Tag Archives: Putin


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].

When will NATO actually take action? When Ukraine is annexed? When Hell freezes over? When the cow jumps over the moon? When Putin takes his shirt off? When John Kerry gets a haircut? When?

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


Erotema (e-ro-tem’-a): The rhetorical question. To affirm or deny a point strongly by asking it as a question. Generally, as Melanchthon has noted, the rhetorical question includes an emotional dimension, expressing wonder, indignation, sarcasm, etc.

Who is Putin trying to fool? When is he going to start telling the truth? When are the Russian people going to demand the truth? Today? Tonight? Now!

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


Periphrasis (per-if’-ra-sis): The substitution of a descriptive word or phrase for a proper name (a species of circumlocution); or, conversely, the use of a proper name as a shorthand to stand for qualities associated with it. (Circumlocutions are rhetorically useful as euphemisms, as a method of amplification, or to hint at something without stating it.)

I wish Put-in would Pull-out before things get out of hand in Crimea! If there was a clearly focused Camer-on, there would probably be better news from Ukraine.

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


Procatalepsis (pro-cat-a-lep’-sis): Refuting anticipated objections.

We say diplomacy and an infusion of a few billion Euro will save the day. A negotiated diplomatic solution to the current crisis is certainly more beneficial in the long run than running across the border waving M-16s and NATO banners. The first shot fired toward the East may be the last shot ever fired by anybody ever, given the nukes aimed at Europe and Putin’s red-hot paranoia.

About the the money: No Euro, no economic recovery, no Ukraine. A few billion is a relatively small price to pay to keep a sovereign democracy on the western frontier of freedom functioning while it regroups and regains its fiscal strength. We trust in Ukraine’s future–a future free from the clutches of border bending criminals and safe in the embrace of the European Union. 

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


Protrope (pro-tro’-pe): A call to action, often by using threats or promises.

Dear Mr. Putin,

If you value your favorite “My Little Pony,” you better move those troops out of Ukraine! We have kidnapped and are holding your Fantastic Flutters Princess Twilight Sparkle Pony hostage! When she burns, she “will melt and stink.” Is that what you want?

Bring those troops back to Russia by midnight MSK, or else!

FIRE copy   =   bye bye pony

Yours truly,


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


Prozeugma (pro-zoog’-ma): A series of clauses in which the verb employed in the first is elided (and thus implied) in the others.

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had a palace–ee-yi–ee-yi-oh. With a life-size painted plastic horse here and a golf course there–ee-yi-ee-yi-oh. With pirate ship restaurant here and a big live ostrich there–ee-yi-ee-yi-oh.

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had a palace–ee-yi–ee-yi-oh. With a helipad here and a rare breed of pig there. A car collection here and some bottles of Viktor Vodka there–ee-yi-ee-yi-oh.

Oh-yi! Oh! Oh! Oh! Where the heck did Yanukovych go?

Vladimir Putin had a hideout–ee-yi-ee-yi-oh. With a Yanukovych there and . . .

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