Tag Archives: rhetorical question

Epiplexis

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.

Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless [can include oxymoron].

A: I can’t believe, imagine, or even pretend that you’re a demented prince.  The demented part, I believe. But, if you’re a prince, I’m a microwave oven.

B: Samsung? Panasonic? Or, some off-brand?

A: I can’t believe you believe I’m a microwave oven!

B: You are banished insolent appliance. Guards, take him back to the kitchen and plug him in.

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

Pysma

Pysma (pys’-ma): The asking of multiple questions successively (which would together require a complex reply). A rhetorical use of the question.

Our crypto platform has been compromised.  How did we find out about this? Who was involved? Who is to blame? Why did they do it? How did they do it? How has it affected our reputation for honesty, integrity, and openness? What are we going to do moving ahead? These are the questions we intend to address over the coming days.  But today, I can tell you that we . . .

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

Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless [can include oxymoron].

What exactly does the US House of Representatives represent?

Constipated regularity?

Sincere insincerity?

Adult adolescence?

Who exactly does the US House of Representatives represent?

John Galt?

John Birch?

John Calvin?

John Belushi?

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

Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless.

I can’t imagine what the world would be like without the internet–if John Lennon were still alive I bet he could write a song about it–

“Imagine there’s no email, push notifications, tweets, or chats:

No emoticons or Facebooks, no stupid threaded gmail spats.

Imagine all the people living face-to-face:

Smelling and touching each other, dancing, and hugging and actually being some place.

I know I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one:

If we shut down the internet the world would be more fun.”

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

Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless.

What are the top three things I can’t even imagine?

Number three:  I can’t imagine a world without taxes.

Number two: I can’t imagine what it would be like not to have a credit card.*

Number one: I can’t imagine what it would be like not to imagine what I can’t imagine.

*My 14-year-old daughter just told me she doesn’t have a credit card and she knows what it’s like: I buy her stuff with my credit card.

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

Epiplexis

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].

Why did you drink and drive? Why did you get behind the wheel? Even if you don’t care about yourself, don’t you care about your friends who you could’ve killed? What are we going to do with you? Out of jail on $1,000 bail. Don’t you think you’ve really gone over the top this time? Underage drinking! DWI! Go to your room! We’ll talk about this in the morning.

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

Pysma

Pysma (pys’-ma): The asking of multiple questions successively (which would together require a complex reply). A rhetorical use of the question.

How many times do we have to come to the table? What is the meaning of all this back-stabbing? Who is responsible for starting this conflict? Is this the way we want to live? Why can’t we compromise? Why can’t we just leave each other alone?

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