Tag Archives: elocutio

Epistrophe

Epistrophe (e-pis’-tro-fee): Ending a series of lines, phrases, clauses, or sentences with the same word or words.


The onus that has been placed on you is not a burden. Bearing it, you may display your well-known wisdom. The walls, and even the vaults of the cathedral, will ring with your wisdom. The congregants will stand and applaud your wisdom.

This wisdom centers on decisions you’ve made that are freighted with charity, prudence, and frugality and your ability to bridge our divisions with faith. You have wound the delicate thread of community around us, gently, without anger or outbursts of righteous indignation.

We are awed by your wisdom.

We are comforted by your wisdom.

We are grateful for your wisdom.

May God bless you for the rest of your days, and bless us too with your continuing presence in our lives.


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

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Epitasis

Epitasis (e-pit’-a-sis): The addition of a concluding sentence that merely emphasizes what has already been stated. A kind of amplification. [The opposite of anesis.]


Will they behave? Can they behave? Saturday’s “Pro-Trump Rally” will tell the tale. Not only that, we may find out what “Pro-Trump” means. My sense is that it means a truck load of shit: anger inducing assertions about what is wrong with government that are based in misinformation and lies, and the worst lies: the conspiracy theories that frame too many Americans as gullible dupes with no critical reasoning skills. Or maybe the Trump supporters are serial adulators who’re too old for idolizing Rock Stars and have targeted Trump for his Rock ‘n Roll bad boy demeanor. He can’t sing, but Trump’s incoherent yelling verges on Meatloaf, or even some kind of fry, or death metal, screaming.

I hate to say it, but I will probably tune in on the rally to be better informed about what’s going on in Trump world, for the entertainment value, and to find relief by laughing and yelling at the TV.

Informed. Entertained. Relieved. Good reasons to watch.


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

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Epitheton

Epitheton (e-pith’-e-ton): Attributing to a person or thing a quality or description-sometimes by the simple addition of a descriptive adjective; sometimes through a descriptive or metaphorical apposition. (Note: If the description is given in place of the name, instead of in addition to it, it becomes antonomasia or periphrasis.)


Your face is long. It’s so long you can touch your belly button with your nose. It’s so long you don’t have to bow your head to eat your soup. It’s so long it looks like a flat-top football. It’s so long, if you nod your head enthusiastically you could bruise your septum. Ha! Ha! Ha!

You know this is BS.

You’re clearly down in the dumps—hence the “long face.” You need to do something about your lingering broken heart. Silky did a number on you—faithful, and by your side, until you maxed your credit card. It must’ve been painful when she stood up, grabbed her purse, and stalked out of Meaters when the waiter came back to your table and gave you the bad news about your card. She hasn’t called, emailed, or texted since.

She’s still streaming though, at Buzz-Cakes, where you met her and started your affair at $75.00 a pop plus tip.

You know, you should focus on rebuilding your credit rating, instead of further destroying your life pining over Silky. She’s nothing more than a kind of high tech hooker—she probably has six or seven other men on the hook. There’s no love here. Right now, you’re a total loser. Snap out of it. Try to forget her.


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

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Epitrope

Epitrope (e-pi’-tro-pe): A figure in which one turns things over to one’s hearers, either pathetically, ironically, or in such a way as to suggest a proof of something without having to state it. Epitrope often takes the form of granting permission (hence its Latin name, permissio), submitting something for consideration, or simply referring to the abilities of the audience to supply the meaning that the speaker passes over (hence Puttenham’s term, figure of reference). Epitrope can be either biting in its irony, or flattering in its deference.


You tell me, “How many roads must a man walk down before they call him a man?” “How many people dey hustle?” “How many mothers have to cry?” “How many shots can you take?” “How many Instagram videos you gonna play back?”

I’m tired of the questions. I’m tired of the answers. You tell me what the hell it all means! You tell me! The streaming indignities. The obstinate memes.

The grist pours out of the Hell Mill. We bake ourselves into cakes and loaves of bread and go stale in the darkness. Do YOU care about what it all means? Contemplate the horizon you’ve set for yourself. Is the sun rising or setting? Are the trite lullabies you ply yourself with keeping you awake? Are your hopes actually fears? Put yourself in some rich guy’s Birkenstocks and run away. They’ll fly off your feet like two birds. Tell me what this means and I’ll give you a ticket to ride.

Tell me!


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

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Epizeugma

Epizeugma (ep-i-zoog’-ma): Placing the verb that holds together the entire sentence (made up of multiple parts that depend upon that verb) either at the very beginning or the very ending of that sentence.


Hope and fear, noise and silence, life and death, heaven and earth, old and young and countless other contraries marking the changes that make life meaningful. For it is the oppositions that provide us with a sense of where we are—always somewhere between them, their proximity provides us with meaning.

As soon as one pronounces oneself to be young, one has begun to voyage toward getting older, and being old. And when one pronounces oneself old, one begins to think of death—maybe like a toy balloon floating away across the sky and disappearing, or a more grim image of what the end is like: imps with glowing branding irons searing your flesh. But having that word—“death”—enables one to contemplate the end on of one’s life without having to experience it. This is a blessing or a curse: it can be anything one may imagine it to be (balloons or imps), for better and for worse.

Although we are all on the same trajectory, we are at different stages along the way. But, we are all alive, traversing the tangible world—what is present to our senses; what may divert our imaginations from what is impossible to know and resides solely in faith, to a yummy cheeseburger, a martini, or a drive to the grocery store to pick up a loaf of bread. This isn’t to say that all of the hellish prospects conjured by your imagination are not actually operative here on earth. It’s a question of dwelling—the house you build in your head, and your willingness to accommodate bad tenants.


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

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Epizeuxis

Epizeuxis: Repetition of the same word, with none between, for vehemence. Synonym for palilogia.


Dough! Dough! Dough!

Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!

Pepperoni! Pepperoni! Pepperoni!

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

That’s how we make it where I come from. In Genoa, we yell each of the ingredients and their oven-fired result out loud for good luck, and to keep the peace. This tradition dates back to Prince Adorno, patron of our ancient city. He loved pepperoni pizza more than gold and was benevolent to a fault, helping countless nona across our cobbled streets and through our dimly lit and twisted alleyways. When asked why he manifested such kindness, he would say “It’s the pepperoni pizza.” To cultivate his wonderfully edifying sentiments, the people of Genoa made him a pepperoni pizza for lunch every day, calling out the ingredients so he would know where to go to get his beloved pizza.

Traditions are born in strange ways. Knowing their origins rounds out our lives. Mysteries are solved and foundations are strengthened. “Pizza” is a catchphrase for our culture. “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!” is it’s living spirit as it rings out loud a clear at dinner tables, pizzeria counters, and wedding feasts.


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

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Erotema

Erotema (e-ro-tem’-a): The rhetorical question. To affirm or deny a point strongly by asking it as a question. Generally, as Melanchthon has noted, the rhetorical question includes an emotional dimension, expressing wonder, indignation, sarcasm, etc.


Whoa, whoa, whoa! Where the hell are we going with this? I’ve been selling “Billy’s Fudgy Cakes” ever since I was 22, and now I’m 60, and I’m still selling them by the ton, literally. We all mourn Billy’s passing, Junior, and are ready to roll up our sleeves and sell Fudgy Cakes until the word smells like their secret frosting. Doesn’t it seem imprudent to make them smaller, make them vanilla, and rename them “Whitey Cakes”? Where are we headed with this? Your father’s ashes are rattling in their urn. Will your eulogy tell the story of his successful leadership, followed now, by certain disaster of your doing? How are you going to feel when we’re all desperately waiting for our meager unemployment checks?

Will you come down from cloud-cuckoo land? Will you look in the mirror and see that your life will be ruined by what you’re about to do? You say you want to take control and make your mark. The only “mark” you will make is a skid mark.

It’s not too late to change your mind. Don’t you want to continue your father’s legacy and keep Billy’s Fudgy Cakes fudgy?


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

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Eucharistia

Eucharistia (eu-cha-ris’-ti-a): Giving thanks for a benefit received, sometimes adding one’s inability to repay.


Thank-you so much for the chocolate hockey puck, the six-pack of multi-colored erasers, and the sheet of 100 Pokémon press-on tattoos. It isn’t even my birthday! It isn’t even Christmas, or any other common holiday. But, digging deep into my knowledge of folklore and the history of holidays, I know what day this is: International Odd-Shaped Mole Day.

This is my ticket to being feted today: my dark brown 2-inch mole protruding from my forehead. It is hairy and looks like a Hyena running up an ant mound. Usually my mole is noted as a site of teasing and ridicule. I’m used to being called hyena head and having people ask to touch the mole or take a picture. It has gotten so bad that I have to wear a big Band Aid to cover over it, or a watch cap pulled nearly over my eyes. These measures generally work, but when I run into somebody I know, I become the brunt of their teasing—they may rip off my Band Aid, or pull off my cap all the while taunting me. Crowds will often gather, sometimes chanting “hyena head, hyena head” as they circle around me like Medieval villagers in a Gothic novel.

But today is my day! You wonderful people have invited me here to celebrate my odd-shaped mole. For awhile, you’ve made me feel normal; even better than normal. I can never repay you, but, if you like, you can line up to touch my mole and take a picture.


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.

Euche

Euche (yoo’-kay): A vow to keep a promise.


Him: From now on, I promise to put the seat down when I’m done weeing.

Her: You might as well promise to drink gasoline at Cliff’s every time you fill up the car. What prompted this anyway? Are you terminally ill and want to go out on a positive note? Changing 30 years of ‘seat up’ to, ‘from now on, seat down’ must’ve been paid for by our daughter, or caused by something more bizarre.

Him: I dreamed I was a toilet seat. I was arrogant. I was uncaring. I was sexist. I only went down for crapping men, and then I went right back up again. Women had to pull and tug on me to go down so they could sit and pee. Realizing the suffering I caused as a mean toilet seat, and feeling the warm butts of the harassed women sitting on me, were transformational. I developed a degree of genuine empathy that is enduring and will enable me to keep my promise to you.

Her: My God! This is the best one yet! Your “I was a toilet seat dream” speech! But what the hell. At this point, after 30 years, I’ll take anything, no matter how crazy.

Oh, before you go to work, make sure to put the seat down. It’s been up since you got up this morning.


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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

Eulogia

Eulogia (eu-lo’-gi-a): Pronouncing a blessing for the goodness in a person.


“Robin Hood, Robin Hood riding through the glen.” Your well-tailored cammo breeches and matching tunic, and jerkin with a ruffle fringe that flutters when you run from the stooge posse, are the height of highwayman fashion. Your hat with the pheasant feather pen is totally cool—while you’re on the run, you can write threats and sarcastic thank-you notes for stolen loot, and also, tickle Maid Marion under the chin when you have some personal time together at your secure hideout in Sherwood Forest; in your wooden hut with running water, a fireplace, and a bed wide enough for romping.

But more than all of that, we are grateful for your valor and courage in harassing the depraved Sheriff of Nottingham in his dirty dealing campaign to overthrow our rightful King in his absence, and make Merry England into Scary England. Time after time you have come to England’s rescue, interdicting the nefarious actions of the evil Sheriff. You tirelessly pursue the preservation and application of the the basic tenets of Magna Carta: all people, no matter their social status or rank, are subject to the law, even the king.

For all of your goodness, we bless you. Additionally, we pray you will continue to protect England and it’s subjects.

Robin Hood, as a token of our love, we give you this time piece from far-away Bavaria: a bird pops out of the little door every hour and makes a “cowkoo” sound. Again, we are in your debt.


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

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Eustathia

Eustathia (yoos-tay’-thi-a): Promising constancy in purpose and affection.


I love you as much as I love Canada. Like maple syrup you sweeten up my life. You let me push you around without complaining. You’re as cute as a baby beaver. You smell like hot poutine. I adore your goose down overhauls and your well-insulated snow boots. Your lips are the color of unripe Saskatoon berries begging to be kissed. Your collection of Ann Murray CDs makes me lose all control, and your giant autographed portrait of Justin Bieber makes me want to get down on my knees and thank God that you’ve come into my life.

I love you and I always will. Without you, I’d just be another failure from New York, pining at Niagara Falls, looking at the colored lights and whining into the wind.


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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

Eutrepismus

Eutrepismus (eu-tre-pis’-mus): Numbering and ordering the parts under consideration. A figure of division, and of ordering.


Things are going wild in the USA. I can think of four measures that may bring us back from around the bend:

1. Declare martial law in Florida and Texas.

2. Declare war on home-grown militias.

3. Sanction the Republican Party

4. Nullify the two most recent Supreme Court appointments.

These are simple one-step measures. They will stop the madness. To be sure they are heavy-handed, but with good reasons and appropriate legal procedures, they will achieve their goals within the constraints of the law. Given what’s at stake, we must consider their effectiveness above all else. Will they get the job done? Yes.


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.

Exergasia

Exergasia (ex-er-ga’-si-a): Repetition of the same idea, changing either its words, its delivery, or the general treatment it is given. A method for amplification, variation, and explanation. As such, exergasia compares to the progymnasmata exercises (rudimentary exercises intended to prepare students of rhetoric for the creation and performance of complete practice orations).


You have that far away look in your eyes, memories pressing against the present, you see through your eyes, but your eyes don’t look. Your eyes can’t look. They can’t help you understand. They just drop pictures with clouded colors, unmerciful veils failing to occlude what you don’t want to remember: terrifying traces of war nurse chemical imbalances in your brain, supplanting everything “out there” with vivid, cartoon-like hallucinations mocking the present with twisted revelations and tear-inducing images swarming like flies in front of your face.

So, your aging mother—nearly ninety—feeds you your medication. After awhile, the tide of madness starts to drain. The tumultuous sea of anxiety is filled with warmth and tranquility as the chemicals bring you back from drowning—like a lifeboat sent by God.


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. A Kindle edition is also available for $5.99.

Exouthenismos

Exouthenismos (ex-ou-then-is’-mos): An expression of contempt.


“There is a time to hate” and I hate you—not just now, but for as long as I live and beyond. People like you deserve to be worked over with a set of electric hedge clippers, giving your face a buzz-cut, and then, putting your privates on a tree stump and having at them with a dull hatchet. I know this is disgusting, and maybe psycho, but you’ve pushed me here with your own pathological behavior: taping an M-80 on my pet turtle’s back, lighting it, blowing Tuffy into fragments of meat and shell, and laughing and bragging about your sicko behavior to the dumpster dwellers you call friends, puts you in league with the criminally insane.

I am going to have you arrested, tried, convicted and put in prison. Wait until the other inmates find out what you did to get there. They will find ways to “enhance” your sentence.

I have managed to find enough of Tuffy in the parking lot to bury in this cigar box. I’ve taped his photo to the lid and painted a little pond around it. I am working on Tuffy’s eulogy. It is hard to keep my rage out of it—you have ruined something special and taken an innocent creature’s life. You are disgusting. You are sick. You will go to Hell when you die. If I am alive, I will come to your burial and spit on your grave, or, find a way to scatter your ashes in a porta-potty.

May eternity treat you with horror and pain.


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.

Expeditio

Expeditio (ex-pe-di’-ti-o): After enumerating all possibilities by which something could have occurred, the speaker eliminates all but one (=apophasis). Although the Ad Herennium author lists expeditio as a figure, it is more properly considered a method of argument [and pattern of organization] (sometimes known as the “Method of Residues” when employed in refutation), and “Elimination Order” when employed to organize a speech. [The reference to ‘method’ hearkens back to the Ramist connection between organizational patterns of discourses and organizational pattern of arguments]).


I am sick of mowing my lawn, but my lawn keeps growing. I was going to play Corn Hole with my daughter yesterday, but we couldn’t find it buried in the grass. So, we decided to play badminton instead, but the long grass slowed us down and we couldn’t get to the birdie in time to hit it. So, we gave up on father daughter play time and went our separate ways. I paid bills. My daughter applied for jobs on the internet. I thought, pretty soon the tall grass will make it hard to get out the front door and we will be living in Hay Fever Hotel.

Something must be done. But what?

1. Burn the grass; 2. Get a herd of goats to eat the grass; 3. Plow up the grass and replace it with gravel; 4. Move to the grassless city; 5. Hire my neighbor Mow to deal with my grass.

Let’s take these proposals one at a time and see if one rises to the top.

1. Burn the grass: no, no, no. My house will be surrounded by flaming grass and will probably catch fire and burn down; 2. Get a heard of goats to eat the grass: no. Goats smell bad, make lots of “baaa” noise, and butt people (looking at a lawsuit here); 3. Plow up the grass and replace it with gravel: no, no. Weeds grow out of gravel and look like hell. Also, vandals can throw fistfuls of gravel at my house, breaking windows and denting its aluminum siding; 4. Move to the grassless city: no. The up side of city living is no yard maintenance. The down side is that it’s the city: honking horns, crime, and way expensive. As a WalMart floor manager, I could never afford it. In fact, I would probably have to quit my job and start all over again, just because of my unruly lawn; 5. Hire my neighbor Mow to deal with my grass: Jackpot! Mow is a professional lawn mower. His nickname is short for his profession and he’s only 100 feet away. He mows his yard every day at 5 pm, even in the rain! His grass is as short as a golf course putting green—weedless too. His mower is what I call a “lawn limo.” It goes 30 miles per hour, steers with levers, has two cup holders, and a glass-pack rumble muffler. However, there’s a major stumbling block to securing Mow’s mowing services. I call it the “Hot Tub Misunderstanding.” Mow calls it “My Neighbor’s Death Wish.” Mow’s been divorced since the incident occurred 3 years ago. He has a hot young girlfriend now and seems a lot happier since he divorced Marge. So, I’m going to risk my life, go next door, and ring his doorbell. It would be cowardly to just text him. Maybe I’ll get to meet Mow’s new babe Melinda and have a beer or two with her. No matter what, I’ve got to get Mow on board or soon it will look like I’m living in a hay field. Which reminds me, I could just get a farmer to mow my yard, bale it up, and drive it away. But given all that hiring Mow has to offer, I’m going to give him (and Melinda) a shot.


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

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Excusitatio

Exuscitatio (ex-us-ci-ta’-ti-o): Stirring others by one’s own vehement feeling (sometimes by means of a rhetorical question, and often for the sake of exciting anger).


I am totally sick of having to have Mr. Tallyman tally my bananas before I can go home to my wife and son Harry. It’s patronizing! It’s demeaning! It’s degrading. I know how many bunches I picked, working all night long—Banana Spiders falling on my bare shoulders and big black rats circling around my bare feet gnawing at the banana trees.

If I have to call out to Mr. Tallyman to tally my bananas one more time, and stand here wasting my time waiting for him as the hot sun rises or the rain falls, I am going to stick a green banana up Mr. Tallyman’s ass and go home. Is anybody else with me? Does anybody else want to be a little more free? Why do we have to wait around for the damn tally? When we’re done picking, we can do the tally, go home, and pick up our pay tomorrow. To hell with Mr. Tallyman and Damn you Del Monte too!

YOU are a man! I am a man! WE are men! TOGETHER we are strong. Do not fear the Tallyman! Do not fear Del Monte! Do your own tally and go home!


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.

Graecismus

Graecismus (gree-kis’-mus): Using Greek words, examples, or grammatical structures. Sometimes considered an affectation of erudition.


I felt like a million drachma! Everything is beautiful on the manic side of life. I feel like Archimedes soaking in a tub. I want to yell “eureka, eureka, eureka” over and over, throwing granola in the air like confetti with one hand and waving a little handgun with the other—a perfect combination: hope and fear, like dessert at an awards ceremony: an icy road to τρελός!

Oh, I never won an award. All the works, all the entry fees, all the submitting, all the meaningless honorable mentions—never a ribbon, never a plaque, never a cash prize. Just βλακείες, βλακείες, βλακείες ever since I was five. I started off crying when I didn’t win and advanced to donning my black hoodie and pulling out my black collapsible metal police baton that I brought in a gym bag to the event, knowing that “Plan B” was, as usual, going to be operative at the end of the event. As soon as I knew for certain I had lost again, Plan B kicked in. I slipped off to the men’s room to put on my μεταμφίεση, concealing my face and pulling out “Big Bopper” the baton to get ready to turn the tables.

I would wait outside the venue for my quarry; the soon-to-be disfigured winner. When he emerged, I lunged, swung the baton hard so you could hear it cutting through the air like the whip Mama used to use on the back of my legs whenever she felt like it, as punishment: 90% of the time I was clueless as to my transgression and Mama wouldn’t tell me. She’d say “You’ve been a naughty dog-poo William.”

With “naughty dog-poo” roaring through my head, I would severely beat the winner and gloat a little bit over my handiwork. Then I’d go home like nothing happened, clean Big Bopper, put my hoodie in the wash, pick out a Stouffer’s meal, microwave it, and stream “Ed Sullivan” reruns until bed time. This is when I felt really good, up on a manic cloud floating above it all like Zeus, invincible, αθάνατος!


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

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Hendiadys

Hendiadys (hen-di’-a-dis): Expressing a single idea by two nouns [joined by a conjunction] instead of a noun and its qualifier. A method of amplification that adds force.


Tooth and nail. They went at it “tooth and nail”? What? Somebody must’ve landed at the dentist’s. Maybe it was a saw. They have teeth, and two people with saws and nails, fighting it out, would certainly project a discomfiting image of conflict. If I was in that fight I’d much rather be going “spike and tooth” than using only a 4d box nail. You can’t do much damage with a box nail—poke out an eye, scratch the skin or get in little stabs that may, in their sum, be fatal. Anyway, there’s room for improvement in the image. How about “They went at it saw and nail?” Better, how about “They want at it chain saw and nail gun?”

Now we’re getting somewhere: severed limbs, nails like porcupine quills sticking out of each other’s heads. That’s the stuff great movies are made of. Just think: Warriors carrying nail guns and chain saws go up against marauding hordes of Neolithic-looking madmen carrying only clubs and flimsy animal skin shields. But they have a secret weapon: jumping dogs with teeth like sabers and claws like daggers. Only the size of Chihuahuas, they jump on your head, tear off the top, and eat your brains. The only defense is a well-placed nail or a sweeping pass with a chain saw at full rev.

Sadly, the Neolithic-looking hordes will win. Their leader Clogloo will hold up a bloody pate bowl and drink the steaming grey goop from it chanting “Winners and losers, win and lose.”


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

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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

Heterogenium

Heterogenium (he’-ter-o-gen-i-um): Avoiding an issue by changing the subject to something different. Sometimes considered a vice.


You ask me why I “insist” on lying, lying, lying all the time. First it’s not true, and second, you are the one who’s lying.

The only things I do “all the time” are eat, sleep, poop, and urinate. And I don’t actually do those things all the time. I just do them every day, night, and morning.

Talking about eating, nothing beats a good meal (and a couple jumbo cups of Diet Coke) at great restaurants like MacDonald’s or KFC. Every time I eat a Big Mac with cheese, and a jumbo order of fries, I feel like I’m ascending to heaven—I can hear angels singing “Have a second order of fries.” And KFC! The 16 piece meal, including 4 large sides and 8 biscuits, supposedly feeds 8. I can put it away with a couple of Diet Cokes in five minutes. That’s no lie, ask Melania.

I have to pretty much take her by gunpoint to my fast food favorites. She says they smell like Slovenia and remind her of the unpleasant things she had to endure to settle in America. By the way, I wish people would leave her alone about the beautiful garden she made at the White House. The rumors that the flowers keep uprooting themselves and dying—committing suicide—rather than remaining planted in the garden, are hard for us the live with. We cry together watching the FOX News reports about all the dead plants. Melania thinks it is Democrat-trained groundhogs, possibly equipped with military grade stealth technology, making them invisible. She says they probably have battery-powered chips in the backs of their fat little necks that send vision-blocking rays at our eyeballs.

Anyway, I’m glad I could be here today. I enjoy talking about myself, and also, about my perfect wife. See you at the voting booth in 2024. Help Make America Great Again, again—with Rudy, the My Pillow Guy, newly implemented voting restrictions, and all the wonderful militias, we can do it!


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

An edition of the Daily Trope is available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Homoioteleuton

Homoioteleuton (ho-mee-o-te-loot’-on): Similarity of endings of adjacent or parallel words.


I was a Dead Head in the 60’s. I was a travel-all-over rover, driving my green and white VW bus everywhere the Grateful Dead was appearing. It was a big pot-smoking acid-dropping family.

If I hadn’t had my trust fund to draw on, I couldn’t have been a Dead Head. The drugs alone cost bundle, especially since I gave a lot away, mainly to hot looking hippie chicks who showed their gratitude in many splendored ways.

The weirdest thing that happened was at a Dead event in Kentucky. I took a hit off a joint, and looked up, and bam, there was Al Gore standing in front of me in a pair of jungle fatigues singing along with the Dead’s “Box of Rain.” I didn’t know who he was at the time. I found out years later when he went into politics.

We smoked the rest of my joint together. We talked, and he did almost all the talking. I don’t remember what we talked about, but after that conversation I decided to go back home, go to college, and go into finance.


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

Selections from The Daily Trope are available as a book under the title of The Book of Tropes.

Hypallage

Hypallage (hy-pal’-la-ge): Shifting the application of words. Mixing the order of which words should correspond with which others. Also, sometimes, a synonym for metonymy (see Quintilian).


I slugged down a curled shot of vodka, spilling a little drop on my chin. This was going to be another flotsam night, sitting in my underwear, staring at the wall, getting drunk.

I was already looking forward to going to work tomorrow. I work at a pie factory. I specialize in pumpkin. After 14 years at the mixing bowl and oven, I smell like pumpkin spice. I’ve tried everything I can think of to get the smell off, but it won’t go away. The up side is that it smells a little bit like the hypermanly after shave “Old Spice.” It attracts women like a flock of moths to a flame. That’s the down side too. I’ve started staying home and drinking because the women in pursuit of me and my smell are driving me crazy.

I’d wake up in the morning with a beautiful woman and tell her I had to go to work soon. She would start to get dressed, and like all the rest, ask politely for a sniff before she left. If I said no, all hell would break loose—I would be chased around my apartment by a snorting begging woman until I locked myself in the bathroom. You don’t want to know the rest, believe me.

I am so grateful that no women work at the pie factory. I make my pies in peace.


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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

Hyperbaton

Hyperbaton (hy-per’-ba-ton): 1. An inversion of normal word order. A generic term for a variety of figures involving transposition, it is sometimes synonymous with anastrophe. 2. Adding a word or thought to a sentence that is already semantically complete, thus drawing emphasis to the addition.


I went looking for trouble, everywhere. I was always off, a little. I found a handgun in the park when I was 15. It went off accidentally and killed a woodpecker, who was minding his own business pecking on the old wooden flagpole on the village green, blowing off its head. I tossed the handgun into the bushes and picked up the dead woodpecker, still warm. This is where my career as a mortician began—with amateur taxidermy on the accidentally shot bird.

I brought the bird home and laid it on a piece of waxed paper on the desk in my room. As I opened the bird’s chest cavity with my X-acto knife, I felt jubilant as the woodpecker’s insides fell out in a shiny red lump. I picked them up and looked closely at them, holding them in the palm of my hand. After a good look, I threw them out my window. I didn’t know what to do next, so I put the bird in a shoebox and slid it under my bed.

When my grandmother died two weeks later, we went to see her remains at the Burns Brothers funeral parlor. The place was like a church! Grandma looked amazing. She had on a nice dress, her hair was stylishly done, her cheeks looked like blood was pulsing through them. I wondered how big grandma’s guts were, but blocked the thought for fear of becoming a psychopath.

I met Mr. Burns at the funeral parlor door as we were leaving. I asked him what it took to be a good mortician. He said, “Steady hands and a kind heart.” On that note, I knew I would be a mortician someday. As I became a practicing mortician, I learned, in addition to the steady hand and the kind heart, you have to feel no guilt at profiting from loved ones’ deaths. Eventually, I learned to bury my guilt by drinking expensive vodka and buying things I don’t want or need on Amazon.

I still have the dead woodpecker in the cardboard box. When I take it out and view it’s headless remains and still shiny feathers, I smile.


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. An additional edition is available on Kindle for $5.99.

Hypozeuxis

Hypozeuxis (hyp-o-zook’-sis): Opposite of zeugma. Every clause has its own verb.


They said I was morally bankrupt. Actually, I bet on a losing concept of the good. Aristotle or Socrates, or some other philosopher (maybe Augustine), wrote that people do what they do because they think it’s good, not bad. Why else rob a convenience store unless you think it’ll benefit you? When we thwart a criminal we keep her or him from obtaining a hoped-for good—quick cash, drugs, a plasma TV, food. I think it was Stanley Fish, or somebody like him, who proclaimed “One person’s hope is another person’s fear.”

By the way, this gun is WAY LOADED—17 rounds of sweet little 9mm hollow points. And I have a hope! I hope your toupee goes up in flames. Now, you’re going to stand still while I dribble this lighter fluid on your head, otherwise I’ll shoot you in the stomach and watch you squirm around and bleed on the floor. Ready?


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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

Hysterologia

Hysterologia (his-ter-o-lo’-gi-a): A form of hyperbaton or parenthesis in which one interposes a phrase between a preposition and its object. Also, a synonym for hysteron proteron.


I flew over —my feet were cold—the snow-white tundra. What had started as a spring break dare 50 years ago had ended with my transformation into an Arctic Man Bird. Yes, as unbelievable as it sounds, that’s what I am. I have talons—they’re huge—protruding from my fingertips, making it difficult to write this account of my life’s adventures as a bird. I never recorded my experiences before because I was fearful somebody would hunt me down and blow me out of the sky. But I am old now. I will die soon anyway. I never found a mate. I never had and any progeny. My remains will be found in a block of ice, if at all. Scientists will argue, Nobel Prizes will be won.

Wait!

A soft shrieking fills the air. A winged shadow appears at my cave’s opening. It is an Arctic Woman Bird. She lands. She gleams. I love her. “You are old enough now to give me a little chick. Our age difference is necessary to assure a successful mating. After we mate, I will stay with you and help raise our chick” She said.


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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

Hysteron Proteron

Hysteron Proteron (his’-ter-on pro’-ter-on): Disorder of time. (What should be first, isn’t.)


“Go! Get ready! Set!” Uncle Harvey yelled. Set what? Go where? Get Ready? Was it a riddle? It was very mixed up. Maybe it was because it was Labor Day and my wife’s family was drunkenly gathered “out at Camp” by the lake. In addition to eating gallons of “special” baked beans (laced with rum and mustard) crystallized “Sugar Bumps,” and a lot of meat—hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, sausage patties, and kielbasa from the grill—every year they went crazy and pushed somebody into the lake to “cleanse” Camp and create a little extra entertainment. Nobody had drowned yet, but odds were that it would eventually happen. That’s why in the past couple of years only elderly family members had been pushed in, due to their existing proximity to death, and the family wager that they’d all die pretty soon anyway.

Now I got it with Harvey’s fractured countdown! He was trying to disorient the elders, catch them off guard, and push one of them in the lake! Too bad it didn’t work. Grampy picked up a rock and threw it at Harvey, missing him and shattering one of Camp’s storm windows. My brother-in-law, a former college football star, ran toward Grampy, tackling him and dragging him to the lake’s edge. Then, he and Harvey hoisted Grampy up, swung him back and forth a couple of times, and threw him into the lake—all in good order, 1, 2, 3. Unfortunately, there was a 4 that should’ve been a 1. They should’ve paid attention to the notorious giant catfish hanging out under the dock: Blimpy. Every Labor Day a few pounds of spoiled ground beef and a gallon of pig’s blood were thrown under the dock to appease him. Blimpy was known to snatch the occasional kitten or puppy off the dock, but he never attacked a person in the water. Was Grampy going to be the first? The meat and blood had been forgotten this year. Danger lurked.

As Blimpy headed for Grampy, we all dashed into the water, splashing and yelling. Blimpy got the message and retreated back under the dock. Grampy’s pacemaker started to malfunction, so we carried him back to camp, gave him a double Bloody Mary, and put him in the most comfortable lawn chair to dry out in the sun.

Everybody agreed: this was the best Labor Day family gathering ever! Well, everybody but Grampy—he wasn’t all that enthusiastic about the family’s consensus. Given that he almost died, we could understand, although Aunt Kay did call him a spoilsport, and Uncle Lowell told him all he had to do was “punch the damn fish in the nose, and it probably would’ve died.”


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.