Tag Archives: rhetoric

Kategoria

Kategoria (ka-te-go’-ri-a): Opening the secret wickedness of one’s adversary before his [or her] face.

It took a bunch of Russians hacking your email to find out, but now we know for certain that you tried to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

You are despicable!

You should be beyond ashamed.

Say goodbye to Philadelphia & go back to the swamp you crawled out of.

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

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).

I’m not the most successful person you’ll ever know, and I haven’t travelled to every country in the world. But, let me tell you, I’ve accomplished enough and seen enough to know that I can lead this nation, and with your help, make it great again!

Make America Great Again!

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

Martyria

Martyria (mar-tir’-i-a): Confirming something by referring to one’s own experience.

See this scar?

It’s a token of pain. A trace of violence. An image of risk. A jagged lesson scribbled across my belly in slicing intersected strokes.

Clearly, I’m alive. Clearly, I survived the angry blade. Clearly, I fought back, or I would’t be here right now; I wouldn’t be standing right here, alive and well and ready to show you my plan–the plan that saved my life!

Simple! Here it is: It’s called a Glock. I emptied the magazine into the lunatic who was attacking me.

Problem solved!

I encourage you to try my plan!

If you can pull the trigger, you can defend yourself with a Glock!

Fire away!

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

Maxim

Maxim (max’-im): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adageapothegmgnomeparoemiaproverb, and sententia.

Yes, we’re all standing up to our knees in recrimination, accusations and vituperation. And yes, we all know, as the ancient sage La-zee Too wisely said, “When the going gets tough, it’s hard to get going.”

Today, it’s so hard to get going many of us are considering quitting once and for all!

Well, let me tell you, that wouldn’t exactly be a bad thing. We’ve been putting up with this crap for months and months now–months and months of taking it on the chin, in the gut, and over the head.

So, let’s just quit. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, especially if we can pretend there’s a higher purpose being served by our quitting, being disloyal, and running out on the promises we made.

Hey I’ve got it! Let’s use “self respect” as our back door!

Check this out: No self-respecting human being would put up with the way we’re being treated; especially being called bad names by our enemies!

It’s like the famous Japanese Chef said, “If you can’t stand the heat, don’t sit near the hibachi.” Well, we can’t stand the heat and we’re moving away from the hibachi–far, far away where names can’t hurt us, promises don’t need to be kept, and we can regain our self respect.

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

Medela

Medela (me-de’-la): When you can’t deny or defend friends’ faults and seek to heal them with good words.

Ok, ok. They may not appear to be completely her words, but the sentiments she expressed with them are certainly hers–she’s a loving wife and mother, and a respectful daughter with solid values and high moral ideals. She loves America and is probably deeply pained by what she’s accused of. Let’s give her a break and try to help mend her broken heart. Let’s focus on the sentiments and not who expressed them first. Originality isn’t the issue. In fact, just the opposite is the case.

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

Meiosis

Meiosis (mei-o’-sis): Reference to something with a name disproportionately lesser than its nature (a kind of litotes). This term is equivalent to tapinosis.

Imagine, calling a string of commonplace cliches “plagiarism.” Melania was simply stating truisms–the kinds of things that common sense dictates when you’re talking about your parents’ advice and influence, raising children, and being an American. It’s like saying “I love you” is plagiarized because it’s been said countless times before!

What do I have to do now, think of a new way to say “I love you” because there’s a Valentine’s card that already says it?

I’ll tell you what! Nobody’s going to make me find a different way to say “I love you,”even if you call me a plagiarist! I love you is I love you. How else do I say it?

Speaking from the heart is not plagiarism, no matter how much it may sound like what other people say when they speak from the heart.

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

Mempsis

Mempsis (memp’-sis): Expressing complaint and seeking help.

I was led to believe that this powder would grow hair on my head! So far, I’ve dumped a kilo on my bald spot and nothing’s happened.

Well, something’s happened: there’s an abundance of hair growing out of my nose and ears–there’s lots of it & it isn’t very attractive. Also, hairy warts have popped up on my cheeks & I’m getting a hump on my back.

What the hell have you done to me?

Fix it!

What? You say I bought the “Troll Formula” by mistake?

So, what can you do to fix it?

What?!

I need to hide under a bridge for a week & and eat at least one ill-tempered billy goat?

That’s asking a lot, but I am getting a little hungry for billy goat.

Where’s the bridge?

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

Merismus

Merismus (mer-is’-mus): The dividing of a whole into its parts.

Donald Trump is one part showman, one part showman, and one part showman.

He’s all showman!

Right now, I’m enjoying the DT show: it’s a fun-filled comedy with wonderful supporting actors who add to the glee.

But, if he gets elected, I’m afraid it may become a farce, or a Greek tragedy.

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

Mesarchia

Mesarchia (mes-ar’-chi-a): The repetition of the same word or words at the beginning and middle of successive sentences.

I can’t say for sure where my culinary interest is tending; tending as as it is toward fast food.

I can’t say whether my culinary interest is best served up as Baconators; Baconators three beef patties high laced with crisp bacon, soaked by melting cheese.

I can’t say whether your interest in me will continue; continue as I become obese from obsessively consuming bags of fat dribbling 940 calorie burgers.

Will you feed me when I can’t move any more?

Bless you.

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

Mesodiplosis

Mesodiplosis (mes-o-dip-lo’-sis): Repetition of the same word or words in the middle of successive sentences.

It looks like the Libertarian candidate  is racking up the percentage points in recent polls. As fas as I can see the Libertarian candidate has over 20% of the vote. If that’s right, the Libertarian candidate is making a significant dent in Trump’s and Clinton’s percentages.

A viable third-part candidate!

Wow!

Just like the other Presidential candidates, Gary Johnson’s supporters will have to nominate him at the Libertarian Party’s national convention & everybody’ll be decked out in goofy election paraphernalia.

The Libertarians’ silly hats will say: “Minimum Government, Maximum Freedom.”  I wonder if the Libertarians’ hats will ‘trump’ “Make America Great Again” hats?

(By the way, Hilary’s hats don’t have a chance. “Stronger Together” sounds like a gang slogan: “The Outlaws: Stronger Together”)

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

Mesozeugma

Mesozeugma (me’-so-zyoog’-ma): A zeugma in which one places a common verb for many subjects in the middle of a construction.

Monday dragged by, then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Saturday at last!

It was coming today–at least that’s what the advertisement said when the man ordered 100 pounds of chocolate from Holland: “Fresh from Amsterdam in 1 week” the ad said.

The doorbell rang. The postal delivery person was on the front porch. He had a huge ring of chocolate around his lips and was looking sheepish.

The man was furious: “It is against the law to tamper with the mail. You ate my chocolate–all 100 pounds.”

The postal delivery man said “No, no, no, I didn’t eat it all. The chocolaty smell was too much. I could not contain myself.”

“Here’s what’s left–at least 95 pounds.”

The man was a kind soul. He forgave the postal delivery person and invited him over for extra large s’mores later that evening.

The postal delivery person accepted the invitation and promised to bring a 2 cases of graham crackers and 5o pounds of marshmallows.

It was going to be a big deal–maybe the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Not only that, the postal delivery man had gotten away with stealing mail–a federal offense–a felony. That was good.

Metabasis

Metabasis (me-ta’-ba-sis): A transitional statement in which one explains what has been and what will be said.

Now that we have had a chance to thoroughly understand what the law and order candidate means by “law and order,” let’s take a look at what the other candidate seemingly means by “law and order” in the context of her recent brush withe FBI.

To start with . . .

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

Metalepsis

Metalepsis (me-ta-lep’-sis): Reference to something by means of another thing that is remotely related to it, either through a farfetched causal relationship, or through an implied intermediate substitution of terms. Often used for comic effect through its preposterous exaggeration. A metonymical substitution of one word for another which is itself figurative.

You see yourself as a bridge over troubled waters–to me you’re a doormat over dog poop.

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

Metallage

Metallage (me-tal’-la-gee): When a word or phrase is treated as an object within another expression.

Looking at the so-called “race” to the White House, the word “endorsement” has taken on new significance in the Republican Party:

  • I’m not saying “No.” (Paul Ryan)
  • I may have started moving in that direction already! (Bobby Jindal)
  • “Endorsement” is a pretty strong word. (Marco Rubio)
  • I endorse the electoral process, the people of America, and the opportunity to offer an endorsement endorsing the aforementioned, and, Donald Trump’s singularly clear endorsement of it as well, and Donald and I stand united in our shared positive regard for processes of voting, the people of America, and the freedom to endorse or not to endorse candidates of our choice. (John Kasich)
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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Metaphor

Metaphor (met’-a-phor): A comparison made by referring to one thing as another.

This car is an armpit on wheels. It’s a smelly locker room with an engine; a mobile porta-potty with electric windows and seating for five.

What the hell have you been doing driving around in this Slobmobile?

Have you no pride?

Maybe a dozen air fresheners would help: 2 quarts of lilac and 2 quarts of jasmine along with 50 sticks of patchouli incense, a drum of Lysol concentrate and an Air Wick as tall as the National Newark Building.

Better yet, you should just pull over right now–right here on the Goethals Bridge–and light the damn thing on fire.

Here’s a lighter. I’m bailing out.

See you on Staten Island! Yaaaaaa!

_________________________________________

POSTSCRIPT

“Don’t shame your friends into bailing out of your car. Keep its interior clean & use air fresheners sensibly. Keep your friends alive. Do not stink and drive.”

Gov. Chris Christie

New Jersey

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

Metaplasm

Metaplasm (met’-a-plazm): A general term for orthographical figures (changes to the spelling of words). This includes alteration of the letters or syllables in single words, including additions, omissions, inversions, and substitutions. Such changes are considered conscious choices made by the artist or orator for the sake of eloquence or meter, in contrast to the same kinds of changes done accidentally and discussed by grammarians as vices (see barbarism). See: antistheconaphaeresisapocopeepenthesisparagoge, synaloepha.

That Donald Trump sure isn’t humbly-bumbly–he’s an arrogantic ego-normous self promoting meopolis: A narcissistic sprawl of blighted plans, ramshackle proposals, and dangerous roads and highways.

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

Metastasis

Metastasis (me-tas’-ta-sis): Denying and turning back on your adversaries arguments used against you.

The so-called bipartisan report states that I should’ve been better prepared to deal with what was the likelihood of an almost certain attack on our outpost in Benghazi–that we shouldn’t have had high-level assets stationed at such a high-risk location.

All I can say at this point is, as a consequence of Congressional cutbacks to funding of on-the-ground intelligence and expenditures on defensive fortifications of US Government outposts during my time as Secretary of State, I would’ve been surprised to have had any solid information whatsoever as to impending attacks, or anything else for that matter. Moreover, I repeatedly petitioned Congress to fill the intelligence and equipment gaps so I could more effectively do my job and ensure, as much as humanly possible, the safety of our personnel stationed in Libya.

Given the resources I was provided with, I exercised due diligence in my decisions to keep Ambassador Stevens and the CIA Contractors in place.

You may criticize me all day long, but you might as well be criticizing yourselves. When you want to know who is to blame for Benghazi, look at each other and hang your heads.

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

Metonymy

Metonymy (me-ton’-y-my): Reference to something or someone by naming one of its attributes. [This may include effects or any of the four Aristotelian causes {efficient/maker/inventor, material, formal/shape, final/purpose}.]

Don’t iron your ideas so flat that they sound like cicadas humming somewhere in Kansas!

Damn! I don’t even know if they’ve got cicadas in Kansas–but you get my point, right?

Go for TA-DA instead of HMMMMM–more people will listen, and that’s half the battle!

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

Ominatio

Ominatio (o-mi-na’-ti-o): A prophecy of evil.

Lo unto you, I prophecy:

A bleak darkness shall enwrap merry Olde England in a stinking miasma of bigoted gasses and shattered dreams, fanned throughout the land by droll talking heads and political buskers.

Many Pounds will be shed on an unwanted diet of economic deprivation as the Exchequer lies abed, gasping for hard currency, all skin and bones, yet unrepentant, as the marketplace turns to fire and our brave Investors hose it with Euros in a vain attempt to quell its catastrophic flames.

BREXIT has, shall, and will spell cold hearths, broken hearts and empty purses. Our children will suffer. Our economy will burn out like a super nova, leaving us to observe only smoke and ruin.

As the Crown shall surely fall, an independent Scotland will ascend to its former glory, as its Auld Alliance is resurrected and it stands proudly alongside France, a dire threat to England once again!

Beware! The worm is turning.

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

Onedismus

Onedismus (on-e-dis’-mus): Reproaching someone for being impious or ungrateful.

built a real-estate empire.” “I” is your favorite word. What about “We?” We never hear “We.” Is it because “We” don’t matter?

It is obvious–so obvious–that you could not have done it alone! Every once in awhile you acknowledge your children or your wife,  but they’re just an extension of you!

If you want my vote, I need to hear you start saying “We” when you refer to “your” accomplishments. Show some gratitude around the circle of others who have supported you, advised you, guided you and  made you a success–give US a place in the limelight. WE are tired of living in your shadow.

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

Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia (on-o-mat-o-pee’-a): Using or inventing a word whose sound imitates that which it names (the union of phonetics and semantics).

YOU: Yes sir, that’s my baby. No sir, I don’t mean maybe. Hubba Hubba Hub cap. That’s my gal. Boo poopie doo.

ME: Dave! Your hubcap collecting has gotten out of control. Nobody wants to see you dancing naked on the front porch with a hubcap duct-taped to your crotch.

Put down the beer. Get inside! Put on some clothes! Call it a day!

YOU: Yes sir, that’s my wife. No sir, I do mean strife. Yes sir, she’s a major zip in my ass right now!

Hey wife! Hubcaps have one function: to cover lug nuts.

So, what’s my hubcap doing?

Ha! Ha!

ME: Dave, there’s a crowd gathering on our front lawn. I think I hear the woo wah woo wah of police cars headed up the street.

Get the hell inside!!!

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

Optatio

Optatio (op-ta’-ti-o): Expressing a wish, often ardently.

Y: I wish I could lift 300 pounds. It would be so cool to be a strong man. I could lift the front of a car, or a ATM, or all the crap piled up in your bedroom. I could be called “King Crap Lifter.” Your friends would probably build a monument to me!

OH! How I wish, I wish, I wish!

Z: Go for it dad. It’s about the only thing you’ve wished for since I was born. Your daydreams are like specks of dirt on a cracked camera lens. What you make wishes for are like specks of dirt on the specks of dirt.

So: Go for it King Hernia! And while you’re blowing out an intestine, I wish you’d pay me an allowance; then I might start picking things up.

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

Orcos

Orcos (or’-kos): Swearing that a statement is true.

X: Where is my red shirt?

RAY: I have no idea.

X: You lie you die!

RAY: I swear on my mother’s grave: I DO NOT KNOW.

X: Your mother is alive and well in Miami.

RAY: Well then, I swear on your mother’s grave.

X: That does it. Put up your hands. I’m taking you in.

RAY: Hello, 911? My roommate has flipped his widget–what’s that? His widget! It’s just a figure of speech, like flipping one’s wig, or flipping out.

Now, please send somebody over! He’s threatening me–he is pointing his cheap Chinese spatula at me. He’s waving it around. HURRY!

X: I see my shirt under the couch. Sorry.

RAY: Dumb ass.

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

Oxymoron

Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.

Hilary is exuberantly pessimistic about Trump’s chances of being elected. Trump, on the other hand, is caustically optimistic that he’s going to win.

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

Paenismus

Paenismus (pai-nis’-mus): Expressing joy for blessings obtained or an evil avoided.

Hark! I bring tidings of comfort and joy!

My new underpants from Duluth Trading Post are all they’re ‘cracked’ up to be.

I walk in comfort. I sit in comfort. I stand in comfort. I live in comfort.

Oh the comfort and joy! No more binding or chafing.

These underpants are my salvation.

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