Tag Archives: examples

Diasyrmus

Diasyrmus (di’-a-syrm-os): Rejecting an argument through ridiculous comparison.

Your threats are as empty your soul, your imagination, and outer space. Yelling “Conspiracy” every time somebody disagrees with you or catches you doing something marginally legal or massively unethical is like an 8-year-old boy who peed his pants claiming his pants are out to get him and are trying to make him look bad.

It’s not your pants fatso! It’s you!

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

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Diazeugma

Diazeugma (di-a-zoog’-ma): The figure by which a single subject governs several verbs or verbal constructions (usually arranged in parallel fashion and expressing a similar idea); the opposite of zeugma.

My mind shot splinters of light, made a weird tooting noise, started a philosophic dialogue with my left lung, and actually told me how much tea there is in China. Is there anything we can’t do if we put our mind to it? I, for one, wish it were so.

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

A paper edition of The Daily Trope, entitled The Book of Tropes, is available for purchase on Amazon for $9.99 USD. It contains over 200 schemes and tropes with definitions and examples. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.

Dicaeologia

Dicaeologia (di-kay-o-lo’-gi-a): Admitting what’s charged against one, but excusing it by necessity.

You: Yes, I took your golf shoes. Otherwise I couldn’t have played in the tournament, come in first, and won $600.00. I’ll go get your shoes out of my car. Please let me give you $100 for bringing me luck. It’s the least I can do.

Me: Your so-called “borrowing” is actually stealing. Give me all of the prize money and I won’t turn you in to the police. Those shoes are custom made and cost nearly $1,000. Taking them without my permission (given their value) is a felony.

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

A paper edition of The Daily Trope, entitled The Book of Tropes, is available for purchase on Amazon for $9.99 USD. It contains over 200 schemes and tropes with their definitions and examples. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.

Dilemma

Dilemma (di-lem’-ma): Offering to an opponent a choice between two (equally unfavorable) alternatives.

Last night you got drunk and for some crazy reason you gave your credit card to a homeless person, have made no attempt to cancel it, and think that “everything’s gonna be ok.”

Although you’re still drunk, I’m offering you two things you can do to keep this from happening again: 1. Get rid of your credit card and use only cash; 2. Have a responsible person “hold” your credit card. You will ask their permission to use it and explain what you’re using it for each time you use it.

Now, call the credit card company.

Post your own dilemma on the “Comments” page!

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

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Dirimens Copulatio

Dirimens Copulatio (di’-ri-mens ko-pu-la’-ti-o): A figure by which one balances one statement with a contrary, qualifying statement (sometimes conveyed by “not only … but also” clauses). A sort of arguing both sides of an issue.

Protagoras (c. 485-410 BC) asserted that “to every logos (speech or argument) another logos is opposed,” a theme continued in the Dissoi Logoi of his time, later codified as the notion of arguments in utrumque partes (on both sides). Aristotle asserted that thinking in opposites is necessary both to arrive at the true state of a matter (opposition as an epistemological heuristic) and to anticipate counterarguments. This latter, practical purpose for investigating opposing arguments has been central to rhetoric ever since sophists like Antiphon (c. 480-410 BC) provided model speeches (his Tetralogies) showing how one might argue for either the prosecution or for the defense on any given issue. As such, [this] names not so much a figure of speech as a general approach to rhetoric, or an overall argumentative strategy. However, it could be manifest within a speech on a local level as well, especially for the purposes of exhibiting fairness (establishing ethos [audience perception of speaker credibility]).

This pragmatic embrace of opposing arguments permeates rhetorical invention, arrangement, and rhetorical pedagogy.

It’s true, in some regards–very small regards–very, very small–I have let you down. But also, I have accomplished really great things, not only for you, but for the United State of America. For example, we have kept the pandemic death toll in the US under 5,000,000. That’s nearly 3,000,000 less than anybody–doctors, scientists, Melania, Hannity–might have predicted! At the same time we are Number 1! I like being number 1, even if it’s dead people.

While I may be making these numbers up as I speak, they might be true. Who knows? Unless you’re on your death bed right now, you are going to believe me because you want to believe me and vote for me in the fall.

As you plan for the future, please consider cremation. It will help deal with the clutter and smell at the morgues, and also, with the loaded panel trucks parked nearby.

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

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Distinctio

Distinctio (dis-tinc’-ti-o): Eliminating ambiguity surrounding a word by explicitly specifying each of its distinct meanings.

Cover: Something you put over yourself in bed to keep you warm (Better get under the cover, it’s cold.).

Cover: To to put a lid on something (You better cover those potatoes before the war boils off.).

Cover: Underbrush to hide behind (Take cover over there behind that bush.).

You, my friend, better find some cover and I don’t mean in bed or the kitchen. There’s a mob of people who you swindled with your fake virus remedy headed this way–you need to hide.

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Distributio

Distributio (dis-tri-bu’-ti-o): (1) Assigning roles among or specifying the duties of a list of people, sometimes accompanied by a conclusion.  (2) Sometimes this term is simply a synonym for diaeresis or merismus, which are more general figures involving division.

DT: OK–We need a comprehensive plan so we don’t get blamed for this. I mean, my God 50,000 people have died. I think most of them would have voted for me. We’re in deep shit.

I’ve gathered you together here today as my key people. Anyway, let’s get things lined up. Ivanka, you have no responsibilities, really. I want to you to show up in tasteful clothes and stand beside me nodding your head in agreement with whatever I’m saying. Jared, you’ll pretty much do the same, only you’ll actually say something every few weeks. Mostly, I want you talking about crackpot ideas based in conspiracy theories, mostly concerned with pointing fingers and also giving people false hope and blaming it on Obama and Biden when you get caught. Fauci, at briefings I want you way in the back. Far enough so nobody can see you because you’re such a midget. If you want to say something, raise your hand and I won’t call on you. Flynn, welcome back! I need you to help with my lies, creating them in a way that I won’t get caught, and if I do, taking the blame yourself. Don’t worry, I’ll pardon you.

What? What do you want Pence?

MP: Anything for me boss?

DT: Yes. Go paint Mommy’s toenails.

Are we ready?

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


A paper edition of The Daily Trope, entitled The Book of Tropes, is available for purchase on Amazon for $9.99 USD. It contains over 150 schemes and tropes with their definitions and at least 2 examples of each. All of the schemes and tropes are indexed, so it’s easy to find the one you’re looking for. There is also a Kindle edition available with links to all of the schemes and tropes. It costs $5.95

 

Ecphonesis

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

Donald in the 5th Grade

Donald: “Owwww. Owwww. Waaaaah. Mommy.”

Gym Teacher: “It’s just a soccer ball. It can’t hurt that much to kick it.  In fact, it shouldn’t hurt at all. What the heck is going on here?”

Donald: “I am cold in these stupid shorts. I want to go inside and put my pants on.”

Gym Teacher: “Sorry. You’re going to have to just keep crying for your mommy or admit what you really want.”

Donald: “What’s that?”

Gym Teacher: “You want to go inside so you can steal things from the other guys’ backpacks and lockers, just like you did last time. If you don’t get back out there on the field, I’ll be meeting with your mother–it will be warm and cordial, but this time I won’t relent. You’re going down boy.”

Donald: “Waaaah.”

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

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Ellipsis

Ellipsis (el-lip’-sis): Omission of a word or short phrase easily understood in context.

Never a borrower . . . Get my drift? I can’t believe you want to bid on one of Mick Jagger’s cigarette butts from the sixties. Next you’re going buy a chunk of Jerry Lee Lewis’ ear wax. Be crazy if you want to be, but I’m not paying for it, even though you call it a loan. You still haven’t paid me back the money you borrowed for the Chuck Berry auction where you managed to get a pair of his underpants for $300.00. I loaned you $500.00 for that psychotic episode. So, fool me once . . . Got it? Never again. Not a penny.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu) Buy a print version of The Daily Trope! The print version is titled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.

Enigma

Enigma (e-nig’-ma): Obscuring one’s meaning by presenting it within a riddle or by means of metaphors that purposefully challenge the reader or hearer to understand.

I ask you my children: What does it take for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle?

Alas, you are unable to answer.

So, I shall answer for thee: A meat grinder set on extra fine.

Now, let’s do a parable. There was once a fat wicked man with specially stiffened blond hair and a painted-on face-tan. He was a Twitter addict. He tweeted day and night. He Tweeted lies with misspellings. One day he tweeted a fact with no misspellings. Nobody believed him because he always lied and misspelled: they thought someone had stolen his phone.

He had fallen and could not get up. They found him dead the next morning. He had hit his head on his toilet and bled to death. A huge funeral was planned in accord with a fifty page instruction booklet found under his pillow. On the day of the funeral nobody attended the parade in his honor, not even his wives and children. He was dumped into a landfill outside of Baltimore and subsequently erased from history.

In the end we must say: Eagles don’t Tweet, shit birds do. He was a shit bird.

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

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Ennoia

Ennoia (en-no’-i-a): A kind of purposeful holding back of information that nevertheless hints at what is meant. A kind of circuitous speaking.

Me: Two days ago, I looked outside and noticed the lawn is getting green! Yesterday, it looked like it grew a couple of inches. Today, it is ankle high. Soon, it’ll be up to my knees.

I love watching you ride your lawn limo around the yard with the grass flying out the side. I wish I could do more than just watch the videos I made of you mowing last summer.

You: Ok, I get it. I’ll mow the lawn.

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

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Enthymeme

Enthymeme (en’-thy-meem): 1. The informal method [or figure] of reasoning typical of rhetorical discourse. The enthymeme is sometimes defined as a “truncated syllogism” since either the major or minor premise found in that more formal method of reasoning is left implied. The enthymeme typically occurs as a conclusion coupled with a reason. When several enthymemes are linked together, this becomes sorites. 2. A figure of speech which bases a conclusion on the truth of its contrary. [Depending on its grammatical structure and specific word choice, it may be chiasmus].

1. We’ve been up for 22 hrs straight. Let’s get some sleep.

2. If work wears you down, time off will help build you up again!

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

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Epanodos

Epanodos (e-pan’-o-dos): 1. Repeating the main terms of an argument in the course of presenting it. 2. Returning to the main theme after a digression. 3. Returning to and providing additional detail for items mentioned previously (often using parallelism).

My $1,200 stimulus check will get me nowhere. How come the love boats and the big jet airliners are getting billions of dollars while I get jack shit? The government could give me $5,000 and have enough left to give the boats and planes a teeny bit less. I would rather be bailed out than stimulated. I’ve got all the coffee I need for stimulation! And anyway, the stimulation check is designed to stimulate “the economy” not me personally. In other words, it is actually a bailout that I get to disburse at my discretion for life’s necessities: for eggs, toilet paper, milk, bread, wine, and beer: I don’t know who you are Mr./Ms. Boats & Planes, but my meager check will enable me to have an omelette, wipe my ass, have a sandwich, and drink a glass of wine. What will you do with your money? Buy tons of fattening food, have your uniforms pressed, pop champagne corks, and pay taxes to Panama? You are getting MORE than you need, while I get LESS than I need. Give some to me!

Bottom line: It is all one big bailout: I get stimulated waiting for my check & when it comes it is ‘spent’ at the grocery store (there’s not enough to cover a mortgage or utilities payment)–I bail out the grocery store (in order to eat and drink). The federal government bails out everybody else who makes more than a few million per year. The point: It’s one big bailout. The “people” get a pittance that isn’t enough to cover expenses. The corporations get billions, and billions, and billions, and some of them aren’t even involved in producing essential goods and services: we can live without the hedonistic boat rides. So, I think the boat and plane people should give whatever they don’t spend back to the people–to all of us who have been financially wrecked by the Corona Virus.

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

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

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Epanorthosis

Epanorthosis (ep-an-or-tho’-sis): Amending a first thought by altering it to make it stronger or more vehement.

I am enjoying staying home! No, make that LOVING it! It’s like some kind of endless landlocked “Gilligan’s Island” episode, only we don’t have to escape and find a way home–we’re already there! I’ve taken on the persona of the Skipper, pushing everybody around, telling them what to do next and sarcastically registering my opposition to all of their worthless ideas. It’s good to be Skipper! But, ‘Mary Ann’ keeps asking for the combination to my gun safe, and ‘Ginger’ spends at least one hour every day eyeing my knife collection, which is locked in a showcase under glass. I really don’t care because I’m using ‘Gilligan’ as a human shield–keeping him one step in front of me all the time. It’s uncomfortable using the bathroom, but we both know that the ‘Skipper’ must be kept safe at all costs. Why? Because he’s the skipper dammit!

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

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Epenthesis

Epenthesis (e-pen’-thes-is): The addition of a letter, sound, or syllable to the middle of a word. A kind of metaplasm. Note: Epenthesis is sometimes employed in order to accommodate meter in verse; sometimes, to facilitate easier articulation of a word’s sound. It can, of course, be accidental, and a vice of speech.

Springsteen said something like “I’m looking for a lover, who won’t blow my cover, cover me.” I’m not sure what he’s talking about or who he’s talking to, but I’m looking for a tiss-iss-sue to blow my nose on and hopefully get well soon. Also, I’m looking for an afghan, that’ll be my cover, and while I recover, cover me.

Oh, and while you’re at it, will you look in my mailbox for my Big Government check? 1,200 bucks goes about as far as a blown-up race car sunk up to its rocker panels in mud with four flat tires. So, we’ll stick to total basics: wine, whiskey & weed, and use what’s left over for a couple six-packs of PBR, and maybe, a carton of Marlboro 27s.

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

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Epergesis

Epergesis (e-per-gee’-sis): Interposing an apposition, often in order to clarify what has just been stated.

President Trump, the idiot-in-chief, called the emergent pandemic a hoax–I heard it with my own ears! Now, he’s blaming WHO for his inept and catastrophic handling of the pandemic.  So, one must conclude that WHO told him it was a hoax and he went with their advice and did nothing for awhile and let the virus spread in the US. Trusting WHO’s advice led to all our problems. Clearly none of this was Trump’s fault. WHO is out of control. Bad WHO! Killer WHO! Communist sympathizing WHO spread China’s lies! They want to ruin our economy and make us all slaves to their imperial ambitions.

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

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

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Epexegesis

Epexegesis (ep-ex-e-ge’-sis): When one interprets what one has just said. A kind of redefinition or self-interpretation (often signaled by constructions such as “that is to say. . .”).

Something stinks. That is, things just don’t seem to be going right. There is almost a literal smell hanging over and permeating the White House. I mean, as far as I can see (or smell?) the guy in the White House may as well be rotting garbage–no fresh ideas, no wholesome speeches, just the same old decayed ideas piled higher and higher: “I am great, it is all their fault: I’m not responsible.” His constant self-references sound to me like somebody warming up their voice: “Me, me, me.”

If he has absolute power like he says, I hope he looks in the mirror and chooses to make his getaway–back to ruining peoples’ lives in the business sector instead of the public sector. I’d love to see his brand on a jar of tapeworms where it belongs.

Bye bye stinky! Only the crooks and the idiots will miss you.

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

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Epicrisis

Epicrisis (e-pi-cri’-sis): When a speaker quotes a certain passage and makes comment upon it.

Related figures: anamenesis–calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author from memory–and chreia (from the Greek chreiodes, “useful”) . . . “a brief reminiscence referring to some person in a pithy form for the purpose of edification.” It takes the form of an anecdote that reports either a saying, an edifying action, or both.

“The future influences the present just as much as the past.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Neither the past nor the future exist. The past is gone and the future is yet to be. We can only ride the tide of imagination ebbing and flowing through our minds in search of a calm glassy sea to float us toward tranquility. But daily, we remake our hope, and our hope, whatever story it tells us, may solely rage against our fears fighting an endless war that keeps our imagined pasts and futures unsettled, as does our fear, with it’s unending invitation to anxiety, dread, and nervousness.

The vivacity of the non-existent past and future motivates us to act as imagination’s projection makes something out of nothing as an inducement to believe.

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

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Epilogus

Epilogus (e-pi-lo’-gus): Providing an inference of what is likely to follow.

He’s out of control. Too many people have died, and more will soon be dying. You know what you have to do. I don’t care how you do it, but make it slow. Make it painful. Make it forever.

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

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Epimone

Epimone (e-pi’-mo-nee): Persistent repetition of the same plea in much the same words.

X: We need masks. Give us masks! Give us ventilators! Give us gowns! Give us what we need! Give us the things we have to have to save lives and protect ourselves. Give them to us! Give them to us now! Right now! We are desperate.

Y: We will consider it if you have something good to say about the job I’m doing dealing with this thing I never called a hoax or a Democrat plot. Do you understand?

X: What choice do I have? None. None at all. I agree, but you’re dragging me through shit, and for that I hate you.

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

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Epiplexis

Epiplexis (e-pi-plex’-is): Asking questions in order to chide, to express grief, or to inveigh. A kind of rhetorical question [–the speaker does not expect an answer].

Where are the government-stockpiled surgical masks so desperately needed by front-line caregivers? Where are the government-stockpiled gowns they need to enable them to get close to patients and stay out of danger? Where are the government-stockpiled mechanical ventilators that the most seriously ill need to keep them alive? Warehouse? Trunk of the Presidential limo? William Barr’s basement? Up Trump’s ass?

Oh, but wait! Where is the anti-malarial drug that Trump has touted as a possible cure to the virus? It’s for sale all over the internet! What’s that about? It’s effectiveness is unproven and there are significant heart attack risks associated with using it. Why is it so freely available? It’s easier to get than toilet paper. Somebody will be making a bundle of money selling it for as long as the crisis lasts and for as long as it’s legal to sell.

Hmmm. Time to do a little Googling to see if Trump or his friends have a financial stake in the drug. Google says no. But Google hints in another link that the motive for touting the drug may be some kind of desire to lift peoples’ spirits by giving them hope that a possible cure is on the way. But it’s probably a false hope, like all the other ‘hopes’ Trump has projected.

So, who the hell knows? That’s my current answer to every question I’m asked about Trump: Who the hell knows?

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

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Epistrophe

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

Your father is a loser. Your wife is a loser. Your son with the black hair is a loser. And YOU are a loser. And you give “loser” a bad name.  I’m going to start calling you “Last Place” to remind you, and everybody else, how far behind the human race you trail–no  integrity, no moral compass, no brains, no heart.

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.]

The pandemic is horrendous–the worst thing I’ve witnessed in my life. I don’t understand why there isn’t a constant bold movement toward tackling it. Where is the clear contribution of the US government, aside from printing money to buy the unemployed?

Doctors and nurses are getting sick, some have died. When it’s over Trump’s legions of ass-kissers will manage to make him look like a hero as the dead are disinterred from their temporary burial sites in parks and vacant fields to be reburied and remembered perhaps as more than victims of a terrible disease, but also, as victims of moral failure and incompetent leadership.

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.)

Donald Trump=loser.

He might be a great reality TV star or businessman, but as a President he stinks out loud, especially when he has to do things other than calling people names, playing golf all the time, bragging, and lying.

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.

The clock was ticking on corona virus but you weren’t paying attention. Why should you when you believe you are in safe hands and that our leaders have our best interests at heart. But worse, it wasn’t so much a clock ticking as it was a calendar displaying used up days–days that could’ve been spent preparing for the oncoming catastrophe. 

You are nurses. You know better than I do how important is to have life saving equipment and an adequate number beds for the sick and dying during a pandemic. You know our President has let us down and continues to let us down as we are ravaged by the virus. Not enough equipment. Not enough beds. Not enough of anything, including compassion and competent leadership.  

When the dust settles and the world is more or less whole again we must take up the solemn duty of removing the worst President we have ever had from office by the power we have that’s vested in the vote. However personally difficult, your voices must be heard. Your experiences must be shared. We must never forget the terrible things he has done, and he is doing, to America. Given your first hand knowledge and experience, your voices will be an important asset in the campaign to drive him out of office, out of Washington, DC, out of anywhere he tries to put down roots and poison the character of the community.

You know it’s the right thing to do. We need each other to get back our country and heal it and win back the respect of the world.

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.