Tag Archives: example

Heterogenium

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

News Reporter: Some people believe that having Steve Bannon on your staff is a sign of your tacit support for his his “alt-right” politics which have been characterized as a sort of white-supremacist nationalism. Given that, and recent events in Virginia, are you considering terminating him?

Donald: I have a “right” (he ha) to appoint–where would I be if every appointment in my administration had to be vetted and approved? I’d be alone up here and the government would come to a standstill!

Now, somebody ask me a question really worth answering.

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

Hysteron Proteron

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

I woke up before I had gone to sleep.  You may think “Waking up” before sleeping is a metaphor–it isn’t. Ever since I started reading “Gone with the Explanation: Your Life is an Ass-Backward Mess” my life has gone awry–I am full before I eat, I wear my pajamas to work, I walk backwards to the park where I hold onto my dog’s ball–I can only catch it & that only happens once because I only have one chance to throw it to little velcro. Poor little Velcro.

Tonight, I begin my dinner with desert and end by putting my napkin in my lap and taking a sip of water.

I never knew a cheap paperback could have such an affect on a person’s life. I should’ve left it in the bin where I found it. I’m reading it back to front. I don’t understanding any of it, but soon I will be free from its diabolical grasp–5 pages to go! Pray for me!

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

Maxim

Maxim (max’-im): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adageapothegmgnomeparoemiaproverb, and sententia.

He who laughs last didn’t get the joke.  Get it? 

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

Mesodiplosis

Mesodiplosis (mes-o-dip-lo’-sis): Repetition of the same word or words in the middle of successive sentences.

There’s no time like the future! There’s no time like the past! There’s no time like the right time & the right time is now! Let’s go visit the Russians! I think we can learn a lot from them about things like stealing, money laundering and bribery! Also, after dealing with the Russians, you know Dad can tell us a thing or two about money laundering too. In fact, he may be better at it than they are! Come on Donny, let’s catch a cab over to the consulate!

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

Mesozeugma

Mesozeugma (me’-so-zyoog’-ma): A zeugma in which one places a common verb for many subjects in the middle of a construction.

It was time to go across the street, through the yard, onto the path.

He was in a hurry, but it did not matter.  As usual ‘time was a thief’ and it stole his timely arrival.

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

Orcos

Orcos (or’-kos): Swearing that a statement is true.

Senator Lunar: How many Russians can dance on the Head of the FBI?

Government Witless: Probably 5 or 6. But, respectfully, I believe it is the head of a pin, not an actual head & that it is somehow a metaphysical meditation on the corporeality of Russians’ souls (if they have any in the first place).

Senator Veritas: You lie I cry!

Government Witless: I swear I am telling the truth so far as Senator Lunar’s more or less insane question begs me to.  By the way: Your mother is alive and well in Miami.

Senator Lunar: 5 or 6 Russians dancing on Comey’s head, eh? There is no bruising. I think you’re lying Witless.

Government Witless: Respectfully Senator Lunar, my answer is true insofar as it is consistent with a historical tradition of speculation on bodies and souls, not to mention angels and whether they’re pure spirit. Russians are a new twist on the commentary.

But I want to ask you: Why are you asking me this more or less (on the face of it) irrelevant, if not crazy, question?

Senator Lunar: My Life Coach Billy Ed Joseph Ronald Richards gave me the idea. He was giving an ‘inspiration’ on how to advance political agendas and one way is ‘dancing’ on the heads of opponents. So, if 5 or 6 Russians danced on Comey’s head, it could very well be the case that he was ‘brought around’ and colluded with the Russians.

Government Witless: Wow! That’s more bizarre than 12th century philosophy and theology combined!

Senator Lunar: I swear it’s true. I may have been there. That’s not ketchup on my loafers. Whoops!

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

Palilogia

Palilogia: Repetition of the same word, with none between, for vehemence. Synonym for epizeuxis.

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

Let’s get this surgery over with! My favorite soap opera starts in 5 minutes!

Just stitch him up! He’ll never know!

Hurry, damn it!

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

Apoplanesis

Apoplanesis (a-po-plan’-e-sis): Promising to address the issue but effectively dodging it through a digression.

Wolf: What can you tell us about some of Tumpcare’s negative consequences? For example: 25 million people will lose their current coverage–they will join the ranks of the uninsured, even if they are fully employed–some will surely die. What about that?

Donald: Negative consequences? I wrote that damn bill myself Wolf! Sure, Ryan and his committee were there–a gaggle of supposedly silent partners who were  actually making choking sounds and giggling while I did the heavy lifting. Well actually, I had a little help from my daughter Ivanka (the smart one).

But really–the negative consequences are coming from the fake news coverage–that’s the only place: the enema–whoops–I mean the enemy of the people: they continue to sh**t the place up.

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

Deesis

Deesis (de’-e-sis): An adjuration (solemn oath) or calling to witness; or, the vehement expression of desire put in terms of “for someone’s sake” or “for God’s sake.”

For God’s sake, slow down! There’s no way I want to die in a traffic accident on my way to the mall.

I swear, if you don’t slow down, I’ll call 911 on my cellphone and have you arrested!

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

Ecphonesis

Ecphonesis (ec-pho-nee’-sis): An emotional exclamation.

Pat: “I’m going crazy!”

Sam: “So am I! Let’s dance!”

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

 

Effictio

Effictio (ef-fik’-ti-o): A verbal depiction of someone’s body, often from head to toe.

Note: This figure was used in forensic rhetoric (legal argumentation) for purposes of clearly identifying an alleged criminal. It has often been adapted to poetical uses.

He was lying on his back in a pool of blood in the alleyway between the “Bar of Good Hope” and a hardware store. His head looked like a pumpkin that had been sitting on somebody’s porch steps for a month. It was caved in on both sides–mercilessly crushed by the assailant’s baseball bat, which was lying on the concrete walkway alongside the victim. The victim’s brown eyes had a dull film over them and the victim wasn’t breathing, leaving no doubt that he was dead. I checked his pulse anyway. Dead. Dead as can be.

He was around six feet-three inches tall with sandy blond hair. He was wearing a gold wedding band. In addition, he was wearing red shorts, a black T-shirt, and expensive jogging shoes. He was muscular–broad shoulders and sculpted biceps, flat stomach, and legs that looked like he could out-sprint anybody on the body-recovery team.

He had no identification, so he would be admitted to the morgue as “John Doe.” Perhaps the assailant stole his wallet, but the brutality of the beating, and leaving the murder weapon behind, indicate this was a crime of passion: of anger, of love gone bad, or one of the other seemingly endless motives involved in murder.

Next, we need to figure out who this dead guy is, and then, create a list of suspects, and haul them into the Station for interrogation.

It’s not going to be easy solving this one. But once it hits the press, we may get some leads. Also, we’ll be checking fingerprints.

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

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.

A specific form of epitrope is the (apparent) admission of what is wrong in order to carry your point.

Go ahead, stay home on Election Day! It’s no big deal. Why bother to vote? Who cares! It’s rigged anyway. It’s all about who has the most money and who’s the most corrupt.

Yeah–that’s right: Stay home on Election Day. It’s no big deal. Be an idiot. Throw away your opportunity to change things.

Sucker!

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

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.

There is nothing like time’s rush.

Being free, patience waits.

Waiting, without rushing to wait, time passes.

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

Epizeuxis

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

Go! Go! Go!

You can get there! You’re only 12 miles away–don’t let your bare feet slow you down.

Keep moving and I bet you won’t get frostbite!

Go! Go!

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

Eucharistia

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

X: I can’t believed how helpful you’ve been. I didn’t have a chance, and literally one snap of your fingers and I’m promoted to VP!

I am eternally grateful for your kindness. I can never repay you.

D: I’m glad you mentioned “eternally” as the duration of your gratitude. That’s just what I had in mind.

When you asked for it, you knew my famous ‘finger snap’ is not gratis. You knew repayment was part of the deal–you were just too stupid to ask exactly how the repayment was to be made–what form it would take.

X: Oh my God! I never believed you could actually do it.

D: Well, sorry about this being so soon after your promotion, but it’s time . . .

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

Euche

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

ME: I will faithfully keep my promise to you.

You: Which promise? You’ve made so many promises–I’m losing track.

Me: Let’s edit that: I will faithfully keep my promises to you. If I put it in the plural, I don’t have to specify which one!

You: Clever, but let’s face it, two weeks ago you promised to clear the leaves out of the gutters. Now there’s two feet of snow on the roof and there are still leaves in the gutters.

Me: Well, I didn’t break my promise, I just haven’t kept it yet. There’s a huge difference!

You: Yeah, the difference is so huge it sounds like bullshit.

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

Eulogia

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

You have gone above the call of duty. You have gone beyond the call of duty. I don’t know what ‘Duty’ says when it calls, maybe somethin’ like “Get off your butt” or “Get your head out of your ass.” And I don’t know how ‘Duty’ feels about you goin’ above and beyond it, but I’ll tell you Laura-Bob, we don’t care what duty thinks, feels, or says about anythin’ because we are grateful to you for saving our prize chicken Toni from the clothes dryer.

Elmo was bad for puttin’ her in there, but it gave you a chance to be good by pullin’ her out.

As you can see, we’ve given Elmo the spankin’ of a lifetime–why the back of his britches is smokin’ like a wet campfire. Ain’t that right Elmo? You little dickens!

So, to conclude this little speech: Laura-Bob, your goodness passes my ability to capture it in words. Let’s just say we and Toni are grateful you saved her. As a token of our forever thankfulness, we will be sure to give you Toni’s next egg. Elmo will deliver it with a smile on his regretful face. It may take a few days before she’s layin’ again, so just be patient–a promise is a promise–you’ll get that egg, special from Toni.

Thank you.

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

Post your own eulogia on the “Comments” page!

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

Eustathia

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

ME: I am your shopping cart with wings. I am your forever piece of string. I will hug you until you are flat.  I will get you a big ring with a shiny gem and a very small monthly payment. I will ask you a big question (probably on your birthday, but no sooner). I will stick around for a long time.

Don’t you see what I’m trying to say?

YOU: No.

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

Eutrepismus

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

There are two answers to the following question: 1. Yes. 2. No. “I don’t know” is not an option.

Were you at home last night from 9-11pm?

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

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).

My shoe. My shoe. I lost my left shoe.

Uh oh. I can’t find my right shoe either.

Where are my shoes? Taking a vacation?

Where are my shoes? On the way to a landfill?

Where are my shoes? I don’t care about your shoes. I’m looking for my shoes!

Where are my shoes? I know where my socks are! Look–they’re on my feet! I’m looking for my shoes!

I give up. I’ll order a new pair of shoes from Zappos. So, I’ll be here at least another two days waiting for them to arrive. I hope you don’t mind.

What! You found my shoes?

What? You’re going to stick them up my what? Please don’t.

I hid them under the bed so I could spend another couple of days with you while I waited for my new pair from Zappos.

Don’t you see? I love you. I just want to spend more time with you.

Wait! Those aren’t my shoes.

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

Exouthenismos

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

You make me sick! You cheat on your wife. You cheat on your taxes, and you’re going to cheat the American people if you get elected. You make me sick.

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

Exuscitatio

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).

How many times are we going to let them get away with it? I am sick and tired of the same old excuses and attempts to “quiet us down” like we’re small children.

You know what I want, and it’s what WE want too!

I want my chocolate milk!

I want chocolate milk with breakfast!

I want chocolate milk with lunch!

I want chocolate milk with dinner!

I want chocolate milk!

Are you with me!!?

WE want chocolate milk?

Yes, We want Chocolate milk!

All right!

Let’s crowd around the med dispensary window and show these zookeepers who’s boss!

Chocolate milk!

All power to the people!

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

Homoioteleuton

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

I left my watch on the dresser alongside of my bed. What was going through my head? Here I am without doubt about where I left it, but without a clue to when I can get home to retrieve it.

I guess “mess” is too strong a word to describe what it is for me to be watchless.

Anyway, my cellphone gives me the time of day! That’s more than I can say for my colleagues here at the office.

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

Horismus

Horismus (hor-is’-mus): Providing a clear, brief definition, especially by explaining differences between associated terms

CLEAR: Time is change given utility by its humanly crafted measures (i.e., seconds, years, etc.). Additionally, time may be an opening providing the rationale for what happens/happened next  (i.e., season, opportunity, etc.).

CONVOLUTED: Time is a feature of human consciousness creating and comparing differences within archetypal oppositions of now and then afforded by memory and imagination; where accounts of experience are scripted as mechanical increments and organic openings–where actions are constrained by the ever-present confluence of chronology and opportunity constituting circumstances and the application of deeply cultured ideals of what is fitting as motives to decision.

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

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 was eating a piece of wistful chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream on top of it. I had worked for the Crown of Creation Casket Company for 45 years.

I am retiring, and this is my party.

My retirement gift is a beautiful burgundy smoking jacket made from the finest velvet the company uses to line it’s “Regal Cruise” selection of caskets.

I tried the jacket on in the men’s room and couldn’t help feeling like I was important–like I was going to a better place–not the better place where our clients go–just a better place, like the mall, or a state park, or the movies.

I nearly laughed out loud as I grabbed another piece of cake and scooped a giant plop of vanilla ice cream on top of it. There’s a problem: I don’t even smoke!

Hmmm.

But, I do drink 4 glasses of wine every night.

Hmmm.

You can sit in a big comfy chair and drink and smoke. Consequently, drinking won’t put undue strain, or wear, on the jacket! That is, like smoking, drinking is a sedentary activity. It may involve a bit more exercise, like getting up and pouring another drink, but by and large one sits and drinks just like one sits and smokes.

Problem solved: I will make my smoking jacket into a drinking jacket. Instead of keeping a lighter in its pocket, I’ll carry a corkscrew.

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