Tag Archives: schemes

Symploce

Symploce (sim’-plo-see or sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.

I am not too old to run this race.

I am not too moderate to win this race.

I am not going to lose this race.

I am going to be your next President

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

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Synaloepha

Synaloepha (sin-a-lif’-a): Omitting one of two vowels which occur together at the end of one word and the beginning of another. A contraction of neighboring syllables. A kind of metaplasm.

All we need is Greenland. The USA has money to burn/not waste time considering consequences. After all, did George Washington consider the consequences. Did Abraham Lincoln? What about Jesse James and Al Capone? No! They just rushed headlong into the future. I’m like them. Lucky as hell. Look at all the lawsuits I’ve evaded, and the ditzy wives I’ve dumped. You should be calling me Donald Washington or Abraham Trump. Onward to Greenland. Is it actually green?

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

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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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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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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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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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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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Adnominatio

Adnominatio (ad-no-mi-na’-ti-o): 1. A synonym for paronomasia [punning].  2. A synonym for polyptoton.  3. Assigning to a proper name its literal or homophonic meaning.

1. The mathematician had Pi for dinner: he wasn’t hungry and wanted to work on a perplexing problem with a circle.

2. When he said “I can” I had no idea he was talking about preserving vegetables. So, there’s a difference between canning and coulding! If you could can, you can can (without dancing the can-can).

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

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Adynaton

Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.

Making President Trump into an honest, ethical, caring person is like trying to teach symbolic logic to a cockroach: impossible.

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

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Aetiologia

Aetiologia (ae-ti-o-log’-i-a): A figure of reasoning by which one attributes a cause for a statement or claim made, often as a simple relative clause of explanation.

Let’s go out to dinner. I’m not hungry right now, but I want to ‘hit the town’ tonight. Also, you haven’t had a night off from cooking in a couple of weeks. We can go some place that’s good and cheap too. I know just the place–they’re sold trillions of hamburgers and they’re right down the street. After dinner we can take a walk around the block. It’ll be just like a date! I can feel the romance building already!

Put on your shoes. We’re going out!

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

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