Tag Archives: rhetoric

Asphalia

Asphalia (as-fay’-li-a): Offering oneself as a guarantee, usually for another.


I can’t tell you how much I care for Little Louie. We’ve been to hell together. I got back before Louie, but he told me he learned some lessons. I don’t know what that means, but I’m sure it wasn’t the three R’s. It was probably the three L’s—Loyalty, Liquor, and Ladies.

And you know me: I’ve been a part of this racket since I was twelve. I just had my 40th birthday, and I’ve never let anybody down. I was shot on four different occasions. I spent two years in prison. I never squealed on nobody. Remember the FEDs? They were real bastards, but I kept my mouth shut. My loyalty to this organization can’t be questioned. It’s in my soul. We all have this tattoo of a goose on our right butt cheek. It means the world to me.

You caught Little Louie selling product he stole from us to the competition. Now, you want to chop off his hand. If you will back it down to two or three fingers, I promise he will never never steal from us again. If he does steal again, you can take my hand with our Justice Cleaver, which, by the way, was a gift my father gave us when he retired. Let’s give Little Louie a chance to go through life with two fingers and a thumb. I put myself up as a guarantee that he’ll never make that left turn again. Settled? Ok! Good. Let’s get ready to ambush and shoot the shit out of those goddamn Colombians! Where the hell is Little Louie?

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

Paper and Kindle versions of The Daily Trope are available from Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Assonance

Assonance (ass’-o-nance): Repetition of similar vowel sounds, preceded and followed by different consonants, in the stressed syllables of adjacent words.


The start was always awash with the finish for me. I could never ever bring a modicum of enthusiasm to the competition. I would never be redeemed, but in fact, I never asked myself how I got on the team. I like my uniform though: black trainers, black socks, black tights, black t-shirt and a brown cap, with the team’s mascot in red, on the cap’s peak. Our mascot is a smiling noodle. We are sponsored by Papa’s Pasta, a major pasta producer located in Topeka, Kansas. That’s where our team calls home too. We are the Topeka Noodles. We play in the Bread Basket League along with teams from the Dakotas, Nebraska, Washington, Idaho—our competitors. Our sport is dodge ball—a fast-moving, violent, injury heavy, take no prisoners sport. Two or three “Ballers” are fatally injured every year, and pretty much all “Ballers” are seriously injured. The most deadly play is the “Rifle Kick.” A player will loosen his trainers. Throwing a kick, the trainer shoots off the foot and hits the opponent in the kidney from behind. The opponent goes down, writhing on the floor. Then, the second trainer is sent at the head, aiming for the opponent’s temple. Whack!

By the way, my father is “Papa” of Papa’s Pasta, the Topeka Noodles’ sponsor. I will let you in on a secret. My father made a couple of threats, and all of a sudden I had a spot on the Topeka Noodles, and I couldn’t play very well. In fact, I stink like a spraying skunk. One of my teammates told me I should quit the team. He was run over by a milk truck the next day. It was determined to be an accident and his injuries are not life threatening—two broken legs, concussion, 3 broken ribs, scuffed butt and elbows, and an apology to me.

I will now give the Topeka Noodles Cheer: Noodle, noodle, noodle, oodle, boodle, doodle. Noodle up, noodle down, we will win the Dodge Ball crown. Go Noodles!


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

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Assumptio

Assumptio (as-sump’-ti’o): The introduction of a point to be considered, especially an extraneous argument. 

See proslepsis (When paralipsis [stating and drawing attention to something in the very act of pretending to pass it over] is taken to its extreme. The speaker provides full details.).


This is Christmas and the beautifully wrapped presents are piled up around the blinking, ornament laden, pink tinsel draped, metal tree from China—yes China where they are atheistic Communists, laughing at the stupid Americans every time a tree comes off their sweat shop assembly line. In fact, aside from the ornaments the kids made with Grandma, the damn thing, from the star on top, to the stand at the bottom, is made in China. We might as well be celebrating General Tsao’s birthday and wearing silk pajamas with birds embroidered on them.

However, we need to talk about Santa Clause. Things are slipping up at the North Pole. He must be at least 200 years old! He brokered a deal with Amazon, and now he just gets on the internet, places the huge Christmas order with Amazon, and watches “A Muppet Christmas Carol” on his laptop on Christmas Eve. All these years he’s done a great job, but now he’s got to go. He can live in his condo on the beach in Key West. We need to put together a job description including information about salary and benefits. Santa worked for free and we’ve suspected him of purloining presents and selling them on the dark web for the past five years. An elf informant alerted us to Santa’s larceny. But the big question is: where does he get his money in the first place? This leads to the “magical powers” argument. Our surveillance cameras have recorded Santa waving his arms, followed by a shower of one-hundred dollar bills. We can’t get our heads around it. The last time I saw magic like that was when I was taken for $20 at Three Card Monty.

I think Elf 22 can stand in for Santa while we figure out what to do.

Being on the Holiday Police Force is very rewarding. For example, the Easter Bunny goes on trial in two weeks for hopping a 16-year old kid to death. And oh, and this is scary, the last time we tried to get Santa to retire, our building was suddenly covered with an avalanche of Barbie dolls and burned to the ground. Nobody was killed. But we heard “Ho, Ho, Ho!” from a nearby rooftop.

So, what’re we going to do about China stealing Christmas?


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

Paper and Kindle versions of The Daily Trope are available from Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

arby Dolls


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

Paper and Kindle versions of The Daily Trope are available from Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Asteismus

Asteismus (as-te-is’-mus): Polite or genteel mockery. More specifically, a figure of reply in which the answerer catches a certain word and throws it back to the first speaker with an unexpected twist. Less frequently, a witty use of allegory or comparison, such as when a literal and an allegorical meaning are both implied.


A: Sorry, I’m going to be late again.

B: One more time and you’ll be the late Sammy Fogwell. Ha ha! Just kidding—you work too hard. I’ll keep dinner warm for you.

A: You’re the best! This crazy project will be over in a week.


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

Paper and Kindle versions of The Daily Trope are available at Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Astrothesia

Astrothesia (as-tro-the’-si-a): A vivid description of stars. One type of enargia.


There is a time for stars when the moon is gone into its new moon pose—when the sky is deep deep black, and you can’t see three feet in front of you. You stumbled out of your tent. You stand still. You and your partner both look up and gasp. It’s there as it has always been there, stable, unwavering since I was little boy. The North Star to guide me, the Big Dipper to delight me, and the Milky Way to fill me with awe. There’s a shooting star! It’s tracing its way downward to be burnt up by our atmosphere in a trajectory from fame to death, like a fragile artist or a has-been movie star.

We hold hands, and I can feel the shared emotions coursing through us. Under the stars—the scintillating, unwavering presence that sheds it’s mystic light on the mystery of love.


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

A version of The Daily Trope is available under the title The Book of Tropesat Amazon in paper and Kindle formats.

Asyndeton

Asyndeton (a-syn’-de-ton): The omission of conjunctions between clauses, often resulting in a hurried rhythm or vehement effect. [Compare brachylogia. Opposite of polysyndeton.]


I went to the mall. I got lost. I was surrounded by major appliances. There was nobody around. I opened a refrigerator. A briefcase fell out. I opened it. It was filled with credit cards. I took the L.L. Bean card. I stuck it in my wallet. I put the briefcase back in the refrigerator.

I got home. I turned on my laptop. I got on the internet. I went to the L.L. Bean site. I searched men’s clothing. I liked the navy blue hand-made Pemaquid Lighthouse Low Tide cable knit watch cap.

I entered the the required demographic information, followed by the card’s account number. I put in the security code. It worked!

Two days later, 5 police cars converged on my front yard. I was busted for credit card fraud. I paid the bail and went home. Strangely, two days later my watch cap arrived. I kept it, but I won’t wear it to court.


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

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Auxesis

Auxesis (ok-see’-sis): (1) Arranging words or clauses in a sequence of increasing force. In this sense, auxesis is comparable to climax and has sometimes been called incrementum. (2) A figure of speech in which something is referred to in terms disproportionately large (a kind of exaggeration or hyperbole). (3) Amplification in general.


One, two, three! There you go! Have a good fall. Too bad you can’t fly. Ha ha! I came. I looked. I shoved. You came. You stood. You fell.

How’s the water? How was your five-foot free fall? Was it like jumping off the moon, or the Empire State Building, or the edge of the Grand Canyon? Lucky, you didn’t hit your head on one of the 25 foot catfish lurking down there. Can you feel one rubbing on your leg?

Oh my God! What’s that thing behind you? Yech! It’s Mr. Mack our school janitor. Oh my God! He’s wearing a banana hammock! Let’s get the hell out of here, he’s got a camera. His weirdness is bigger than a bull on steroids or the other side of the moon.


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

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Bdelygmia

Bdelygmia (del-ig’-mi-a): Expressing hatred and abhorrence of a person, word, or deed.


A: Go ahead and Latinize another word, and I’ll push you down the stairs.

B: Ha ha! Latinize? When you utilize Latinize, you’re utilizing Latinization! You idiotize everything you do. I am reticent to foundationalize my fear of you—you couldn’t push a Slinky Toy down the stairs, let alone me!

A: What the Hell am I doing here? You make me stick. You want to sound learned, but you sound like a pompous fool who struggled through middle school.

B: Your marathonification of this conversation is going to hospitalize me with acute boredom. Back off you Bozotronic excusation for a fiancée. I should’ve listened to my friends. They told me your intolerance is deeper than the impenetrable ocean depths.

A: Ok. Good bye. I hope can utilize the engagement ring.


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

An edited version of The Daily Trope is available from Amazon in print and Kindle formats under the title The Book of Tropes.

Bomphiologia

Bomphiologia (bom-phi-o-lo’-gi-a): Exaggeration done in a self-aggrandizing manner, as a braggart.


All the awards I’ve won won’t fit in my house. I’ve rented a storage shed at Ed’s “Casa Too Much.” Also, I made it into MENSA on one try, astounding my fellow geniuses with my native brilliance. This summer, I’m driving on a cross country trip I’ve named the “Look How Smart I Am Tour.” I will be inspiring all the losers out there to try and be as smart as me. They never will be as smart as me, but trying is worth something. My trip is sponsored by Ritalin.

I think “inspiring” is the word that describes me best. People take one look at me and they’re washed in the golden glow of my perfection. They start striving right on the spot as though they’d been possessed by the “God of Get Up and Go.”

If you think I’m just blowing hot air, just remember, we’ve all got our burdens to bear. Mine is “Rubic’s Cube.“


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae”

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Brachylogia

Brachylogia (brach-y-lo’-gi-a): The absence of conjunctions between single words. Compare asyndeton. The effect of brachylogia is a broken, hurried delivery.


Hope, trust, faith, beer pong, tattoos, perfume, cancer, living in a hot shopping cart under the viaduct on the outskirts of town. Visions on parade late in the afternoon every day but Tuesday. When it’s Tuesday, I always ask myself and the Viaduct Club, “Why no parade today?” I answer, “There’s never a parade.” There are never war veterans, scientists, fire fighters, bankers, tuna fish cans marching by with bagpipes, pianos, tambourines, Thule roof racks. Such a wonderful display of unfettered nuisance-making it was. I sob. I blow my nose. I am carried away from this dreary plane of existence as fire shoots out of my feet and I roar toward home. “Mission accomplished,” I said to myself. I don’t care if I ever go back there again. People made fun of my large hump, which on my my planet is considered a thing of beauty. However, my mission is accomplished. I fathered a child who will grow up to rule Earth. The child’s mother is named Marjorie Greene. She loved my hump.

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

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Cacozelia

Cacozelia (ka-ko-zeel’-i-a): 1. A stylistic affectation of diction, such as throwing in foreign words to appear learned. 2. Bad taste in words or selection of metaphor, either to make the facts appear worse or to disgust the auditors.


He is garbage—stinking slimy garbage, giving “stench” a good name. Rotten to the core, oozing the slime of depredation and the pus of outrageous lies, he cowers in the shadows like a cockroach waiting for a chance to skitter away undetected. He is dog shit stuck on your shoe. He is a loud fart during a religious service.

He preys on bereaved widows, showing up graveside mourning men he never knew, reading their obituaries for information he can use to ingratiate himself to the widow as a long-lost friend. He’s looking for the life insurance pay-out of his “life long” friend that he “grew up with” and “lost touch with” after the Vietnam War. He befriends the widow. He earns her trust. They move in together. They open a joint bank account. He withdraws all the money, buys a plane ticket, and flys away.

With all the photos floating around, we should be able to identify and apprehend this piece of shit. But, we can’t. It’s maddening, but we’re working on a plan. We are going to bait him with a “widow” who is actually an FBI Special Agent. We will do this until he shows up graveside. It could take years. His code name is “Insurance Agent” and hers is “Dead Husband.” Wish us luck.


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

An edited version of The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paper and Kindle formats under the title Book of Tropes.

Catachresis

Catachresis (kat-a-kree’-sis): The use of a word in a context that differs from its proper application. This figure is generally considered a vice; however, Quintilian defends its use as a way by which one adapts existing terms to applications where a proper term does not exist.


I was reticent to utilize my tax returns to show my wealth. I had confirmed some of the numbers with prefabricated receipts so as to mollify the bottom line in agreement with the essay of my money’s worth. After all, my “Lester’s Live Worms” business had been rocking and wriggling ever since I pulled my first night crawler out of the ground in 1995 in Poorwig, New York and I became known as “The Worm King” throughout Central New York. And then, the Chinese started exporting worms at half my price. A worm-war ensued in America and worm-workers marched on Washington DC with their worm shockers and worm buckets demanding a tariff on Chinese worms. The tariff was passed by a narrow margarine. But now, I must convince the world I am not fabricating my net worm—ha ha—I mean net worth. If I can’t, I don’t have a chance of beating Trump in the primaries and running for President. Maybe I can “worm” my way out of all this and just be satisfied with being the worm king.


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

Print and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope are available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Catacosmesis

Catacosmesis (kat-a-kos-mees’-is): Ordering words from greatest to least in dignity, or in correct order of time.


I woke up. I laid there for awhile thinking about my first wife and all the bills I had to pay. I finally got up, peed, headed to the kitchen and made coffee—rich powerful coffee. It woke me up and made me poop. Coffee’s the most amazing beverage in the pantheon of drinkables. I’ve been drinking it since I was 17 when my Uncle Randolph showed me the way. I had been kicked out of school and my parents made me work with Uncle Randolph restoring my Grandma’s roof.

I poured my cereal into my Bozo the Clown bowl I’d had since I was six. This week I was eating Maple Puffs—they have a picture of a maple tree on the box and the inscription: “No trees were killed in making this delicious natural cereal.” I always wondered what was killed—truck drivers delivering Maple Puffs in Alaska? I dumped in the milk—“Nature’s Life.” It tasted good, so I kept buying it. It had a picture of a stampede of milk cows on the carton with fire blowing out of their nostrils, some with milking aparatus still hooked to their udders. So, I finished breakfast and headed for the shower, but first, I pooped. As usual it stunk, so I sprayed air freshener and turned on the exhaust fan.

My shower was my favorite part of the day—hot water blasting me in the face and butt like a cloudburst in Death Valley, where I’m guessing the rain is hot. Next, I turn off shower, dry off, put on deodorant, comb hair, brush teeth, shave, put on my new aftershave: Night Pecker. I didn’t care if it was intended for night: I was always ready for action anywhere, all the time, and that included work.

I got dressed. I was sharp. I was still cool with the clothes after forty years. I pulled on my black Haines underpants and socks and turtleneck-T. Today, I’m wearing my denim suit—baggy with giant bell bottoms two feet wide and high-heeled Frye cowboy boots—considered a valuable antique in some circles.

Time to go to work at Fred’s Zero Sum Games, where I’d been employed ever since I can remember. Instead of emphasizing winning, our games emphasize losing. So, I get in my car, a rusted and dented red Corvair. I turn the key to get the car started and get going to work. Nothing happens. It’s probably the squirrels again. I walk around to the back of the car and lift the hood. There’s a nest of mice under the hood. I get the lug wrench out of the trunk so I can beat the baby mice to death, but I change my mind. I go inside and get my cat Clarabell. I throw him under the hood and he turns and hisses at me. The mother mouse shows up and rubs noses with Clarabell. Together, mouse and cat carry the babies away from the car and into my tool shed. I look under the hood and see the spark plug wire that had become dislodged. I popped it back on the spark plug, got in the car, started it, and drove off to work. As I pulled in the parking lot, I wondered how many other alliances Clarabell had made. One day, when I was home from work sick, a bear came to the back door.


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

An edited version of The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Cataphasis

Cataphasis (kat-af’-a-sis): A kind of paralipsis in which one explicitly affirms the negative qualities that one then passes over.


A: You are a cloud hovering over an otherwise wonderful day—stuck in front of the sun and dimming the landscape with your darkening presence. But today, I don’t want to revisit your brooding bullshit. I want to talk about your “announcement” and ask how you think you got pregnant?

B: Honestly, I don’t know. I forgot to take my birth control pills for a couple of months. But it was only a couple of months, they shouldn’t wear off that fast. Anyway, I wanted a baby. We’ve been married five years and have nothing to show for it.

A: Don’t you think we should’ve discussed this, especially since we haven’t been trying to get pregnant? We haven’t had sex for a year. So, the big question is: Who’s the baby’s father?

B: Scooter Boone.

A: OH MY GOD! The developmentally delayed towel boy at The Confederate Car Wash! He’s the stupidest person in Mississippi, and that’s saying something. Did he rape you?

B: No. We did it in the car going through the car wash. I am very truly sorry. I don’t want our marriage to end. I love you.

A: I have my doubts, but I think we can see this through. As you know, abortion’s illegal here in Mississippi and we can’t afford to drive you to hell and back to get you one in some other state. I guess you’ll have to have Scooter’s baby. I just hope the baby’s nothing like Scooter, especially in looks. Scooter has a nose like a vulture beak—unmistakeable. What the hell will we do if the baby’s born with Scooter’s beak?

B: I don’t know. Can’t we please go to Illinois so I can get an abortion?

A: I don’t know. I work overtime all the time at the feed mill, and we still barely have enough to pay the rent and eat. How about this: Ask Scooter to drive you to Illinois—he’s the father, he should take responsibility.

B: Ok, I’ll give it a try.

Postscript: Scooter and Marla took off for Illinois to get the abortion. Marla got the abortion and she and Scooter settled in Chicago where Scooter found employment at the Abraham Lincoln Car Wash, specializing in luxury cars, and making tons of money in tips. Marla had her dream come true: eat deep dish pizza twice a week and send poison pen letters once a month to her husband Wayne, who had a nervous breakdown and lost his job at the grain mill. He took Scooter’s old job at the car wash, but he can’t get any women to do what his wife did with Scooter. He’s thinking of driving to Illinois and killing Marla for what she did. Now that he’s single, he can afford the drive and she stupidly puts her return address on her letter’s. Wayne feels fortunate that Mississippi has such liberal gun laws! The two Glocks and ammunition he bought set him back a bundle, so he’s got to save up while he waits and decides whether to kill Marla, and Scooter too.


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

An edited version of The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Cataplexis

Cataplexis (kat-a-pleex’-is): Threatening or prophesying payback for ill doing.


A: You better never come near me again. I’m taking martial arts lessons. So far, I’ve learned how to turn your balls into giblets with two swift kicks, and poke out your eyes with my thumbs while I knee you in the solar plexus and punch you in the heart. My school of martial arts, Chimei-tekina Kazaguruma, means “Deadly Windmill” in English. Imagine a windmill chasing you with spinning silver steel blades honed by Samurai warriors, like a medieval war blender machine mowing down its enemies—liquifying them on the battlefield, so they ooze steaming into the earth. This is my schooling in martial arts. I am Chimei-tekina Kazaguruma—a Deadly Windmill: I will liquify you.

B: No, you will make me laugh. You can’t even run a blender, let alone be a windmill blender. Windmill blender? That’s ridiculous. However, your threat to make my balls into giblets is distressing. I think if I drag out my protective jock from playing catcher in my Little League days, I will thwart you. If it can stop to a fastball, it can stop a kick.

A: You idiot. My steel-toed boots will break your jock’s protective cup into tiny pieces, putting your balls in acute jeopardy. So, you better never come near me again. You will be destroyed.

B: Destroyed? This martial arts stuff is just a bunch of bullshit. Come here baby.

A: Oh, martial arts make you laugh. How about this scumbag, does it make you laugh too? It’s a Glock. It’s loaded. Along with martial arts, I’ve learned how to use it. I would love it if you would come at me so I can rid you of your balls the easy way.


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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Charientismus

Charientismus (kar-i-en-tia’-mus): Mollifying harsh words by answering them with a smooth and appeasing mock.


A: You smell like a sewer pipe.

B: I like sewers, don’t you?

A: You can’t even make a decent insult.

B: Ha ha—a decent insult.

A: Where are you stupid-ass? In kindergarten?

B: Come on, everybody likes kindergarten.

A: You are clearly a complete nit wit. You are suffering from acute arrested development.

B: Talking about “arrested,” how’s your elder abuse case going? Oh, and by the way, you should remember, I have a PhD in Astrophysics and was up for a Nobel Prize last year while you were up for a bail hearing.


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

The Daily Trope excerpt are available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Chiasmus

Chiasmus (ki-az’-mus): 1. Repetition of ideas in inverted order. 2. Repetition of grammatical structures in inverted order (not to be mistaken with antimetabole, in which identical words are repeated and inverted).


At sunrise drinking strong hot coffee, at sunset he stalks the internet. He can’t stop clicking, looking for a trace of somebody to love—spending his wages in chat rooms, every one a dead end. When his money runs out, his time runs out and he is closed out of the room. Where should he go? What should he do? “Unhappiness anywhere is a threat to happiness everywhere,” he thought he thought as he looked out his window, down to the busy street. He had a sudden revelation. When he was a kid he listened to a radio program called “Big Joe’s Happiness Exchange.” He could start a blog and he would call it “Big Joe’s Happiness Exchange II” as a tribute. The only rules: nothing sexual, no death threats. People would message their wants in the comments box and he would organize them and keep people on track, making them happy.


He got the blog set up and waited. And waited, and waited. no messages except spam—life insurance, car insurance, gadgets for lonely people, ED remedies, US Army recruitment blurbs, security cams, Bitcoins. Blah, blah, blah. He got really mad and called the web host’s service number. A woman answered the phone with a sweet musical voice. Before he knew it, they were having a pleasant and lively conversation about climate change and how much they both liked Beer Nuts. Although she could get fired for doing it, she made a date with him. They were going to meet at a nice restaurant the next evening at 7:30. As she walked toward the table where he was waiting, he was elated. She was beautiful—totally beautiful. He shook her hand and they sat down at their table. He asked her if she was married. She said “Yes” and that her husband was waiting outside in the parking lot in their car. He looked at the floor, motioned to the waiter, and ordered a double vodka. His life was so screwed up. He grabbed the steak knife that was beside his plate and violently stuck it in the table. He asked her what the hell she was up to. She told him her husband comes along on her dates to make sure everything’s on the up and up. He pulled the steak knife out of the table and pointed it at her heart. He told her he was going home, and to say “Hi” to her nutcase husband.


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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Chronographia

Chronographia (chro-no-graph’-i-a): Vivid representation of a certain historical or recurring time (such as a season) to create an illusion of reality. A kind of enargia: [the] generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description.


It was the biggest time and the baddest time. My dad was taking me to a biker rally held every year in Woodstock, New York. My dad was Sergeant at Arms and Spokesperson for the “Despicable Ghouls”, a splinter group of the “Holy Jesus Christ Our King Evangelical Church and Motorcycle Club” originally founded by Jimmy Swaggart, a real bad ass, in the early 70s. For example, he invented the “donut,” a motorcycle move where you turn the motorcycle’s handlebars all the way right or left and wail on the gas, spinning around in circles, hence “the donut.”

As Martha and the Vandellas taught us back in the day, “Summer’s here and the time it right for dancing in the street.” The weather was warm and cloudless. At night, the mosquitoes were on high alert, so we stayed in our tent and listened to them whine. There was heat lightning flashing in the sky, and I could hear far-away thunder. I loved watching the fireflies though the tent’s mosquito netting. Sometimes I would blink my flashlight at them, and I swear, a couple of times they blinked back. It was moonless, so they really glowed. And the summer sky was filled with stars. Luckily, I could see the Big Dipper through our tent’s folded back flaps.

But then, there were the crazy “Ghouls.” They lit a bonfire, drank beer, and sang and danced the night away. You could tell who they were the next morning: bleary-eyed, covered with mosquito bites, and coated with cortisone cream to kill the itching.

While my dad met with his colleagues, I wandered the fields. I thought about the music festival that was held there before I was born. The field was filled with blooming milkweed, smelling sweet in early summer. There were daisies, wild roses, goldenrod, and wild pink geraniums. I saw a Monarch butterfly and a yellow Swallowtail. And the birds! Red-Breasted Grosbeak, lots of brown Field Sparrows, noisy Crows, a couple of Bluebirds, Red-Wing Blackbirds, and even a few Chickadees. And the bird-o-rama was crowned by a Red-Tailed Hawk hovering above me.

What a day! Perfect weather—80 degrees and plenty of sun. We ate dinner in our tent—vegetarian kabobs with brown rice, peppers, onions, cheese, and Kombucha. Everything was going great until the “Holy Jesus Christ Our King Evangelical Church and Motorcycle Club” showed up. My dad grabbed his Bible, folded his arms and stood resolutely in our tent’s doorway. He was ready to argue, once again, with Rev. Crypsis, who claimed he was divinely inspired and could inerrantly interpret Scripture. I crawled under my cot and waited.


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

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Climax

Climax (cli’-max): Generally, the arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in an order of increasing importance, often in parallel structure.


It was cold, cracking, rushing, crushing everything in it’s way. It was going at least 100 mph. Moving, rolling, throwing rocks and blocks of ice. I was going to die in about a minute. Suddenly, the landscape froze, like God had pressed a cosmic pause button. It was bizarre. Then I saw a person-sized niche emerge from beneath the snow. If I could reach it in time, I would live. If not, I would die. Simple, yet complicated, vexing, and terrifying. I started to run. I saw my mother beckoning to me and I kept running until I was dead.

Somehow, I’ve been granted the privilege of telling this little tale on The Daily Trope. Don’t worry about me. The niche had a staircase leading straight to heaven, like the Led Zeppelin song.


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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Coenotes

Coenotes (cee’-no-tees): Repetition of two different phrases: one at the beginning and the other at the end of successive paragraphs. Note: Composed of anaphora and epistrophe, coenotes is simply a more specific kind of symploce (the repetition of phrases, not merely words).


I am the reason for your total undoing. A terrible mystery with dimensions of misery stabbing at your hope. As your optimism bleeds on the dirt, I have broken your spirit with the hammer of regret and guilt. No peace, no solace, awaits your ruined soul. I have embraced you with deceit.

I am the reason for your total undoing. And now you are undone, like an errant shoelace, an untied bow, an unplugged chord, a fallen clothesline, a snapped loop, a broken hinge. I have embraced you with deceit.

I am the reason for your total undoing. You are caught. You are revealed. You are had. You are suffering. I am the undertaker that will bury you deep in the dirt and litter of your undoing. I have embraced you with deceit.

You may be asking, “Why?” It is my hobby to ruin people’s lives. I have wealth. I have good looks. I am glib. I am eloquent. I am easily able to entrap and seduce people like you: discontented, ignored by the people who should love you, looking for a thrill; feeling old, resentful, and ready for a change. Given my seductive skills and monetary resources, it is almost too easy. You’re the 61st woman I have destroyed—31 married and 30 in committed relationships—you’re number 31 in the married category. And what’s really funny is that my hobby isn’t illegal! As long as I don’t blackmail or extort, I’m good to go. Adultery is legal, but clearly, there can be severe penalties.

Go ahead and call me all the names you want to call me. It’ll give me a laugh: bastard, MFer, asshole, blah, blah blah. The deed is done, and it came up “unfaithful bitch” for you, baby. I’ll be calling your husband in a few minutes. What will he do, forgive you? Ha ha! Dump you? Put you out on the street? Beat you? I’m betting on dump you.

What’s that?

BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

You bitch. Call 911. I’m . . .


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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Colon

Colon (ko’-lon): Roughly equivalent to “clause” in English, except that the emphasis is on seeing this part of a sentence as needing completion, either with a second colon (or membrum) or with two others (forming a tricolon). When cola (or membra) are of equal length, they form isocolon.


I am mystified. Nothing of the past is left knowable to me. I wander without memories, trekking across now without then, when, where, or why.

I know I am lost. Living in a deep trance. I have been legally certified.

I am medicated. I am eradicated. I am insane.


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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Comparatio

Comparatio (com-pa-ra’-ti-o): A general term for a comparison, either as a figure of speech or as an argument. More specific terms are generally employed, such as metaphor, simile, allegory, etc.


The bottom is like the top—a terminal point in the world of up and down. Up and down are value-laden words—as George Lakoff tells us, “up is good, down is bad.” Throwing up. Growing up. Showing up. Blowing up. Screwing up. Turning up. All these “up words” can represent a range of values on the good-bad continuum. I don’t see how screwing up can be a good thing. I guess blowing up can go either way, depending on the context. For example, blowing up an inflatable adult doll can be a good thing for those who find them attractive. But blowing up your home might be a bad thing, unless it is a planned demolition. Also, the same goes for the doll: if it’s being blown up as evidence in divorce court, then, it can be seen as a bad thing for its owner. Context matters more than the words in determining their good-bad valence. But of course, you need the words to make meanings.

What about down? Down the hatch. Down the road. Down to the beach. Downtown. Down and dirty. Down and out. Down my spine. So, down is less nuanced than up. I don’t know what that means beyond an abundance of the negative attaching to “down.” I like “get down” quite a bit. It reminds me of the 70s when it was a key catch phrase among cool people. It was usually yelled at disco dancers wearing white disco suits, male or female high-heeled shoes, and males, with unbuttoned shirts showing off five-feet of gold chain coiled around their necks. There was cocaine snorted and pot smoked by everybody in the disco joints. Everybody got down! Sometimes that did include falling down and passing out on he floor, but the “faller downers” were quickly dragged out the back door where they would usually be robbed of their wallets and high-heeled shoes, and sent home in cabs.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’ve misrepresented Lakoff here. Basically, he says that metaphors (which are comparisons) provide us with our orientation toward life. So when you’re “fit as a fiddle” you should be “happy as a clam.” As a violin with mollusk-like sentiments, get down! You’re di-nohmite!


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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Comprobatio

Comprobatio (com-pro-ba’-ti-o): Approving and commending a virtue, especially in the hearers.


Ladies and gentlemen, my praise for you is as boundless as my golf handicap, my hair, and my hatred of Hilary Clinton who should’ve been locked up in Guantanamo with the other war criminals and terrorists. What a disgrace that she’s walking the streets and defaming me.

But you, you, you! You are brilliant and on the right side of history! Some of you have done, or will do, time in jail for your loyalty to what Bill Barr has called “BS.” It takes special people to risk their lives and futures for BS, like the Vietnam War, which my painful bone spurs kept me from serving in. But you, you, you, you’re out there on the front line chanting the brilliant rallying cry: “Stop the steal,” a rallying cry made up by a woman school bus driver from Another Lake, Minnesota. It caught on and you picked it up as you rallied at the Capital Building, with bullhorns, baseball bats and bear spray. Brilliant! Although the coup failed, you did a lot of damage, killed at least one person, and showed the libtards who’s boss. I commend you.

And me! I was your spiritual guide, your guru, and the voice of your consciences, but the little innocuous barely audible speech I gave that day was just me saying what I thought about the election. To think it could prompt an insurrection, is like believing the music from an ice cream truck can make people follow the truck around. I am not responsible for anything that happened on 1/6. It was you Trumpers. You planned it. You executed it. You did it all: everything that happened on 1/6 was due to you and you alone. I wish I had grabbed a bullhorn and joined the crowd, but my bone spurs were killing me, and I could barely walk.

2024’s just around the corner. Just in case: keep your baseball bats clean, your bullhorn batteries fresh, and have an ample supply of bear spray on hand. The Democrats will steal the election again. If you want to make America great again, be prepared.


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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Conduplicatio

Conduplicatio (con-du-pli-ca’-ti-o): The repetition of a word or words. A general term for repetition sometimes carrying the more specific meaning of repetition of words in adjacent phrases or clauses. Sometimes used to name either ploce or epizeuxis.


I decided to get away—to get away from it all. “It all” was my job. I worked in a breakfast cereal mill operating the flake-pounder, pounding away, flattening flakes and moving them down the line on a dirty old conveyer belt that’s been moving cereal flakes since cereal flakes were invented somewhere in Michigan hundreds of years ago. I’d been running the same flake-pounder since I graduated from high school—that was 16 years ago. Even though I could have all the breakfast cereal I wanted, that just wasn’t good enough any more. Last year, I started eating scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast—breakfast that should’ve been cereal, but I didn’t care any more. I was breaking away. So, here I am holding a yard sale, a week before my official resignation. My boss shows up and sees the cereal bowl I was awarded for “ten years of loyal service.” It’s up for sale for twenty-five cents. He looks at me like I should be dead, and buys the bowl. He throws it on the sidewalk and it shatters into fragments, one of which hits my neighbor Barbara in the forehead. She screams in pain and my boss starts running to his car, which isn’t easy—he’s 5’ 6” and weighs around 300 lbs. Suddenly, he made a grunting sound and fell writhing to the ground. He dropped his car keys. I saw my chance. I motioned to Barbara, I grabbed the keys off the ground, and we got in Boss’s Maserati and took off. We stopped at a convenience store for supplies. When I opened the trunk to put the groceries away, we saw a large suitcase. I opened it. It was filled with hundred-dollar bills. There was also a photo of the boss standing behind a table piled high with cocaine. That’s when we decided our future was set. We had evidence that would put the boss away forever. We knew he couldn’t report what had happened on my lawn—he would be nailed. Barbara and I hugged, got back in the boss’s Maserati, and took off for the tropics, AKA Key West, where we were married, lived, and had three lovely children.

Barbara passed away three years ago. Our children are grown, and successful with families of their own. You are reading this now because I have passed and left a provision in my will that this story be made public so people can see that sometimes crime pays. With me and Barbara it all happened on the spur of the moment. If we had planned it, we would probably have been caught. Thanks Boss!


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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Congeries

Congeries (con’ger-eez): Piling up words of differing meaning but for a similar emotional effect [(akin to climax)].


Big. Medium. Small. Short. Tiny. Microscopic. Who cares? How did size get connected to so many things? Larger than life. Big time. Huge. Big as a house. Colossal. Size matters, even if it doesn’t matter. But it does! It does too much. I have a foot-long penis. It is a blessing a curse. When I talk about it, most people find it fascinating. I’m happy about that until I get questions like, “Couldn’t you make a lot of money in an adult circus sideshow?” “Do you have a cam-site?” I prefer questions like “How do you stuff it in your pants?” “Has it made you more confident?” “Does it keep you from playing any sports?”

I remember when I became aware of my bigness. My father joined me up with the YMCA when I was ten. Back then, naked swimming was the norm. I was late and all the boys were lined up naked by the pool when I got there. I saw their tiny dinks and knew I was special. But, I left for fear I’d be teased. I don’t know why my father did that to me, but I thought that he might have a big honker too and wanted to toughen me to teasing. My suspicion was confirmed when my dad died and the mortician felt obligated to tell us what was there. If the penis museum in Iceland was open at the time, his giant wang would be floating in a jar in Reykjavik.

I could write a book about my gargantuan pecker. It has defined me and given me my orientation toward life. Next time you’re eating a wiener on the 4th of July or Labor Day, put some mustard on it and think of me.


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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.