Tag Archives: New Jersey

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].

How many hummingbirds can dance on the head of a large corporation?

On South Carolina?

On Patterson, New Jersey?

On a small cafeteria-sized bowl of Jello?

On a tennis court?

Under an umbrella?

But hummingbirds can’t dance.

Well, there you have it dance-wise, but what about sit-wise, stand-wise, or even hover-over-wise?

Be patient. Rome wasn’t built out of hummingbirds, and it took more than a couple of weeks. That’s why all roads lead to Rome, but you can’t make a horse drink.

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

 

Litotes

Litotes (li-to’-tees): Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty (downplaying one’s accomplishments) in order to gain the audience’s favor (establishing ethos).

E: New Jersey.

A: Bigger than a breadbasket.

E: Governor Christie.

A: Bigger than a breadbasket.

E: Is there anything smaller than a breadbasket?

A: My parking space in Hoboken.

E: What about Fort Lee?

A: Bigger than a toll booth.

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