Tag Archives: erotema

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.


I made this fly swatter sculpture entirely out of matchsticks and Elmer’s glue. Isn’t it lovely? It’s lines are sleek and there are only a few glue drippings hardened on the handle. Don’t they look like decorative jewels? Like intentional dribblets of decorative domed opalescence? Along with my other matchstick artifacts, the fly swatter is already accruing value. Two weeks ago, a collector offered me $5.00 for my matchstick shoe (size 8). Isn’t that something? The shoe was modeled after the one worn by the muffin man who lived on Drury Lane in London, England. Although nobody knows what the shoe looked like, I speculated that it would have dough stains and would’ve been well-worn from door to door muffin sales. The buyer changed his mind in the last minute because I had made only one shoe. I offered to throw in my matchstick BB and lower the price to 4.95. My counter offer didn’t fly. But, he bought the Matchstick BB for 1.25!

Now, I’m working on a full-size ride mower on commission from the local hardware store. I am being paid 99.00–beyond my wildest dreams. It is modeled after my own mower—an antique Peterbuilt. They only make trucks now, but they got their start in mowers. It will probably take at least 15,000 matchsticks to build the mower. It could take a year to complete it.

Did I mention? Matchsticks are a real fire hazard. Foolishly, I had made a matchstick ashtray as a joke. I’m a traditionalist—I don’t clip the tips off of my matchsticks. Can you tell where we’re headed here? Last night, we had a little accident. My cousin Jimmy was visiting. He smokes. He put his cigarette out in the matchstick ashtray. My house burned to the ground. Everything went up in smoke. My matchstick creations fueled the fire. Also, the 15 cases of wooden matches in the basement moved things along very quickly. My house burned down in twenty minutes, a record the Fire Chief told me. It was the saddest day of my life, especially since I lost my matchstick bust of Elvis. I made Elvis with loving care—if you saw the bust on the street, you’d think it was Elvis reincarnated and fall down crying. But, now he’s gone—ashes somewhere in the pile of charred wood that used to be my home.

Now, I’m thinking of building a matchstick house with the insurance money from the fire. I will definitely clip the tips of the matches I use to make the house and all my future creations.


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 o

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.

What? Are you kidding me? This will be the third night in a row we’ve had some kind of beans for dinner. Do you want me to blow a hole in my bedspread? Come on, why don’t we have something less volatile? How about calve’s liver and cottage cheese?

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.

Ratiocinatio

Ratiocinatio (ra’-ti-o-cin-a’-ti-o): Reasoning (typically with oneself) by asking questions. Sometimes equivalent to anthypophora. More specifically, ratiocinatio can mean making statements, then asking the reason (ratio) for such an affirmation, then answering oneself. In this latter sense ratiocinatio is closely related to aetiologia. [As a questioning strategy, it is also related to erotima {the general term for a rhetorical question}.]

“To be, or not to be?”

Ironically (sardonically, cynically, pitifully, wistfully, blissfully, bashfully, shit in my pants fully) I (and we) already know the answer: we are all going to not be. We are all going to die.

So, if we are all going to “not be” and we know it, and we really want to show it, should we all just clap our hands, take out a life insurance policy, rest easy, and wait not to be?

Is it better to suffer the slings and crutches and bedpans of our withering biceps and sagging boobies, or turn on the gas?

I don’t know.

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

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

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.

Who is Putin trying to fool? When is he going to start telling the truth? When are the Russian people going to demand the truth? Today? Tonight? Now!

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

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

Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless [can include oxymoron].

A: I can’t believe, imagine, or even pretend that you’re a demented prince.  The demented part, I believe. But, if you’re a prince, I’m a microwave oven.

B: Samsung? Panasonic? Or, some off-brand?

A: I can’t believe you believe I’m a microwave oven!

B: You are banished insolent appliance. Guards, take him back to the kitchen and plug him in.

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

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

Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless [can include oxymoron].

What exactly does the US House of Representatives represent?

Constipated regularity?

Sincere insincerity?

Adult adolescence?

Who exactly does the US House of Representatives represent?

John Galt?

John Birch?

John Calvin?

John Belushi?

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

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

Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless.

I can’t imagine what the world would be like without the internet–if John Lennon were still alive I bet he could write a song about it–

“Imagine there’s no email, push notifications, tweets, or chats:

No emoticons or Facebooks, no stupid threaded gmail spats.

Imagine all the people living face-to-face:

Smelling and touching each other, dancing, and hugging and actually being some place.

I know I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one:

If we shut down the internet the world would be more fun.”

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

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

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.

Improve the safety standards for offshore drilling? Take the caps off of fines and damages in order to compensate for future catastrophes? Do these measures really get to the heart of the problem? Wouldn’t it be better to ban offshore drilling altogether as an incentive to develop cleaner energy sources? Why not turn the offshore oil rigs into wind farms?

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

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

Ratiocinatio

Ratiocinatio (ra’-ti-o-cin-a’-ti-o): Reasoning (typically with oneself) by asking questions. Sometimes equivalent to anthypophora. More specifically, ratiocinatio can mean making statements, then asking the reason (ratio) for such an affirmation, then answering oneself. In this latter sense ratiocinatio is closely related to aetiologia. [As a questioning strategy, it is also related to erotima {the general term for a rhetorical question}.]

We must buy a more fuel efficient car–maybe a hybrid. Why? Gasoline prices are are rising every week. I’m paying nearly $500 per month just to drive to and from work. Even if fuel prices go down, we’ll still be ahead of the game. No matter what, saving fuel is a good thing.

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

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

Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless.

What are the top three things I can’t even imagine?

Number three:  I can’t imagine a world without taxes.

Number two: I can’t imagine what it would be like not to have a credit card.*

Number one: I can’t imagine what it would be like not to imagine what I can’t imagine.

*My 14-year-old daughter just told me she doesn’t have a credit card and she knows what it’s like: I buy her stuff with my credit card.

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

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

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.

Immunity from prosecution? Again? Why can’t we operate within the law in the first place? Have we come to a point in American history where immunity is crime’s reward?

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

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