Tag Archives: examples

Anaphora

Anaphora (an-aph’-o-ra): Repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of successive clauses, sentences, or lines.


We search the library for answers and the answers raise more questions.

We search the Bible for solace and direction, as we read the words we remain numb and full of dread.

We search a bottle of gin for distraction and to take us on a voyage away from our uninvited memories on the calming sea of alcohol.

Will we ever stop searching? Will we find it? Will the truth ever set us free? Or, will it bind us to its immutable presence, with no way out, no way around, eclipsing it’s others, and cancelling fancy’s flights forever?

Is the search all that matters? Is “eureka” just a word that marks a moment of fleeting revelation that dims in the urgency of time and the necessity of choosing?

I don’t know.

I don’t want to know.

I don’t care.


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

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Anapodoton

Anapodoton (an’-a-po’-do-ton): A figure in which a main clause is suggested by the introduction of a subordinate clause, but that main clause never occurs.

Anapodoton is a kind of anacoluthon, since grammatical expectations are interrupted. If the expression trails off, leaving the subordinate clause incomplete, this is sometimes more specifically called anantapodoton. Anapodoton has also named what occurs when a main clause is omitted because the speaker interrupts himself/herself to revise the thought, leaving the initial clause grammatically unresolved but making use of it nonetheless by recasting its content into a new, grammatically complete sentence.


If it’s too cheap! When it broke, the blender’s blades came loose and flew like a butcher-copter out the kitchen window. They hit the shrub and decapitated a chickadee. The two-week warranty had expired. I had paid a price for my stinginess. One torn up chickadee. One blender in the trash.


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

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Anastrophe

Anastrophe (an-as’-tro-phee): Departure from normal word order for the sake of emphasis. Anastrophe is most often a synonym for hyperbaton, but is occasionally referred to as a more specific instance of hyperbaton: the changing of the position of only a single word.


My happy home, planted in the woods beside a chattering brook, surrounded by soft moss, green grass and willows tall. A refuge. A hideaway. Serenity. Will you come and there with me live?


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

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Anesis

Anesis (an’-e-sis): Adding a concluding sentence that diminishes the effect of what has been said previously. The opposite of epitasis.


You are beautiful, smart, and funny and your breath smells like dead rats. I’m sorry for saying that, but you need to know why I start to gag when you get closer than 3 feet. If we go and see my dental hygienist, I think we can make the smell go away. It could be hopeless though.


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

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Antanaclasis

Antanaclasis (an’-ta-na-cla’-sis): The repetition of a word or phrase whose meaning changes in the second instance.


You made me pay the damn tolls and gas for this stupid trip to see your former boyfriend. Taking this trip to see that piece of shit is like asking “for whom the bell tolls.” I think it tolls for us. I’m just going to drop you off at Mr. Bozo’s and mail your stuff to you. Can you at least give me ten bucks for gas?


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

Anthimeria

Anthimeria (an-thi-mer’-i-a): Substitution of one part of speech for another (such as a noun used as a verb).


He peanut-buttered his way to oblivion. He was a greedy grabber—everything in excess, everything over the top, everything.

He was found stuck behind the wheel of his car—a car filled with sliced bread and jars of peanut butter—turned on its side on a country road in South New Jersey, somewhere outside of Atlantic City. State Police say that if he had been eating crunchy, and not creamy, his hands would not have stuck to the wheel when he tried to avoid a carload of drunken teenagers swerving across the road.

Death due to peanut butter and reckless teens. It is so wrong. But in death he has earned his nickname: Skippy. As we lower him into the earth, in his casket made to look like two giant slices of white bread, let us bow our heads and smell the peanut butter in the soft spring air.


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

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Anthypophora

Anthypophora (an’-thi-po’-phor-a): A figure of reasoning in which one asks and then immediately answers one’s own questions (or raises and then settles imaginary objections). Reasoning aloud. Anthypophora sometimes takes the form of asking the audience or one’s adversary what can be said on a matter, and thus can involve both anacoenosis and apostrophe.


Am I the problem? No!

Am I the solution? No!

What the hell am I? Indifferent!


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

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Antimetabole

Antimetabole (an’-ti-me-ta’-bo-lee): Repetition of words, in successive clauses, in reverse grammatical order.


When we look into the darkness, darkness looks into us. It knows our fears. It leads us astray. It makes us fall. It hurts us. Nevertheless, darkness has a seductive beauty. It hides us. It comforts us. It diminishes all of our horizons—it makes them disappear, providing a glimpse of infinity, which is nothing’s preferred name.


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

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Antimetathesis

Antimetathesis (an-ti-me-ta’-the-sis): Inversion of the members of an antithesis.


The farther I climbed up, the farther things were down below, but nothing’s up that’s not below—the flowers, the trees upon the earth, below the sky.


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

Antiprospopoeia

Antiprosopopoeia (an-ti-pro-so-po-pe’-i-a): The representation of persons [or other animate beings] as inanimate objects. This inversion of prosopopoeia or personification can simply be the use of a metaphor to depict or describe a person [or other animate being].


It’s Mitch the Glitch—the worn out old shoe from Kentucky! I think it’s time to give him the boot.


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

Antirrhesis

Antirrhesis (an-tir-rhee’-sis): Rejecting reprehensively the opinion or authority of someone.


You have no right to call me your friend. Is leaving me stranded in Salt Lake City what a friend does? Is cleaning out my bank account after you stole my PIN what a friend does? And God—letting all my houseplants die when you “took care” of them while I was in the hospital after you “accidentally” shot me—that’s friendship?

Now you want to borrow my debit card because we’re friends? We are NOT friends! Friends are nice to each other. Friends care about each other. We will never be friends. We are enemies. Get out! Stay away from me! Go ruin somebody else’s life.


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


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Antistasis

Antistasis (an-ti’-sta-sis): The repetition of a word in a contrary sense. Often, simply synonymous with antanaclasis.


You broke my heart and now I’m totally broke—no lover, no vodka, no cigarettes. I will see you in hell. Oh, what the hell. Let’s go to Mexico for a couple of days. Maybe we can rekindle the raw emotion that made our relationship worth a damn. Put down the gun, put on some clothes, and put on a smile. Ok? Orbitz awaits.


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

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Antisthecon

Antisthecon (an-tis’-the-con): Substitution of one sound, syllable, or letter for another within a word. A kind of metaplasm: the general term for changes to word spelling.


Have you tried the new Jaruzi? It’s a tub with jets of hot water that boil your jars of fruit preserves. It is made by the people who make hot tubs in France. It’s a great thing to have if you live around raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries. You can make 25 jars of jelly or jam at once! We sell ours on the internet and made $50.00 last year. We hid in our bushes and threw unsold jars at passing cars. It was irresponsible, I know, but I get nesty when things go to hell.

I’ll sell you my Jaruzi for cheap. Maybe I’ll give it to you along with 85 free jars of jam and my raspberry lease and 200 empty jars.


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

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Antitheton

Antitheton (an-tith’-e-ton): A proof or composition constructed of contraries. Antitheton is closely related to and sometimes confused with the figure of speech that juxtaposes opposing terms, antithesis. However, it is more properly considered a figure of thought (=Topic of Invention: Contraries [a topic of invention in which one considers opposite or incompatible things that are of the same kind (if they are of different kinds, the topic of similarity / difference is more appropriate). Because contraries occur in pairs and exclude one another, they are useful in arguments because one can establish one’s case indirectly, proving one’s own assertion by discrediting the contrary]).


Stuffing your face and sucking up a bottle of wine every night isn’t going to make you thinner. In fact, the opposite is the case: you are enlarging. This is the 2nd time this year you’ve outgrown your clothes and had to replace them. Salvation Army loves you. Macy’s loves you. The liquor store loves you.

Pretty soon, you’ll be shopping at the Cow Barn, where everything’s plus-sized and they use styrofoam farm animals for mannequins.

You need to decide which you’re going to be: fat or not fat. There is no two ways about it: it’s one or the other. You can’t be both. That’s what gives you a choice. Let’s go to work on this together.


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

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Aphaeresis

Aphaeresis (aph-aer’-e-sis): The omission of a syllable or letter at the beginning of a word. A kind of metaplasm.


I shot out the clip of my ‘andgun and threw it in the pond. No more guns for me. I don’t care if I can’t ‘fend myself like that kid in the grocery who fought off 10 innocent unarmed people with his AK. I’m being sarcastic. My heart is broken. We must ban assault weapons tomorrow.


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

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Apocarteresis

Apocarteresis (a-po-car-ter’-e-sis): Casting of all hope away from one thing and placing it on another source altogether.


Lotto, Lotto, Lotto. All these years, and I have never won a penny. My “Dollar and a dream” is about a thousand bucks and a nightmare. I am sick of losing. I don’t know why I haven’t quit already. You guessed it—no more running to the convenience store on Fridays. No more angrily tearing up those losing tickets.

I quit!

I have got a new 21st-century modern-day plan: on-line slots! Instead of playing once a week, I can play all the time on my laptop! It is clear to me: the more often I play, the greater the chances I’ll win! I don’t know why I didn’t come up with this plan sooner. It’s like having Las Vegas everywhere in my house, except the basement, where I don’t have wi-fi reception.


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

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Apocope

Apocope (a-pok’-o-pe): Omitting a letter or syllable at the end of a word. A kind of metaplasm.


I’m endin’ this thing right now! We have been goin’ steady since high school. I just turned 32 and that’s too old for goin’ steady. I don’t care if your mother went steady with your father until she got pregnant when she was 36. You are not your mother!

So, it’s been great goin’ with you, and here’s hopin’ you’ll find somebody else who’s weird like you—maybe one of those creeps who hangs out at the gas station. What about Gomer Yanket? Remember him? He was home-schooled by his anarchist father and spent 6 years in prison for blowing up a shoe store. He’s sewn his wild oats and is probably ready to go steady! He’s got a job at the landfill stomping on cans, and he knows how to cook.

I’ll put in a good word for you with Gomer and you’ll be havin’ a new steady beau before you know it. Goodbye.


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

Paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope are available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Apodioxis

Apodioxis (ap-o-di-ox’-is): Rejecting of someone or something (such as the adversary’s argument) as being impertinent, needless, absurd, false, or wicked.


We do not need another damn blender! We have three already, for God’s sake. When you started on your smoothie kick, I thought it was ok—healthy beverages are good. But now, seeing three blenders lined up on the kitchen counter makes me crazy. Why do you have to give each of your blenders a three-day rest between their use? Why have you decided you need four blenders now for a four-day rest? I mean, we don’t need four cars or lawnmowers for “resting” purposes.

So, if you try to bring another blender into this house, I am going to turn off the electricity and call your grandmother. You can go stay with her and have all the blenders you want! Once you’re out of here, I’m bringing my other five toasters back up from the basement and resume toasting English muffins the way they should be toasted.

No more blenders!


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

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Apodixis

Apodixis (a-po-dix’-is): Proving a statement by referring to common knowledge or general experience.


If I eat those beans there will be a fartopalypse. We all know that beans are the “musical fruit.” For me, they make me into a rampaging tuba. So please, I’m going to pass on your special baked beans. I’m sorry I had to tell you, but it is part of my ass-wind therapy.


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

Paper and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope are available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Apoplanesis

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


Q: Why did you storm the Capitol claiming you’re a patriot and carrying a big American flag, and later, beat a police officer over the head with the flagpole?

A: Ok ok. I’ll give it a try. You should ask me why I still live in America, but I’m gonna do stupid things anyway. I don’t fault you for asking that question. I guess you could say that I’m the kind of patriot that beats up police. “Beats up” has such a harsh ring to it. It’s like so much of the language we use to insult and anger our fellow people. Language robs us of our voice. We all use the same words. Or, at least In America we are supposed to speak American, but that’s not how it is and it makes me mad. I . . .

Q: All right. Step down. Bailiff, please escort the prisoner back to his cell.


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

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Aporia

Aporia (a-po’-ri-a): Deliberating with oneself as though in doubt over some matter; asking oneself (or rhetorically asking one’s hearers) what is the best or appropriate way to approach something [=diaporesis].

I can’t remember everything—I want to remember everything. Please, memory! Drag it up. Give me a chance. I am normal, and normally our memories are incomplete. Where is my past? Where is your past? Like everybody’s, my past is fragmented. I am missing whole stretches of my being-in-the-world. What happened? If I remembered everything that happened I would be whole instead of being a puzzle piece looking for it’s puzzle, to fit in, to be a part of the picture.

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

Paper and Kindle editions of The Daily Tope are available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Aposiopesis

Aposiopesis (a-pos-i-o-pee’-sis): Breaking off suddenly in the middle of speaking, usually to portray being overcome with emotion.


Then she told me to get . . . to get bent. I don’t even know what the hell “get bent” means, but she was really mad. She threw a bar of soap at me & it hurt like hell. Look at the bruise on my forehead!

I never should’ve called her husband a moron. I thought for sure she would agree with me! She’s been cheating on him with me for at least year and he doesn’t suspect a damn thing. That’s moronic, but she doesn’t think so. Damn!


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

Print and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope are available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Apostrophe

Apostrophe (a-pos’-tro-phe): Turning one’s speech from one audience to another. Most often, apostrophe occurs when one addresses oneself to an abstraction, to an inanimate object, or to the absent.


Thank you for coming.

Isn’t it strange how attached we become to our cars and trucks? You’ve probably noticed the bare spot on my lawn where I have parked my old rusted truck for the past fifteen years. Since my truck is gone, now, I’d like to say a few words marking his passing.

Buck the Truck. Were you my friend? We rode the open roads with my daughter strapped into her car seat. We got speeding tickets. We got warnings. Your brakes failed coming down a hill with my daughter by my side. We were almost killed as we rolled across a major highway in Massachusetts, unable to stop at the intersection. Then your driveshaft fell off 2 days later, and then the muffler. I’ve always fixed you Buck, but now Buck, we’ve reached the end of the road. When the battery bracket rusted and fell into your engine, spraying battery acid all over the place under the hood, and a little bit on the windshield, that was it for me.

Public Radio’s tow truck has taken you to your next incarnation: a junkyard. Accordingly, you have become a tax deductible $200 donation. Crushed into a cube of steel, you will swing in the air, embraced by a giant magnet and destined to reincarnate as a part of a kitchen appliance, another car or truck, or a girder at a construction site—maybe a college or university. Although I am sad, for safety’s sake, I had to let you go, my friend. If it’s any solace, I’ve gotten a tattoo of you on my right calf. Likewise, my daughter has done so too.

Thank-you again for coming.


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

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Apothegm

Apothegm (a’-po-th-e-gem): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings, including adage, gnome, maxim, paroemia, proverb, and sententia.


“Truth is a lie that is true.” This is so true. I learned it at Camp Flaming Blue Weasel, deep in the mountains of Delaware. Our guru Dave led us through spirit “remodeling” exercises and we ate bland food, like boiled white paper and freshly cut Fescue grass. After a week, I punched Dave on the jaw. I knocked him down. He laid on the floor whining like a big injured dog, like an Irish Setter.

I was thrown out of Camp Flaming Blue Weasel. It just goes to show you: “When you think you are going to make trouble, sit down and shut up.” I think this is in the Bible.


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

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Appositio

Appositio (ap-po-sit’-i-o): Addition of an adjacent, coordinate, explanatory or descriptive element.


I stood by the big gray rock—a fixture on the farm—possibly as old as Earth. Isolated as a child, far from town, no television, no neighbors for 10 miles, no pets, no friends, the big brown rock sort of became a source of solace. That is, when I was with it I felt like I was in the company of something that had consciousness. It didn’t talk. It didn’t move. It didn’t gaze.

I didn’t tell anybody about the big brown rock. I would have been put under observation in the insane asylum in Brisbane. 20 years ago, the big brown rock was struck by lightning. A bunch of small pieces—stones—were chipped off by the lightening. 10 years ago on a visit, I picked up a stone and put it in my pocket. I’ve been carrying it in my pocket ever since. When people ask me why I always have “that stone” in my pocket, I tell them “l don’t know.” It’s true, I don’t know, and I don’t want to know.


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

Paper and Kindle versions of The Daily Trope are available at Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.