Tag Archives: examples

Mempsismemp

Mempsis (memp’-sis): Expressing complaint and seeking help.

I can’t find my bicycle pump. I can never find it when you’re around. Come on, help me find it. I’m sure you put it somewhere around here where we can find it. Come on!

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

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Merismus

Merismus (mer-is’-mus): The dividing of a whole into its parts.

The Republican Party is divided into liars, misogynists, bootlicks, and “Christians.”  These four parts, taken together, are tokens of disrepair. So long as they remain in power, the Republicans pose a danger to our republic: to the foundations of its moral outlook, and the regime of truth providing it guidance.

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

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Mesarchia

Mesarchia (mes-ar’-chi-a): The repetition of the same word or words at the beginning and middle of successive sentences.

I thought I was going crazy looking at little men sitting on my foot. I thought I was going really nuts with the little men pointing at me and laughing. I thought I was going loony tunes for sure hanging out with little men playing acoustic guitars. Then I realized I had just spent two hours watching Fox News.

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

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Mesodiplosis

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

I can’t believe how weird things are getting. I used to say how weird things were. Now, I’m up to my neck in weird things and they are freaking me out. I think Washington, DC is where the weird things are coming from. Every day our President proffers some kind of strange idea or posits some kind of creepy conspiracy theory–like Nancy Pelosi is a Chinese spy working with Hilary Clinton to sterilize every man on the planet, with the exception of a handful of Übermensch to enable the continuation of the species. Guess who is one of the Übermensch? Yup: Donald J. Trump. This is how he knows about the conspiracy: he has gotten several messages from Pelosi on his phone offering him the position of Chief Inseminator, which he claims to have refused because he can make more money, and get as much action, being President of the United States.

Weird enough?

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

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Mesozeugma

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

I was trying to find an appropriate way to tell him, inform him, let him know he was going to be confined to the basement of the White House until the People’s Tribunal figured out what to do with him. Most members argued that life in prison was too good for him. Most of what was recommended was too gruesome to share with the general public. One idea that was starting to get some traction was a life-sentence to highly supervised community service. This would entail wiping and washing elderly peoples’ butts, emptying bedpans, giving baths to homeless people, and, among others, being a practice dummy for prostate exams. One risk here, though, is that he may try to make himself look like a decent human being for helping people, even if mandated.

Oh well. We’ve got some more thinking to do.

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

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Metabasis

Metabasis (me-ta’-ba-sis): A transitional statement in which one explains what has been and what will be said.

Now that we’ve covered the heap of evildoing perpetrated by the blond fat man, we have to determine whether, in the aggregate, it adds up to one big capital offense.

(Bailiff, please tell the blond fat man to shut up and stop crying like a baby with diaper rash and a sunburned ass.)

Now, if it is determined that the blond fat man is guilty, he will be sentenced to death and we will have the pleasurable honor of determining how he will go.

(Bailiff, please tell the blond fat man to shut up and stop crying like a toddler who pooped his pants and can’t find his mommy.)

By and large there seems to be a consensus of opinion regarding the blond fat man’s demise: the parents of the deceased Mexican children who died in cages want to beat him to death, skin him, and make him into a piñata filled with blank US Government checks endorsed by the Secretary of the Treasury.

(Baliff, the blond fat man has peed himself. Take him back to his cage. Feel free to hit him in the stomach a couple of times to calm him down.)

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

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Metalepsis

Metalepsis (me-ta-lep’-sis): Reference to something by means of another thing that is remotely related to it, either through a farfetched causal relationship, or through an implied intermediate substitution of terms. Often used for comic effect through its preposterous exaggeration. A metonymical substitution of one word for another which is itself figurative.

Your lies are like strands of wet spaghetti draped over a pee-smelling clogged urinal in a Russian public toilet near the US Embassy in Moscow. Your lies are frosting on a cake made of shit served in the dining car on a slow train to hog trough. Go away. Get lost. You make me sick you son of Coronavirus.

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

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Metallage

Metallage (me-tal’-la-gee): When a word or phrase is treated as an object within another expression.

I am standing here looking into the wind and wondering “How did I get here? Will I ever actually know what ‘here’ is? I know where here is–right now, it’s a drainage ditch on the roadside of life: I’m up to my knees in anxiety.

But I will never know what here is–it keeps moving there. I know there’s a definition in the dictionary: I’ve read it and it does not provide an answer that is adequate: “at this place.” What is “at”? What is “this”? What is “place”?  However, when the Animals sang “We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place,” I think it was quite clear that “place” was a far-reaching metaphor for social and economic circumstances. So, was there a “here” there?

I think knowing where “here” is (it’s there), is good enough. “Here” isn’t necessary to find your way around, unless you don’t want to start from “somewhere.” So, let’s pause here and have another piece of my birthday cake–it’s right over there under the cat.

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

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Metaphor

Metaphor (met’-a-phor): A comparison made by referring to one thing as another.

The Trump administration is a carnival ride. It is a version of bumper cars purposely crashing into each other: The Secretary of State banging into the Attorney General, who at the same time is going after the Chief of Staff, etc., etc. I wish somebody would pull the plug. Maybe they’d find a better way to relate to each other and the rest of the world too.

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

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Metaplasm

Metaplasm (met’-a-plazm): A general term for orthographical figures (changes to the spelling of words). This includes alteration of the letters or syllables in single words, including additions, omissions, inversions, and substitutions. Such changes are considered conscious choices made by the artist or orator for the sake of eloquence or meter, in contrast to the same kinds of changes done accidentally and discussed by grammarians as vices (see barbarism). See: antistheconaphaeresisapocopeepenthesisparagoge, synaloepha.

“Acquitted” Trump Style: You’re totally guilty without a doubt, but your mollusk loser friends support you with their slimy applause as you commit stenchacide, celebrating one of the greatest con jobs in the history of America. You are truly out of control: like a toddler in his pedal car headed downhill toward a giant oak tree.

Post your own metaplasm on the “Comments” page!

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

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Metastasis

Metastasis (me-tas’-ta-sis): Denying and turning back on your adversaries arguments used against you.

I’ve never done anything wrong, until you say I did something wrong? Well you’re wrong: I never made false accusations, but you have. It’s like they say, “I’m rubber. You’re glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”

Falsely claiming I made false accusations is deeply ironic. Now I have to accuse you of making false accusations about false accusations. You have no evidence. You have no defense. You are a disgrace. I have evidence–real evidence.

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

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Ominatio

Ominatio (o-mi-na’-ti-o): A prophecy of evil.

Hear me Donald, for I am We The People!

Your future is as dim as a flashlight with an overwrought battery, eking out its last yellowed rays on the floor of a cheap motel room. Your future will include embarrassment and disgrace and marital failure (again). Your elevator shoes will cause you to stumble on world-broadcast TV and a roar of global laughter will ensue as you stand up with a small poop stain on the back of your pants.

Donald: you are doomed. Soon you will be residing in a homeless camp in California. You will be beaten and bullied every day. Sean Hannity will ridicule you on FOX News. Mitch McConnell will be your only friend. He will be your next door neighbor, but he won’t share his canned sardines with you.

Donald: Prepare for the inevitable. Prepare to become the world’s foremost pariah.

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

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Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia (on-o-mat-o-pee’-a): Using or inventing a word whose sound imitates that which it names (the union of phonetics and semantics).

His stomach went ooga-goosh when he swallowed the wriggling baby octopus. It was terrible how it hugged his tongue before it slid into oblivion, moving around for a few minutes in his stomach and then going quiet.

He was a staunch Christian and felt he had committed some kind of sin related to eating living creatures. But then he realized live baby octopus  was on the menu. “It can’t all bad if it’s on the menu.” It was the same thought he had had the night before in the lobby of the brothel as he was reading the menu of recreational activities offered, and their prices. He went for “Down on Your Knees” since it required a posture, and afforded a degree of pleasure, not unlike that of praying.

“Life is good,” he thought, as he tossed another little wriggling octopus into his mouth. “Mmmm.”

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

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Optatio 

Optatio (op-ta’-ti-o): Expressing a wish, often ardently.

Oh my God! I wish I had never said that. I’ll probably be dead by sometime tonight. Somebody should outlaw Twitter. It is all Twitter’s fault. It is so easy to hurl insults into the night. Before I got removed from office, the Evangelicals loved me–now, I just drop the suggestion that they’re a gang of deluded power brokers who’ve built an empire of greed and gullibility, and all the radio and TV hosts want to crucify me. Hmmm. Maybe that’s a compliment. Consider the source.

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

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Orcos

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

Republican Senator Brickbrain: Esteemed Chairman, how many times would a woodchuck lie if the woodchuck could get away with it?

Republican Senator Fornicator: 25-30 times a day, unless this is a poetic allusion to the accused.

Republican Senator Brickbrain: Precisely. He is not a woodchuck. He is the President of the United States, and woodchucks can’t even talk, let alone lie!

Democrat Senator Willy-nilly: We have arrived in Wonderland.

Republican Senator Brickbrain: Yes. Yes. I  can vouch for that–absolutely true, and that’s the absolute truth. I am telling the truth, I swear.

Republican Senator Fornicator: Ok then. Let’s vote. All in favor of letting him off the hook for purely political reasons, say “Aye.” Ooh what do I hear? The ayes have it it.

Democrat Senator Willy-nilly: What about the nays?

Republican Senator Brickbrain: Nay to that!  Ha! Ha!

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

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Oxymoron

Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.

The impeachment trial in the US Senate will turn out to be a legal hijacking. It’s about blinded justice. The Republican majority is committed to what I see as virtuous vice–playing at what is starkly evil as if they are holding the moral high ground, when in fact, they are swamp bound abrogators of truth and perverters of the good.

I hope we (the US) can dig our way out of this mess, but the corruption and cheating are sanctioned–even bragged about and celebrated–by those in the highest positions of power.

I think the Republic is going to be lost. I think America is doomed to suffer the cold hell of a dictatorship.

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

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Parabola

Parabola (par-ab’-o-la): The explicit drawing of a parallel between two essentially dissimilar things, especially with a moral or didactic purpose. A parable.

Lying uses truth’s light to project beautiful shadows that are mediated by desire; and loving the shadows, the lie is embraced by their target’s affections.

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

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Paragoge

Paragoge (par-a-go’-ge): The addition of a letter or syllable to the end of a word. A kind of metaplasm.

Trump is claiming he does not want to start a war with Iran.  Well, he already has. He’ll probably call it something weasley like “peacelessness.” Let’s just realize people are going to be killed because of him. How many remains to be seen. Trump has the wit of a nit and the compassion of a frog. He’s so smarto–like a slug or a stinkbug.

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

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Paramythia

Paramythia (pa-ra-mee’-thi-a): An expression of consolation and encouragement.

Don’t worry about being impeached. Just relax and enjoy the press coverage. After all, even if they find you guilty, it’s not like they’re going to cut off your head. Anyway, your constant lying about being not guilty is playing really well with the ignorant morons who will defend you to the death wearing Chinese-made work pants, shirts, boots, socks, and underwear. And, you know, Pence will pardon you at the same time the Senate is passing sentence. No matter what happens, you have our support. Russia has always been 100% on your side. Just keep your mouth shut and do what your good friend Putin says. Everything will work itself out.

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

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Paraprosdokian

Paraprosdokian: A figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase [or series = anticlimax] is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe the first part. . . . For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists. An especially clever paraprosdokian not only changes the meaning of an early phrase, but also plays on the double meaning of a particular word.(1)

“It was a fate worse than high school. We couldn’t bring our own lunch.” R. McDonald

1. “Paraprosdokian.” WikipediaThe Free Encyclopedia. 4 Jan 2008, 03:30 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 9 Jan 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraprosdokian>.

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Paregmenon

Paregmenon (pa-reg’-men-on): A general term for the repetition of a word or its cognates in a short sentence. Often, but not always, polyptoton.

Time, time, time! Too much time! Too little time! Too much; when we’re alone! To little; when we’re together. Time is a shelter from, and exposes us to, the forces of decay. Why must time be a jumble of opposites–of poisons and cures, of curses and blessings, of beginnings and endings?

Outside of time there is nothing. The cessation of consciousness of time’s passing is death. Or, is it the prelude to rebirth? Or both? Or neither?

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

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Prodiorthosis

Prodiorthosis (pro-di-or-tho’-sis): A statement intended to prepare one’s audience for something shocking or offensive. An extreme example of protherapeia.

It was said that eons ago, before people could actually talk–they grunted. I know that may be shocking to both of you, but grunting may actually say a lot. You probably grunt at you your most emotional moments. Think about it: lifting a heavy weight and putting it down–Ungh!” There are other notable grunting moments in the peoples’ lives and they are generally experienced at passionate and positive moments, but sometimes not.”

Now, I need to tell you: You have 48 hours to vacate these premises for non-payment of rent. Failure to do so will result in your forcible eviction and arrest for squatting. You possessions will be confiscated and donated to a charitable organization.

UNGH! (The Listeners–a duet)

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

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

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Pareuresis

Pareuresis (par-yur-ee’-sis): To put forward a convincing excuse. [Shifting the blame.]

It was a moonless night–very dark. He was wearing black (I found out later). I was going the speed limit–55. I guess he ran in front of my car: I didn’t realize he was even there until I hit him and he made a loud thump.

When I pulled over to the road shoulder after hitting him, I noticed he was my x-husband. Given our relationship, it’s pretty clear to me that he wanted to bring me additional grief by making me kill him. He is a giant jerk. I am saddened by his death, but by no means grief stricken. You would’ve run him over too, but in a way he ran himself over.

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

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Paroemia

Paroemia (pa-ri’-mi-a): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adage, apothegm, gnome, maxim, proverb, and sententia.

“He’s like a fish out of water. Let’s keep him there until he stops flopping.” Anon

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

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Paroemion

Paroemion (par-mi’-on): Alliteration taken to an extreme where nearly every word in a sentence begins with the same consonant. Sometimes, simply a synonym for alliteration or for homoeoprophoron [a stylistic vice].

Triggerboy Trump talks trash-tainted truths transformed to trivial tangents tending to transgress as they exit his yelling rally-mouth.

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

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