you reason for arming cats with handguns instead of rifles–something about their tails fitting better in the smaller trigger guards on handguns and the likelihood they’ll be able to fire more rapidly. And then, there’s dogs with rifles! No comment. Just plain insane.

Second, where the hell does your plan say anything at all about gun control? Nowhere. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

You need to go stand in a corner and think about how stupid you are. When you think you’ve stood there long enough, come back over here and we can talk. But please, no gun toting cats and dogs. Gun toting people are a big enough problem.

So, go! Get over there!

Definition courtesy of Silva Rhetoricae (

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Antisagoge (an-tis-a-go’-gee): 1. Making a concession before making one’s point (=paromologia); 2. Using a hypothetical situation or a precept to illustrate antithetical alternative consequences, typically promises of reward and punishment.

Ok, so I don’t have a college degree, but I’ve had lots of practical experience working in a lab. We made lots of money and helped a lot of people escape from the dismal realities of their lives. Also, I handled a lot of cash–I know how to keep books, order supplies and make a payroll. We had 8 people working in the lab and employed 50 salespeople.

Just imagine if you’ve got Pete or Patty PhD at the helm and there’s some kind of crisis–say, one of your salespeople gets shot or arrested. Your college grads will probably start crying for their mommies.  I, on the other hand, have had these kinds of experiences and know exactly what to do. Sure, it’s not likely that a vitamin supplement lab will encounter these kinds of problems, but if you have me at the helm in the lab you can rest assured that everything will be quickly under control–and I mean everything. It’s part of my meth-od if you get my drift!

Hire me, and your business will take off, especially if you let me work nights when nobody else is around.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Antistasis (an-ti’-sta-sis): The repetition of a word in a contrary sense. Often, simply synonymous with antanaclasis.

If you’re such an open person, why won’t you open the door? Is it because you’re hiding somebody inside?

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Antisthecon (an-tis’-the-con): Substitution of one sound, syllable, or letter for another within a word. A kind of metaplasm: the general term for changes to word spelling.

We have another Szandal! Or, more clearly a continuation of an ongoing debacle–Dominus Trumpiscum and the Stormy Porn Star (mouth shut for $130,000) apparently had some kind of sex together–her account makes it missionary, his, makes it nothing (the usual denial). Stormy also says that she “almost choked” on Trumpiscum’s well arranged hair–it was the cinnamon-flavored hairspray that almost did her in. She said it “I felt I was chewing on some kind of breakfast cereal made out of smelly blond glass.”

Of course we don’t know if anything Stormy says is true, but we’d sure like to believe it! However it is hard to believe she was chewing on Trumpiscum’s hair! Or is it?  Hmmmm.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

We praise. You blame. We see goodness. You see evil. We live in a world of hope and happiness. You live in a world of fear and anguish.

There is an abyss that divides us. It is because we have chosen to live at the extremes. It is time realize that there is good AND evil in this world. It is time to revel in what’s right and repair what’s wrong–together.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Antitheton (an-tith’-e-ton): A proof or composition constructed of contraries. Antitheton is closely related to and sometimes confused with the figure of speech that juxtaposes opposing terms, antithesis. However, it is more properly considered a figure of thought (=Topic of Invention: Contraries [a topic of invention in which one considers opposite or incompatible things that are of the same kind (if they are of different kinds, the topic of similarity / difference is more appropriate). Because contraries occur in pairs and exclude one another, they are useful in arguments because one can establish one’s case indirectly, proving one’s own assertion by discrediting the contrary]).


If lying is bad, telling the truth must be good. Seems incontrovertible, right? I wish it was that easy! The classic example: You’re hiding your neighbor from the Nazis. They ask you if you know where she is.  You know where she is, but you lie to save your neighbor’s life. Something in the circumstances trumps lying’s badness in this particular case. You may certainly (?) say that generally speaking telling the truth is the right thing to do & it’s opposite, lying, is consequentially the wrong thing to do: but not always.

So, are there any binary terms with social import that aren’t capable of shedding their ‘differences’ and swapping  consequences in particular circumstances? As in the example above, lying seems morally superior to telling the truth.  Accordingly, although telling the truth and lying are paired and will always be different by definition, in practice, in particular cases their moral valences can and should flip.

Telling the truth to Nazis about the whereabouts of your neighbor may be worse than lying, even the though the Nazis have “every legal right” to arrest your neighbor and deport her off to a concentration camp.

So, what are you going do when a law enforcement officer knocks on your door and pleasantly asks if you know the whereabouts of your undocumented Guatemalan neighbor, who you know is hiding in your garage. Lie? Tell the truth?

To be sure, the severity of the consequences for the ‘hiding’ people in the examples above may be somewhat different as are the motives behind the laws sanctioning their arrests. In both cases though, to the authorities, the people they were hunting were (and are) aliens who were (and are) fair game by law.

Think of all the people who were complicit with the Nazis: “She’s down in my basement.” “She’s hiding in my garage.”

Just remember in a particular case the truth won’t always set you free. It may burden you with doing harm to another human being.

Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apagoresis (a-pa-gor’-e-sis): A statement designed to inhibit someone from doing something. Often uses exaggeration [or hyperbole] to persuade. It may combine an exaggeration with a cause/effect or antecedent/consequence relationship. The consequences or effects of such a phrase are usually exaggerated to be more convincing.

If you do that again there’s no doubt–none at all–that you’re going straight to Hell when you die, which may be pretty soon at the rate you’re going. This isn’t baseball where you get three strikes–this is life, and in life you get one second chance–two strikes and you’re out. 

Rachel Maddow works directly for Satan. She spreads his sulfurous lies on the television. If you let those lies enter your brain, they will take it over and soon you will be disrespecting your parents, become a vegetarian, and get a tattoo.

For the tenth time time, I forbid you to watch Rachel Maddow–or any of CNN for that matter!

God wants you to respect your parents and eat meat–good red meat.

See that blowtorch on the dining room table? It’s there to remind us of the fiery horrors of Hell. See the back of my hand? That’s where my Daddy burned me when I was about your age. Your late grandmother had him put in jail–he was convicted of attempted murder for what he did to my hand. I never understood that, but glory, did it teach me a lesson!

If I was more smart, I would’ve listened to my Daddy. But I was too stupid to listen to his threats. I picked up the TV remote control to tune in “The Rifleman” and the next thing I knew my hand was on fire. Your grandmother called 911 and the police and put the fire out by sticking my hand in a mixing bowl filled with the strawberry jello she was making.

So, obey me and you’ll be all right. Disobey me again,  and I may use the family blowtorch to give you a taste of Hell.

Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text added by Gorgias.


Aphaeresis (aph-aer’-e-sis): The omission of a syllable or letter at the beginning of a word. A kind of metaplasm.

Everything was was comin’ ‘long just like we said it would. We had a pile ‘a sliced ‘tatoes ready for the frier, a couple ‘a pounds ‘a beef patties, a dozen buns, five cans ‘a baked beans, a case ‘a beer, and just for some needed balance, a pound ‘a cole slaw. Oh–we had a gallon ‘a ketchup too!

At 3.00 pm we’d be sitting ‘long each side of the dining room table enjoying our annual winter barbecue. Dad and Mom will be sitting at the ends ‘a the table–our dignified guests!

We can’t wait!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Aphorismus ( a-phor-is’-mus): Calling into question the proper use of a word.

Alternative facts? There is no such thing. If there’s more than one version of a fact, only one can be right. Or, in the process of establishing a statement as a fact it might be ok to use “alternative” as a part of the process, but in the end, there can only be one version of a fact–that’s what makes it a fact as well as true.

So, developing a narrative on the basis of “alternative facts” that seeks to substitute them for the appropriately established facts in support of conclusions that would otherwise be untenable, is evil. In a way it substitutes opinion for fact–so properly understood alternative facts may rightfully be called opinions masquerading as facts. To call opinions facts is wrong: it gives them an aura of incontestability that they don’t deserve.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apocarteresis (a-po-car-ter’-e-sis): Casting of all hope away from one thing and placing it on another source altogether.

I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 10 years. I am tired of drooling over hamburgers, lamb chops, pepperoni, roast beef, liver, kidneys, bacon, ham, steak of all kinds, goat, turkey, chicken, and all the rest of the bleeding protein that I see inhabiting dinner plates everywhere but the vegetarian diner.

I’m tired of feeling like a frustrated rabbit, a groundhog in a field, a cow in a barn, a deer in the woods, a pig in a sty, a sheep on a hillside, a goose on a pond, a rabbit in a hole.

I WANT MEAT: juicy, steaming slabs of animal flesh. Goodbye kale! Hello barbecued ribs! Goodbye Fakin’ Bacon! Hello New York Strip! Goodbye tofu!  Hello Big Mac.

That’s it! I’m changing my life from meatless to meatfull.

See you at the steakhouse.  I hope to be sitting behind a platter of meat!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apocope (a-pok’-o-pe): Omitting a letter or syllable at the end of a word. A kind of metaplasm.

I’m goin’ to the movies. Are you comin’ along? I want to see the new movie about the zombies that run a used car lot in the desert outside LA. I think it’s goin’ to be a fantas’ film. They specialize in Hyundais. Most people who go there to buy a car never return. That’s what you’d expect! It is WHY they don’t return that you’d never expect.  Well are you comin’? We can take my Hyundai–the one with the blood on th’ back seat. Ha ha! Just kidding!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Apodioxis (ap-o-di-ox’-is): Rejecting of someone or something (such as the adversary’s argument) as being impertinent, needless, absurd, false, or wicked.

Every time I hear Obama talking about feeding the homeless, or some other social welfare scheme, I want to puke. He says we should do it because it is our “Christian duty.” I don’t know what Christ he’s talking about! Jesus always charged a reasonable fee–in fact–he was so good, such a perfect guy, that he had a sliding scale. Jesus never gave anything away for free. If he had, nobody would’ve respected him and we wouldn’t have institutionalized the sliding scale.  The famous Biblical verse sums it up: “Chargeth them no less than what they can affordeth.” Of course, the sliding scale has prompted virtually all businesspeople to do business solely with the middle- and upper-classes.

It is the will of God.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (