Tag Archives: rhetoric

Synathroesmus

Synathroesmus (sin-ath-res’-mus): 1. The conglomeration of many words and expressions either with similar meaning (= synonymia) or not (= congeries).  2. A gathering together of things scattered throughout a speech (= accumulatio [:Bringing together various points made throughout a speech and presenting them again in a forceful, climactic way. A blend of summary and climax.])

I am alone, solo, unitary, solitary. My shadow casts but one figure–a lonely stick shading the floor. I am I and that’s it. The door is open and she is gone. I am baffled, a little happy, a little sad, angry, but filled with hope that she’ll be back. But my hope is ill-founded. I am kidding myself, but I’m not laughing.

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

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Synonymia

Synonymia (si-no-ni’-mi-a): In general, the use of several synonyms together to amplify or explain a given subject or term. A kind of repetition that adds emotional force or intellectual clarity. Synonymia often occurs in parallel fashion. The Latin synonym, interpretatio, suggests the expository and rational nature of this figure, while another Greek synonym, congeries, suggests the emotive possibilities of this figure.

I am tired, burned out, worn out. These hours we’ve been keeping are pulling me apart. Day is night, night is day; working, laboring, and nearly groveling to a clock: A clock made to measure time, but the time we put in isn’t being measured.

I want to quit, resign, hand in my notice, take a hike, but then I’ll become homeless, hungry, and lost to the world. Damn.

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

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Synthesis

Synthesis (sin’-the-sis): An apt arrangement of a composition, especially regarding the sounds of adjoining syllables and words.

We had a way with waves, riding on the surly sea like answers to questions or words wrought to rhyme.

The ocean overlaps the sand and we slide onto the beach, each one of grateful for the ride. Now its time to light a fire, feel the warmth, have a swig of wine and passionately wish this time won’t end.

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

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Syntheton

Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.

Life and death

Hope and fear

Winning and losing

Words have their opposites creating trajectories from one to the other, from the other to the other in dialectical repetitions, in circles unbroken by time, in bent lines.

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

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Synzeugma

Synzeugma (sin-zoog’-ma): That kind of zeugma in which a verb joins (and governs) two phrases by coming between them. A synonym for mesozeugma.

The time, ticking mercilessly, on its faithless arc destroys the present with its inevitable day- and night-making progress. So, the future casts a dim glow, making shadows of our lives stretching into our past like an expanding and contracting yardstick. Constantly altering our memory, reconciling and exacerbating the conflicts that measure arouses.

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

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Systrophe

Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.

He had tiny hands. They looked like chicken feet sticking out of his shirtsleeves. His lips were almost always puckered–not like he had eaten something bitter, but rather, as if he were sucking a straw and couldn’t get anything to come through it. It was like he looked mad, frustrated and thirsty all at once; maybe like a baby whose ba-ba nipple was malfunctioning. Post-pucker, he would throw his little chicken-feet hands around in no discernible gesture–maybe flailing, definitely not waving. His blond hair was stiffly coifed around his head like an amusement park ride called “Shellac Mountain” with hidden tunnels bypassing his bald flesh and buttressed against the wind’s revelation of the cosmetic circus playing beneath the surface of his hair.

This man wants us to believe he is worth a shit. Some people swear by him like he is Jesus Christ. Many of us just piss our pants or vomit dreading his continued presence in our lives. But some of us are immune to his idiocy having been inoculated with facts and learned opinions. We are biding our time. There will be a judgment day and it isn’t spelled Armageddon.

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

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Tapinosis

Tapinosis  (ta-pi-no’-sis): Giving a name to something which diminishes it in importance.

So, you’re still a fan of the New York Tinies? They used to be giants, now they’re ants. Give it up. 

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

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Tasis

Tasis (ta’-sis): Sustaining the pronunciation of a word or phrase because of its pleasant sound. A figure apparent in delivery.

We are soooo happy that Trump will be impeached! It will be like a weight off of everybody’s shoulders, except for Cohen, Manafort and the parade of other low life scum bags that are tangled up in his nefarious lifestyle.

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

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Thaumasmus

Thaumasmus (thau-mas’-mus): To marvel at something rather than to state it in a matter of fact way.

I wake up in the morning with a pain in my head.The clock radio is droning the news. It seems like the same stories over and over again, day after day; with the exception of natural disasters and less troubling weather forces.

The stories reflect the best and the worst–the middle is missing. At each extreme we are terrified and humbled, sickened and uplifted, flattened and edified. It is like a spinning top where the extremes blend into a blur, and the blur, as long as the top is spinning, is a fact erasing tensions, obscuring their otherness in a kind of soft dizziness that consciousness fails to capture. Staggering is the norm and holding onto the railing is what gives life its sense of stability.

I am amazed and sickened by the wonder of it all.

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

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Tmesis

Tmesis (tmee’-sis): Interjecting a word or phrase between parts of a compound word or between syllables of a word.

We sit idly by while Trump destroys much of what was built in the past 50 years–from civil rights to climates change policies, Trump has co-poppin-opted truth, justice and freedom, replacing them with a steady steam of lies, a disgusting Supreme Court justice and restrictions on the freedom of speech in his own White House.

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

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Topographia

Topographia (top-o-graf’-i-a): Description of a place. A kind of enargia [: {en-ar’-gi-a} generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description].

We lived on the edge–the edge of life, the edge of time. I took solace in the small red feathers that were left to me by my insane father before he jumped in front of a red Jeep Cheorkee and exploded into fragments of red flesh. The irony was in the color: red. Red feathers floating gently on a summer’s breeze; a red bubbly puddle glistening and barely steaming on the black asphalt, my tearful eye mirrored in its ooze.

Blood and feathers compliment each other, up and down. Feathers borne upward on a breeze. Blood dripping toward earth as a display of gravity’s power to bring us, and everything else down.

Sadly, the shared color red is an accident whose meaning is solely in the color shared.

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

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Traductio

Traductio (tra-duk’-ti-o): Repeating the same word variously throughout a sentence or thought. Some authorities restrict traductio further to mean repeating the same word but with a different meaning (see ploceantanaclasis, and diaphora), or in a different form (polyptoton). If the repeated word occurs in parallel fashion at the beginnings of phrases or clauses, it becomes anaphora; at the endings of phrases or clauses, epistrophe.

He alienated our allies. Stupid! He plays kiss-ass with Putin. Stupid! He put kids in cages. Stupid and cruel.

There’s no doubt that Donald Trump is stupid and cruel. Three more years of his stupidity and cruelty and the United States will become a stupid and cruel place to live. Maybe it already is!

When will the US start producing a wave a refugees who want to escape? Probably when Trump gets reelected by an army of Russian trolls and their Republican allies. He did it once. He can do it again.

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

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Topographia

Topographia (top-o-graf’-i-a): Description of a place. A kind of enargia [: {en-ar’-gi-a} generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description].

A tattered carpet with images of Russian helicopters spraying bullets on small crumbling villages. Young girls with shiny black eyes and jingling coins draped from green and red and purple and blue dresses, and boys in baggy pants, white tunics and every color vests. It’s not suburban New Jersey (although it could be). It’s somewhere in Afghanistan where war has been raging for as long as I can remember and it is a miracle that anybody is still left alive.

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

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Tasis

Tasis (ta’-sis): Sustaining the pronunciation of a word or phrase because of its pleasant sound. A figure apparent in delivery.

“Wow. It’s perrrfect! My own personal private Supreme Court! Our goal is the repeal of evvvvveryyything back to pre-Civil War–back when America was great. Bye bye abortion. Hello Jim Crow. It’s beautiful.”

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

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Thaumasmus

Thaumasmus (thau-mas’-mus): To marvel at something rather than to state it in a matter of fact way.

American history of rough. There was the American Revolution. There was the wanton murder of Native Americans. There was the depravity of slavery. There was the Great Depression. There was Word war II and Third Reich.

Now there is Donald Trump: The cosmic blight. The maker of massive shit stains. The stinking wave of blood-flecked vomit. The end of democracy.

It’s only a matter of time before Trump’s supporters will have the opportunity to yell “Guillotine, Guillotine, Guillotine” as Hilary Clinton is marched down Wall Street.

All that I know right now is that mental illness can have a starring role in politics. Compassion, sanity and honesty are given minor bit parts by the Mad One as he may plot democracy’s demise with Putin, Xi Jinping, the Koch brothers, and the NRA.

The internment camps are open for business.

Beware!

Their purpose may be expanded to accommodate dissenters and other “undesirables.”

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

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Tmesis

Tmesis (tmee’-sis): Interjecting a word or phrase between parts of a compound word or between syllables of a word.

Last week I was in North Ko-wonderful-rea meeting with another humble dictator. I’m a better dictator than he is because I don’t starve people or execute them with Anti-aircraft guns. Instead, I tell lie, after lie, after lie. By murdering the truth, it works as well as murdering people. Once the truth is dead, you can bury it or cremate it and forget about it. Then, you replace the dead truths with vibrant living lies designed to scare, outrage and justify bullying the weak!

Look at Texas. Perfect example. Children “taken” from their families. I blame the Democrats over and over again. It’s a lie (it’s actually my policy). I have my cake (jailed children) and eat it too (blame Democrats). Ha ha! Am I evil? Yes, of course! I’m taking America to hell.

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

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Topographia

Topographia (top-o-graf’-i-a): Description of a place. A kind of enargia [: {en-ar’-gi-a} generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description].

Red velour towels. Purple velvet bedspread. Dark blue carpet (wool) with big orange flowers, flying lips and circling cupids with little bows and arrows pointed outward toward the walls.

This was my getaway–my secret paradise hidden on the back side of an elevator shaft, accessible by my little fingerprints or by my guest yelling “let me out of here” when the elevator reached the secret floor.

Tonight was my ‘encounter’ with Stony–a tall, blond, well-built porn star with long blond hair–the kind you see in shampoo ads–beautiful beyond your imagination.

I heard her yelling “let me out of here” and I flipped the tiny black switch. As the elevator doors opened, I opened my red cashmere bathrobe. She stood there looking at me like I was some kind of circus freak.

“Wow! It’s even smaller than your hands would indicate, and they indicate a micro-penis.”

I was humiliated and closed my robe. I picked up the green glass champagne bottle from the chrome and glass end table and hit her over the head. It made a thudding sound and she made a thudding sound when she hit the floor.

She was dead. I was screwed. I thought, “If I were President of the United States, I could pardon myself. But I’m not, and I can’t. Damn.”

So, my Plan B was to escape. I would hide out in a third-rate nursing home disguised as David Dump, half demented cranky old man. Once things cooled off, I would buy a camper van and drive to Venezuela and get a job as a mid-level dictator. “Plenty of prostitutes there,” I thought as I washed my hands, smiled,  and prepared to call a cab.

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

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Tricolon

Tricolon (tri-co-lon): Three parallel elements of the same length occurring together in a series.

The tree had fallen. My house was crushed. My insurance had lapsed.

Now, what would I do?

I packed what I could in my truck. I backed out of the driveway without looking. I got hit by a bulldozer pushing branches.

No car insurance. No common sense. No Plan B.

Damn. Crap. Hell.

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

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Abating

Abating: English term for anesis: adding a concluding sentence that diminishes the effect of what has been said previously. The opposite of epitasis (the addition of a concluding sentence that merely emphasizes what has already been stated. A kind of amplification).

Your haircut is very stylish. Too bad that the ‘style’ is somewhere between a terrier tonsure and a vulture mullet!

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

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Abbaser

Abbaser [George] Puttenham’s English term for tapinosis. Also equivalent to meiosis: reference to something with a name disproportionately lesser than its nature (a kind of litotes: deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite).

Nice death rock–how many people died from the civil wars your big sparkly stone and others like it have afforded? Or, maybe your fiancé checked its point of origin? Anyway, it signifies your engagement–but possibly your engagement in something far more sinister than you imagined when your future spouse slipped it on your finger.

If there’s no way of telling whether it has blood on it, you should give it back. Otherwise, every time you look at it, you may see murder and mayhem, rape and starvation rather than love and building a beautiful future together.

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

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Accismus

Accismus (ak-iz’-mus): A feigned refusal of that which is earnestly desired.

Don: A Nobel Prize nomination? Oh–I don’t deserve it. I am but a humble public servant. Saving the world is simply a part of my job description along with cheating on the First Lady, winning the Korean War, separating babies from their mothers at the Mexican border, and collecting pictures of Mother Pence bending over.

I’m just doing my job. Thanks anyway. However, if you can’t find anybody else, give my attorney Rudy a call. He’s not too bright, but he knows how to use a cellphone.

Nobel: Sorry for the confusion Don. It’s your son Don Jr. who has received a nomination for his work as a ‘Get Hillary’ collaborator with a Russian operative at one of your hotels.

Don: What? My son is a marginally functional idiot! I make him look like the hair gel addict he really is!

Nobel: Again, sorry for the mix-up Don. The bottom line is that you did not receive a nomination and it is probably because there is no reason to nominate you, given your track record as President so far–you know, sparking trade wars with most of the world and driving US farmers and factories out of business, nominating a known torturer to run CIA, spending $80,000,000 on a military parade when veterans are living in the streets, pulling out of the Paris Agreement, taking money from the Children’s Health Insurance Program, declaring open season on Grizzly bears, scrapping the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and more!

Don: Ok Nobel, that does it. I’m taking you down–you and your two-bit awards are going to disappear.  It will be dynamite–ha ha–when we invade your stupid little commie country and bomb the hell out of Stockholm–maybe even drop the ‘Big  One’ on one of your commie hospitals. I’m calling Ollie North right now! He commands my elite private NRA army and will gladly commit its cache of semi-automatic assault weapons and nearly moronic members to the cause! Beware!

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

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Acervatio

Acervatio (ak-er-va’-ti-o): Latin term Quintilian employs for both asyndeton (acervatio dissoluta: a loose heap) and polysyndeton (acervatio iuncta: a conjoined heap).

Asyndeton: the omission of conjunctions between clauses, often resulting in a hurried rhythm or vehement effect.

Go, hurry, move it! Don’t stop now! Let’s end debate and vote on the insane immigration policy before King Pee Wee Brain changes his mind again about the direction the country should be headed. I know it may be a mistake, but having the NRA work together with ICE to police hapless immigrants and elderly homeless people might just make the USA a better place–a better place than what, I don’t know. Maybe an overflowing septic tank or the surface of Mars? However it does not matter: in order to keep the party intact and mini-brain in office we have to make it look like there is strong consensus on everything coming forward–a consensus that squares with turtle brain’s dimwitted hopes. So–move it, move it, move it!

Polysydeton: employing many conjunctions between clauses, often slowing the tempo or rhythm.

He told us he did not pay the hush money and it was his lawyer who had all the answers, and then his new lawyer told us he has paid the money, and then he told us he did’t pay the money, and then he told us he paid the money, and his new lawyer told us he may have paid tons more than first disclosed to more women to shut them up. At that point he shut up. Did he pay himself to shut himself up? You’ll have to ask his lawyer Rudy, who seems to be a little stupid. But is he stupid like a fox? I don’t think so. I think he’s stupid like a duck.

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

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Acoloutha

Acoloutha: The substitution of reciprocal words; that is, replacing one word with another whose meaning is close enough to the former that the former could, in its turn, be a substitute for the latter. This term is best understood in relationship to its opposite, anacoloutha.

Donald was eating really fast. The food was quickly headed to the cavern under his belt called Belly. Belly ruled Donald’s life and it showed in the upwardly changing size of his presidential pants. Donald was worried that he was becoming fatter than the North Korean dictator and that he would soon lose a key point of ridicule at the negotiating table: Little Fat Boy–what he planned to call him–to cow him and make him pliable. But now, Donald was becoming Big Fat Boy: how he loved KFC; more than he loved his wife and daughter, Sean Hannity and Vlad Putin put together.

“This is an emergency” he said to his new physician Admiral Dr. Frankenstiner. The Doctor grimly nodded and turned on his fettabsaugung–a fat sucking machine made in the Black Forest in a former Cuckoo clock factory.

Donald cried out in pain as his fat oozed from the machine and dripped onto the floor. Dr. Frakenstiner said “A handgun won’t do you much good now Fat Man.”

The doctor’s face mask fell off. It was the North Korean Dictator! He had a sock stuffed with kimchi. He stuffed it into Donald’s mouth. Donald began chewing furiously–like a monkey with a piece of candy.

It was all to no avail. North Korea has annexed Oregon and Donald is nursing a broken jaw. Donald lamented: “If I could’ve spoken more clearly through the sock and kimchi, Oregon would still be ours. Ceding Oregon to North Korea is a pretty bad thing, but not as bad as Obama when he . . . “

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

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Acrostic

Acrostic: When the first letters of successive lines are arranged either in alphabetical order (= abecedarian) or in such a way as to spell a word.

Truth

Troublesome.

Ruthless.

Unbendable.

Trusted since the beginning of civilization.

Helps combat injustice.

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

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Adianoeta

Adianoeta: An expression that, in addition to an obvious meaning, carries a second, subtle meaning (often at variance with the ostensible meaning).

We must ask: Why didn’t Trump attend former First Lady Bush’s funeral? It must’ve been his golfing. He is trying to improve it and any time spent away from the golf course leads to slippage. 

Also, he may have wanted to avoid a lengthy conversation with form President Obama and his former First Lady.

Additionally, he probably wanted Melania there alone so she could ‘shine’ in her own right as the extremely amazing current First Lady she is.

All good reasons for hunkering down a Mar-a-lago: SO Presidential.

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

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