Tag Archives: examples

Allegory

Allegory (al’-le-go-ry): A sustained metaphor continued through whole sentences or even through a whole discourse.

There once was a large man with a clownish blond hairdo. His hair was pasted to the sides of his head and the middle part swirled like a Dairy Queen; more like a yellow scoop of mashed potatoes resting on his head than actual hair.

This man was Emperor and nobody imitated his hair. Well, when they did imitate it, the hair was more like a parody: exaggerated like a Matterhorn with wings resting on his head, ready to fly away from Switzerland to France.

In fact, none of the Emperor’s cherished quirks were imitated anywhere throughout the kingdom. When he was crowned, Diet Coke’s stock plunged, seemingly because it was his favorite beverage and people refused to drink it any more. When it was disclosed that he loved red meat, three-quarters of the Kingdom became vegetarian. When it was discovered that he has a fondness for prostitutes, pimps were left to fend for themselves as the Kingdom’s men gave up whoring.

The Emperor was befuddled, thinking that he was worthy of imitation on all fronts because he was the Emperor. But he was wrong. ‘The shoe didn’t fit so the people didn’t wear it‘: no matter how much power you have, barring death threats, arrest, torture, imprisonment, and execution the ‘people’ will make the right choices.

No Dairy Queen hair. No Diet Coke. No red meat. No prostitutes. No problem.

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

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Alleotheta

Alleotheta (al-le-o-the’-ta): Substitution of one case, gender, mood, number, tense, or person for another. Synonymous with enallage. [Some rhetoricians claim that alleotheta is a] general category that includes antiptosis [(a type of enallage in which one grammatical case is substituted for another)] and all forms of enallage [(the substitution of grammatically different but semantically equivalent constructions)].

You was the craziest person I ever knew. Where there was lots of herd, you dove right in. You was a rustler’s rustler. You taken everything in sight worth taking–as long as it mooed and look at you with those solemn brown eyes. You would make them cows a pets–all of them–if we didn’t have to make a living the hard way.

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

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Alliteration

Alliteration (al-lit’-er-a’-tion): Repetition of the same letter or sound within nearby words. Most often, repeated initial consonants. Taken to an extreme alliteration becomes the stylistic vice of paroemion where nearly every word in a sentence begins with the same consonant.

There has to be at least two sides to that broken bicycle’s end.  You see, if you look at it from the front, it has a small dent in the front forks. If you look at it from the rear, it’s brake has been unbolted and is ready to fall to the ground.  If you look at the front and the rear, there’s a problem that we shouldn’t even be talking about! Let’s just say, the bicycle belongs to the end of the day–we’ll have the junkman come a get it in the morning.

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

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Allusion

Allusion (ə-ˈlü-zhən):[1] A reference/representation of/to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art . . . “a brief reference, explicit or indirect, to a person, place or event, or to another literary work or passage”. It is left to the reader or hearer to make the connection . . . ; an overt allusion is a misnomer for what is simply a reference.[2]

Who is going to tell Trump to “tear down that wall”? Well, the wall isn’t built yet and maybe it never will be built. In that case, “the world will be a better place for you and me, you just wait and see!”  But, I’ll still “be on the pavement thinking about the government.” Why? I’ve “walked forty-seven miles of barbed wire” to get to this place, and I’m not going to let “some stupid with a flare gun” burn my dreams to the ground!

1. Phonetic transcription courtesy of Miriam-Webster’s On-Line Dictionaryhttp://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/allusion <3/6/08>.

2. Definition courtesy of Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allusion <3/6/08>.

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Amphibologia

Amphibologia (am’-fi-bo-lo’-gi-a): Ambiguity of grammatical structure, often occasioned by mispunctuation. [A vice of ambiguity.]

I met my wife in the kitchen in her apron. I shouldn’t have put it on, but I wanted to know how it looked and how it felt to wear one. She was delighted and wanted to know when she was going to have a crack at my wingtips.

I think we’re going to learn a lot about each other by trading clothing. Since she’s going for my wingtips, I’m going to go for her high-heels. She has a pair of black suede spikes that I’ve had my eye on for nearly a year.

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

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Ampliatio

Ampliatio (am’-pli-a’-ti-o): Using the name of something or someone before it has obtained that name or after the reason for that name has ceased. A form of epitheton.

(1) Hi Mom!

Two more months and there will be a baby crying somewhere in your house! I’m sure he or she won’t cry for long. You’re going to make a wonderful mother!

(2) Hi-dee ho! Junky Joe!

I know you’ve been off drugs for 30 years, but I just can’t forget seeing you passed out anywhere you could get a needle into your arm–back rooms, front rooms, alleyways, dumpsters, parks, public restrooms, parking lots. It was disgusting. I’m so sorry I have such a hard time erasing those images from my mind and seeing you for who you’ve become; working in the White House and helping to make America great again. I should be congratulating you instead of mocking you. Even though you’ve never served in the military, I think you’ll make a great Secretary of the Navy! Good luck!

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

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Anacoenosis

Anacoenosis (an’-a-ko-en-os’-is): Asking the opinion or judgment of the judges or audience, usually implying their common interest with the speaker in the matter [and illustrating their communally-held ideals of truth, justice, goodness and beauty, for better and for worse].

How certain are we of the future? Not at all? Yet, we vest our most human sensibilities in the future: from hope to fear, from gratitude to revenge, from faith to fraud. We are damned to think about, and talk about and act in preparation for an as-of-now nonexistent future.

Do we want justice? Do we share an abiding regard for, and love of, the law? Yes. The law guides our collective walk toward the future. But we know the law is made up of myriad laws. And we know that some laws, because crafted by people–imperfect beings–are fraught with flaws. The flaws come to light in the glare of change, often when fears become hopes and nightmares become dreams.

The mutability of the grounds of human existence require the law’s revision, but revision undertaken from the view of the mountaintop of abstraction with legislators seated upon seats of justice seeking what they hope is good for the “the people” and their Republic.

We are servants. We bind our souls to the Constitution as a dunamis awaiting our deliberations. May we seek truth and find justice.

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

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Anacoloutha

Anacoloutha (an-a-co’-lu-tha): Substituting one word with another whose meaning is very close to the original, but in a non-reciprocal fashion; that is, one could not use the first, original word as a substitute for the second. This is the opposite of acoloutha.

The fire licked the sky as if the sky was a sweet dream soaking the star-strewn banner of night. The red and orange and yellow terror began sweeping the surrounding scene with destruction. We heard approaching sirens. We hoped our volunteers were up to the task of subduing the raging flames.

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

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Anacoluthon

Anacoluthon (an-a-co-lu’-thon): A grammatical interruption or lack of implied sequence within a sentence. That is, beginning a sentence in a way that implies a certain logical resolution, but concluding it differently than the grammar leads one to expect. Anacoluthon can be either a grammatical fault or a stylistic virtue, depending on its use. In either case, it is an interruption or a verbal lack of symmetry. Anacoluthon is characteristic of spoken language or interior thought, and thus suggests those domains when it occurs in writing.

Sometimes impatience is a virtue, but your shoes are scuffed, and worn down and in a state of disrepair. If you need more context to understand what I’m talking about, there might be time find it, but it’s not the on way to San Jose. Just walk in the right direction and your conscience will be cleared, or leave tracks that somebody else can follow. At any rate, calm down.

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

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Anadiplosis

Anadiplosis (an’-a-di-plo’-sis): The repetition of the last word (or phrase) from the previous line, clause, or sentence at the beginning of the next. Often combined with climax.

Winter is turning its face away. Away it goes into spring’s warmth. Warmth that’s welcomed by every inch of land and all its creatures. Creatures large and small–animals; two legs and four legs, and crawling and flying insects, and plants rooted in the warming soil, and reptiles basking–basking in the sun on warm rocks and stones; something fulfilled: fulfilled by the inevitability of the seasons and this, the latest coming of spring.

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

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Anamnesis

Anamnesis (an’-am-nee’-sis): Calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author [apparently] from memory.  Anamnesis helps to establish ethos [credibility], since it conveys the idea that the speaker is knowledgeable of the received wisdom from the past.

PT Barnum tells us “A sucker in born every minute.” I think Donald Trump believes this. But, I think he believes everybody is a sucker. He has good reason to believe it’s true. After all, there were enough suckers to get him elected, and now it seems that everything he has done as President is based on his “everybody’s a sucker principle.”

The latest example: his new nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Ronny Jackson. He wouldn’t have nominated him if he didn’t believe that Congress is a pack of suckers–who are sucker enough to confirm somebody who’s key “qualifications” may be that he’s a Navy Admiral and Trump’s White House Physician. Where’s the administrative experience for managing an organization with thousands of employees and a 200 billion dollar budget?

I believe his nominee’s key qualification is his absolute allegiance to Trump. Remember when he claimed that 239-pound Trump was not obese?

Let the hearings begin!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Gorgias has inserted the bracketed words [apparently] and [credibility].

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Anaphora

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

I found out today that President Trump signed an executive order allowing the dumping of coal mining waste into waterways.

This is another day that makes me angry.

This is another day that makes me mad.

This is another day that makes me scared.

This is another day–another day of coping with our President’s disregard for the consequences of his actions.

What’s next? Dismantle the Civil Rights Act? Declare war on Canada? Legalize fully automatic machine guns?

God only knows!

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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.

Your dog is beautiful, but don’t you get tired of picking up his shit and bagging it every time you go for a walk?

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

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Antanagoge

Antanagoge (an’-ta-na’-go-gee): Putting a positive spin on something that is nevertheless acknowledged to be negative or difficult.

You got your MBA. You got you’re first job!   So what, if you work 14 hours a day for peanuts. At least you’ve got a job. That’s more than a lot of people can say. Also, so what if nobody’s ever heard of the company you’re working for. I bet the FBI has! But that’s a positive thing–eventually you could end up being a star witness, gaining the kind of notoriety lots of people would pay for! Or, if you help steer the company’s woes in the ‘right’ direction, you could get a huge pay raise and a high-powered promotion to the top of the heap!

Wow! I envy you, and I hope you don’t get shot on the job or anything like that. And hey, even if you do, somebody will want to make a movie, and if you survived being shot, you’ll get tons of money just for being a consultant.

Things are looking good for you my friend! Take care! Keep you head down! See you around.

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).

Trump has porn starred his way to to a whole new level of impropriety. Sure, he had sex with her before he was President. But what the hell does that matter. He cheated on his wife with a porn star while Melania sat home patting her baby bump.

As the dribs and drabs of the despicable personal life Trump leads come out, and his treatment of women as sex objects is made public, one wonders what’s next. Will it be a Roy Moore mockery? A Carlos Danger defection? An Eliot Spitzer $15,000 hooker blitzer?

Or, do we just end up with the Donald Trump Hump-a-Dump–a sexually charged dance routine on Saturday Night Live? Alec Baldwin–are you ready to Trump Hump-a-Dump?

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.

Where are we headed? More expensive cans! More expensive cars! More expensive bridges! More expensive skyscrapers! More expensive steel.

Trade wars are good? Easy to win? No, they are not easy to win. In fact, nobody wins–short term or long term, everybody takes a hit.

And then there’s aluminum: we only mine a tiny bit of bauxite (makes aluminum) in the US. Is there going to be a tariff on bauxite? What can we do about that? Nothing.

Is this trade war thing a good idea? No, certainly not!

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.

We go forward, we go back. We go back, we go forward. Again and again. Nothing gets resolved. “Resolved” gets nothing.

He said, “Promises are made to be kept” and he kept promising and the promises were never kept. He said at the Town Hall Meeting: “Ask not what I promised, but promise what I ask.” We all looked at each other, stunned. What he had said seemed to carry some deep meaning.

But I didn’t care what meaning it carried. I was hungry and angry!

Tonight, I wave my axe handle and move along with the crowd. We are storming the White House. We are seeking justice for the lies we had been told. We don’t have a chance of breaking down the fence, but we are moving ahead anyway.

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.

You’re so hot–everybody wants a piece of you.

You’re so cold–you could care less as you rest on your flimsy laurels.

You better start paying attention to your fans: fans are notoriously fickle. Their hot fires of admiration will turn into icebergs over night if you don’t warm up to their overtures.

Cold and Hot, hot and cold: you need to turn up the heat and fan your fans’ flames of love and wonder. They will think it’s cool!

Go for it!

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

Antiprosopopoeia

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].

Hey look–it’s President Dump! I’m not talking about that kind of dump. I’m talking about the random collection of garbage euphemistically called a land fill. President Dump has been in office over a year and all he’s done is accumulate trash–he calls it executive orders, I call it swill–rotten waste material stinking up the USA.

Let’s face it, President Dump’s mind is a garbage pail that’s never been emptied. It’s overflowing with 71 years of slop. There’s no way to fix it. We’ve just got to hold our noses until 2020 and hope he goes back to doing what he does best: swindling, declaring bankruptcy, and being a jerk (which he’s doing now).

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

 

Antirrhesis

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

Your idiocy outstrips itself as you dance the dullard dance toward yet another belief that’s right up there with the moon being made of green cheese, which you actually believe!

You think we should so something about gun control. So far, so good. But, my God–you want to arm cats and dogs–dogs with rifles and cats with handguns. You want to mount dash cams on them and somehow hook them up to a remote trigger-pulling mechanism?

First, your idea is utterly insane–especially you reason for arming cats with handguns instead of rifles–something about their tails fitting better in the smaller trigger guards on handguns and the likelihood they’ll be able to fire more rapidly. And then, there’s dogs with rifles! No comment. Just plain insane.

Second, where the hell does your plan say anything at all about gun control? Nowhere. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

You need to go stand in a corner and think about how stupid you are. When you think you’ve stood there long enough, come back over here and we can talk. But please, no gun toting cats and dogs. Gun toting people are a big enough problem.

So, go! Get over there!

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

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Antisagoge

Antisagoge (an-tis-a-go’-gee): 1. Making a concession before making one’s point (=paromologia); 2. Using a hypothetical situation or a precept to illustrate antithetical alternative consequences, typically promises of reward and punishment.

Ok, so I don’t have a college degree, but I’ve had lots of practical experience working in a lab. We made lots of money and helped a lot of people escape from the dismal realities of their lives. Also, I handled a lot of cash–I know how to keep books, order supplies and make a payroll. We had 8 people working in the lab and employed 50 salespeople.

Just imagine if you’ve got Pete or Patty PhD at the helm and there’s some kind of crisis–say, one of your salespeople gets shot or arrested. Your college grads will probably start crying for their mommies.  I, on the other hand, have had these kinds of experiences and know exactly what to do. Sure, it’s not likely that a vitamin supplement lab will encounter these kinds of problems, but if you have me at the helm in the lab you can rest assured that everything will be quickly under control–and I mean everything. It’s part of my meth-od if you get my drift!

Hire me, and your business will take off, especially if you let me work nights when nobody else is around.

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.

If you’re such an open person, why won’t you open the door? Is it because you’re hiding somebody inside?

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

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.

We have another Szandal! Or, more clearly a continuation of an ongoing debacle–Dominus Trumpiscum and the Stormy Porn Star (mouth shut for $130,000) apparently had some kind of sex together–her account makes it missionary, his, makes it nothing (the usual denial). Stormy also says that she “almost choked” on Trumpiscum’s well arranged hair–it was the cinnamon-flavored hairspray that almost did her in. She said it “I felt I was chewing on some kind of breakfast cereal made out of smelly blond glass.”

Of course we don’t know if anything Stormy says is true, but we’d sure like to believe it! However it is hard to believe she was chewing on Trumpiscum’s hair! Or is it?  Hmmmm.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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

Antithesis

Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

We praise. You blame. We see goodness. You see evil. We live in a world of hope and happiness. You live in a world of fear and anguish.

There is an abyss that divides us. It is because we have chosen to live at the extremes. It is time realize that there is good AND evil in this world. It is time to revel in what’s right and repair what’s wrong–together.

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

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]).

 

If lying is bad, telling the truth must be good. Seems incontrovertible, right? I wish it was that easy! The classic example: You’re hiding your neighbor from the Nazis. They ask you if you know where she is.  You know where she is, but you lie to save your neighbor’s life. Something in the circumstances trumps lying’s badness in this particular case. You may certainly (?) say that generally speaking telling the truth is the right thing to do & it’s opposite, lying, is consequentially the wrong thing to do: but not always.

So, are there any binary terms with social import that aren’t capable of shedding their ‘differences’ and swapping  consequences in particular circumstances? As in the example above, lying seems morally superior to telling the truth.  Accordingly, although telling the truth and lying are paired and will always be different by definition, in practice, in particular cases their moral valences can and should flip.

Telling the truth to Nazis about the whereabouts of your neighbor may be worse than lying, even the though the Nazis have “every legal right” to arrest your neighbor and deport her off to a concentration camp.

So, what are you going do when a law enforcement officer knocks on your door and pleasantly asks if you know the whereabouts of your undocumented Guatemalan neighbor, who you know is hiding in your garage. Lie? Tell the truth?

To be sure, the severity of the consequences for the ‘hiding’ people in the examples above may be somewhat different as are the motives behind the laws sanctioning their arrests. In both cases though, to the authorities, the people they were hunting were (and are) aliens who were (and are) fair game by law.

Think of all the people who were complicit with the Nazis: “She’s down in my basement.” “She’s hiding in my garage.”

Just remember in a particular case the truth won’t always set you free. It may burden you with doing harm to another human being.

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