Tag Archives: schemes

Cataphasis

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

The “2005 Pussy Grabber” wasn’t the name of Trump’s car. Rather, he proudly proclaimed in a taped interview that “grabbing pussy” was a celebrity pastime, like golf or dining out at fancy restaurants: “I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. . . . Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” Somehow we all forgot about this disgusting descent into Trump’s concept of what women like. Well, we’re not going to forget about it, but today I want to talk about how unhinged he is and the trepidations we all have over what he’s going to do next and how it will affect the well-being of us all–not just Americans, but the entire world. As the Coronavirus continues to spread, he continues to do nothing. We have no national plan and people are once again dying in increasing numbers. 

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

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Cataplexis

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

So many people have died in this pandemic due to your craziness and inability to understand or believe scientific evidence.

Once your death-cult is voted out of office, my organization will bring criminal charges against you, your family and your enablers; especially Shaun Hannity and Tucker Carleson: two news-ghouls who helped prop you up and spread your delusions with their lies.

Soon, the axe will fall. In the meantime, keep your head about you. Ha! Ha! Ha!

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

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Charientismus

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

You anarchist destroyer of democracy.

Ha ha! I don’t need to be an anarchist to destroy democracy: you’re a Republican and you’re doing a great job already.

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

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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).

I gave my life to my stamp collecting club. To my stamp collecting club I gave my life! My life dammnit!  Sitting for hours with a magnifying glass. Traveling great distances to meet with buyers and sellers. And then!

I am dumpster diving with my daughter on a hot June afternoon. We’re at the local college where the students have just left for the academic year. Each dorm has its own dumpster and the students toss a lot of good stuff–lamps, ball gowns, candy, even a wristwatch! But this year is special. My daughter retrieves what looks like a scrapbook. Whoa! Its a stamp collection. I page through it. All but one stamp is garbage–no value, as rare as the air we breathe. The one stamp that’s not total crap is almost a one-of-a-kind stamp: a stamp commemorating the invention of the yo-yo in 1210 BCE by Zeus Phallusidides, a Greek baklava merchant living in Sparta and supplying the Spartan government with tons of baklava for the naked army and also local peasants. He invented the yo-yo to distract his customers while his co-conspiritor Calliope Thermidor picked the customers’ purses.

Now, I had the stamp! It was worth at least $1,000,000.00. Climbing out of the dumpster, I tripped and fell in a puddle. I put my hand out to stop the fall and the stamp fell in the puddle. The puddle turned red–my hand was bleeding. We looked for the stamp for two hours, siphoning all the water from the puddle. No stamp. All we could find was a soggy fragment of baklava inscribed with a yo-yo.

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

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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.

Summer is at its height–robust warmth encircles the green leaves and red, and pink, and blue flowers–birds, butterflies and bees make their rounds–earthworms, nectar, pollen–all natural, all the same as always all so beautiful to see and to care about. All is well in natural order, but all is not well with social order.

It is the worst of times. It is the season of malfeasance, lies, and outrages against the people: jailed, executed, buried in unmarked graves. They told us but we didn’t listen. “Fake news” we said as we were told he was going to declare martial law.

As part of this year’s census they will be scanning our birth certificates, and under the new “Long Time American Act” we are subject to incarceration and deportation no matter what our current citizenship status is. There’s more, but suffice it to say, we are no longer free.

The Fascist Revolution crept up on us like a stealthy cat. One day we woke up and it had all happened overnight: libraries closed, Internet shut down and the day’s newspapers burning in pits sending up the smoke of dread and oppression.

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.

I am not happy. I feel bad. I am going to cry:

Cry for the homeless people.

Cry the for the boys and girls in cages on the Texas/Mexico border.

Cry for the suffering of the 1,000s of people with COVID 19.

Cry for the US Constitution, pissed on,dragged through the dirt, soon to be burned and replaced with a ticket to dictatorship.

Our country is collapsing under the weight of lies, psychosis, and treason.

I don’t know what to do.

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

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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 epistrophecoenotes is simply a more specific kind of symploce (the repetition of phrases, not merely words).

You made me love you. Everything was so beautiful. Colors were brighter. Food tasted better. I could see the stars more clearly. And now you’re going to leave me.

You made me love you like a puppy. I followed you around. I sat up and begged for biscuits. I fetched. I made cute whining sounds. And now you’re going to leave me.

You made me love you like sunlight and shadows; like ice cream, like gold, like Cornhole, like my weed eater. And now you’re going to leave me.

Today, when you announced your impending departure, I stopped loving you. Call me shallow, but I want back the $10.00 I loaned you last week, my Bluetooth earbuds, my vape pen, my Guns N’ Roses t-shirt, my drone, my Bible, and my cordless toy.

I’ll help you leave: I’m kicking you out of the apartment. Whatever you leave behind will be burned in the parking lot or donated to Salvation Army.

I never want to see your tattooed ass ever again. Go ahead and leave me. Two weeks with you was enough. In fact, it was too much! You’re a two-legged sow!

Whoa! Put down the steak knife. That’s not funny. . . .

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

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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.

Colon or membrum is also best understood in terms of differing speeds of style that depend upon the length of the elements of a sentence. The Ad Herennium author contrasts the slower speed of concatenated membra to the quicker speed of words joined together without conjunction (articulus).

I love Tide. The bubbles pop. They scintillate wickedly. There is nothing like laundry getting beaten around–bunka-hunka, bunka-hunka, bunka-hunka. Its like the backbeat on so many rock n’ roll songs. If only washing machines could sing they would eclipse over half of today’s rockers:

Mickey Stag and the washing machines. Set one machine on delicate for the low tone and one machine on heavy duty to spin our heads around–bunka-hunka, bunka hunka:

I started washin’ my clothes today,

because my honey went away

Bunka-Hunka Bunka-Hunka hey, hey, hey

I loaded the washer with a pile of clothes

They was dirty, I could tell with my nose

Bunka-Hunka, Bunka-Hunka hey, hey, hey

I’m gonna wash my blues away.

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

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Commoratio

Commoratio (kom-mor-a’-ti-o): Dwelling on or returning to one’s strongest argument. Latin equivalent for epimone.

I think we are losing our train of thought. Remember, the strongest argument we can summon? I think it has something to do with his hair as a major reason to reelect him. As you will recall, we likened it to well- sculpted icing on a birthday cake, and then we drew the inference that it celebrates everything he stands for: unhealthy and deliciously wicked food, powerful arguments about birth certificates and citizenship–all he needs to do is point at his head and and smile and the electorate will bend to his will. He just needs to make sure that his finger does not stick to the “secret gel” his devoted hairdresser uses to shape his hair.

So, its all about the hair–it is a sort of hairku that mystically summons awareness of what’s up and what’s down by pointing toward what’s up and shooting at what’s down. His blinding white smile is like the burning bush. His hair knows God.

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

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Comprobatio

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

You are all awake! I commend you, class, for listening to me blabber for the past hour. I had nothing interesting to say, and clearly don’t know what I’m talking about, but your amazing attempts to look interested in my lecture warmed my heart and made me decide not to kill myself in the parking lot after class.

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

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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.

Why? Why? Why do I need s motor scooter? Why? Why not? Nobody has ever been killed driving one, except the guy who stood up going under a bridge overpass and lost his head right there. I would never do anything like that unless I wanted to die. He probably wanted to die.

Well. ok, according to your book of facts there are at least 110 recorded deaths per year of drivers of motor scooters. Damn it all anyhow. I’m too old to walk everywhere. I guess I could just go with Uber or find some some charitable organization that gives old people rides. Or, I could hitchhike–just like back in the 60s, man. That’s how I met your mother. She picked me up outside of Salt Lake City and we’ve been together, off and on, for the past 40-something years. We both take the same medications and enjoy listening to Hall & Oats. I don’t mind eating vegetables all the time, although sneaking down to MacDonald’s helps keep my digestion in balance; that along with my “Poo Brauen” (“Poo Brew”)–a special low-impact bowel mover concocted by a 16th century German Nobleman named Sir Smoothy Sphincterhosen. He invented “Poo Brauen” originally for Martin Luther, a religious figure known for his horrendous constipation. Sir Sphincterhosen probably added 10 years to Luther’s life and helped usher in the Protestant Reformation.

I bet Martin Luther would’ve had a motor scooter, zipping around Germany, hunting Papists, and pooping regularly. Why not Me?

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

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Congeries

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

Masked, wary, frightened, and determined, crawling through the grocery store staying below the killer mist drifting up and down the aisles. We need food, but if it’s not on the floor I won’t touch it–advice of FOX TV News. I crawl past a woman standing up examining a head of lettuce. I tell her to get down with me or she will die. She laughs and beans me on the head with the lettuce. Ha! Now it’s on the floor. I grab the lettuce and crawl as fast as I can to checkout. My knees are bleeding. My back hurts. I don’t think I’ll watch Fox TV News any more.

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

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Consonance

Consonance: The repetition of consonants in words stressed in the same place (but whose vowels differ). Also, a kind of inverted alliteration, in which final consonants, rather than initial or medial ones, repeat in nearby words. Consonance is more properly a term associated with modern poetics than with historical rhetorical terminology.

Too bad for quiet Eddie. It was just a matter of time before he flipped. Today, he caught his wife standing naked in the back of the laundromat and some guy running out the back door–butt in full view. He started questioning her–he was pushing too hard. She had a psycho streak that he had stepped around for the past 15 years. She started yelling and the naked stranger came back through the back door. “Whatsa matter honey?” “His teeth are too yellow,” she answered, picking up a bottle of bleach. Eddie turned, said “dead” and fainted. The naked stranger grabbed Eddie by his limp shoulders, “Let’s brighten up your smile pretty boy.”

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

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Correctio

Correctio (cor-rec’-ti-o): The amending of a term or phrase just employed; or, a further specifying of meaning, especially by indicating what something is not (which may occur either before or after the term or phrase used). A kind of redefinition, often employed as a parenthesis (an interruption) or as a climax.

You’re a shit for brains. Uh, well, I mean, your brain is a fertile plain littered with life’s organic droppings. Very fertile. Like overflow from a sewage treatment facility. Is that better?

Yes. Now I get it. Thanks for the compliment. I will tell Ivanka how fluent you are. You’re welcome.

Now, got to hell. Uh, well. I mean . . .

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

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Deesis

Deesis (de’-e-sis): An adjuration (solemn oath) or calling to witness; or, the vehement expression of desire put in terms of “for someone’s sake” or “for God’s sake.”

DT: I swear by all that’s holy that I did not know about the bounties.

NP: Ok. What is “all that’s holy?”

DT: Money, young babes, and money, and more, lot’s more, money.

NP: Where’s God in your list? Is God there?

DT: No, God’s a bigger con than me. Ha Ha. Just kidding.

NP: I believe you knew about the bounties and ignored them in exchange for some young (Russian) women in your suite at Mar-A-Lago and a big pay off. We have surveillance video of you in bed with couple of women. Although you seem to be asleep, there you are.

DT: Fake news.

NP: The truth.

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

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Dendographia

Dendographia (den-dro-graf’-ia): Creating an illusion of reality through vivid description of a tree.

The ancient fallen tree caught the drizzling burst of rain as it struck its soft decaying trunk and soaked into the porous graying wood. It wasn’t alone there in the woods. It was surrounded by generations of beech trees–smooth silver bark and beechnuts; a favorite of foraging deer, chipmunks and red and gray squirrels. I’d like to think the fallen one is somehow responsible for the dense stand of mid- and large-sized trees surrounding it–a living legacy and testament to the continuous presence of life’s promise: of living and of dying , of offspring, of hope.

  • Post your own dendrographia to the “Comments” page!

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

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Diaporesis

Diaporesis: Deliberating with oneself as though in doubt over some matter; asking oneself (or rhetorically asking one’s hearers) what is the best or appropriate way to approach something [=aporia].

Should I let my daughter cut my hair?

It’s been 2 months since my last haircut–my usual haircutter’s place is closed due to COVID 19.

I’m starting to look like Charles Manson’s older brother.

Maybe I could start a cult?

No, too much work.

My daughter’s not a hairdresser, but I’ve seen what she’s done for other people’s heads. I think I’ll let her do it!

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

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Diasyrmus

Diasyrmus (di’-a-syrm-os): Rejecting an argument through ridiculous comparison.

Your threats are as empty your soul, your imagination, and outer space. Yelling “Conspiracy” every time somebody disagrees with you or catches you doing something marginally legal or massively unethical is like an 8-year-old boy who peed his pants claiming his pants are out to get him and are trying to make him look bad.

It’s not your pants fatso! It’s you!

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

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Diazeugma

Diazeugma (di-a-zoog’-ma): The figure by which a single subject governs several verbs or verbal constructions (usually arranged in parallel fashion and expressing a similar idea); the opposite of zeugma.

My mind shot splinters of light, made a weird tooting noise, started a philosophic dialogue with my left lung, and actually told me how much tea there is in China. Is there anything we can’t do if we put our mind to it? I, for one, wish it were so.

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

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Dicaeologia

Dicaeologia (di-kay-o-lo’-gi-a): Admitting what’s charged against one, but excusing it by necessity.

You: Yes, I took your golf shoes. Otherwise I couldn’t have played in the tournament, come in first, and won $600.00. I’ll go get your shoes out of my car. Please let me give you $100 for bringing me luck. It’s the least I can do.

Me: Your so-called “borrowing” is actually stealing. Give me all of the prize money and I won’t turn you in to the police. Those shoes are custom made and cost nearly $1,000. Taking them without my permission (given their value) is a felony.

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

A paper edition of The Daily Trope, entitled The Book of Tropes, is available for purchase on Amazon for $9.99 USD. It contains over 200 schemes and tropes with their definitions and examples. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.

Dilemma

Dilemma (di-lem’-ma): Offering to an opponent a choice between two (equally unfavorable) alternatives.

Last night you got drunk and for some crazy reason you gave your credit card to a homeless person, have made no attempt to cancel it, and think that “everything’s gonna be ok.”

Although you’re still drunk, I’m offering you two things you can do to keep this from happening again: 1. Get rid of your credit card and use only cash; 2. Have a responsible person “hold” your credit card. You will ask their permission to use it and explain what you’re using it for each time you use it.

Now, call the credit card company.

Post your own dilemma on the “Comments” page!

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

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Dirimens Copulatio

Dirimens Copulatio (di’-ri-mens ko-pu-la’-ti-o): A figure by which one balances one statement with a contrary, qualifying statement (sometimes conveyed by “not only … but also” clauses). A sort of arguing both sides of an issue.

Protagoras (c. 485-410 BC) asserted that “to every logos (speech or argument) another logos is opposed,” a theme continued in the Dissoi Logoi of his time, later codified as the notion of arguments in utrumque partes (on both sides). Aristotle asserted that thinking in opposites is necessary both to arrive at the true state of a matter (opposition as an epistemological heuristic) and to anticipate counterarguments. This latter, practical purpose for investigating opposing arguments has been central to rhetoric ever since sophists like Antiphon (c. 480-410 BC) provided model speeches (his Tetralogies) showing how one might argue for either the prosecution or for the defense on any given issue. As such, [this] names not so much a figure of speech as a general approach to rhetoric, or an overall argumentative strategy. However, it could be manifest within a speech on a local level as well, especially for the purposes of exhibiting fairness (establishing ethos [audience perception of speaker credibility]).

This pragmatic embrace of opposing arguments permeates rhetorical invention, arrangement, and rhetorical pedagogy.

It’s true, in some regards–very small regards–very, very small–I have let you down. But also, I have accomplished really great things, not only for you, but for the United State of America. For example, we have kept the pandemic death toll in the US under 5,000,000. That’s nearly 3,000,000 less than anybody–doctors, scientists, Melania, Hannity–might have predicted! At the same time we are Number 1! I like being number 1, even if it’s dead people.

While I may be making these numbers up as I speak, they might be true. Who knows? Unless you’re on your death bed right now, you are going to believe me because you want to believe me and vote for me in the fall.

As you plan for the future, please consider cremation. It will help deal with the clutter and smell at the morgues, and also, with the loaded panel trucks parked nearby.

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

A paper edition of The Daily Trope, entitled The Book of Tropes, is available for purchase on Amazon for $9.99. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.

Distinctio

Distinctio (dis-tinc’-ti-o): Eliminating ambiguity surrounding a word by explicitly specifying each of its distinct meanings.

Cover: Something you put over yourself in bed to keep you warm (Better get under the cover, it’s cold.).

Cover: To to put a lid on something (You better cover those potatoes before the war boils off.).

Cover: Underbrush to hide behind (Take cover over there behind that bush.).

You, my friend, better find some cover and I don’t mean in bed or the kitchen. There’s a mob of people who you swindled with your fake virus remedy headed this way–you need to hide.

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Distributio

Distributio (dis-tri-bu’-ti-o): (1) Assigning roles among or specifying the duties of a list of people, sometimes accompanied by a conclusion.  (2) Sometimes this term is simply a synonym for diaeresis or merismus, which are more general figures involving division.

DT: OK–We need a comprehensive plan so we don’t get blamed for this. I mean, my God 50,000 people have died. I think most of them would have voted for me. We’re in deep shit.

I’ve gathered you together here today as my key people. Anyway, let’s get things lined up. Ivanka, you have no responsibilities, really. I want to you to show up in tasteful clothes and stand beside me nodding your head in agreement with whatever I’m saying. Jared, you’ll pretty much do the same, only you’ll actually say something every few weeks. Mostly, I want you talking about crackpot ideas based in conspiracy theories, mostly concerned with pointing fingers and also giving people false hope and blaming it on Obama and Biden when you get caught. Fauci, at briefings I want you way in the back. Far enough so nobody can see you because you’re such a midget. If you want to say something, raise your hand and I won’t call on you. Flynn, welcome back! I need you to help with my lies, creating them in a way that I won’t get caught, and if I do, taking the blame yourself. Don’t worry, I’ll pardon you.

What? What do you want Pence?

MP: Anything for me boss?

DT: Yes. Go paint Mommy’s toenails.

Are we ready?

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


A paper edition of The Daily Trope, entitled The Book of Tropes, is available for purchase on Amazon for $9.99 USD. It contains over 150 schemes and tropes with their definitions and at least 2 examples of each. All of the schemes and tropes are indexed, so it’s easy to find the one you’re looking for. There is also a Kindle edition available with links to all of the schemes and tropes. It costs $5.95

 

Ecphonesis

Ecphonesis (ec-pho-nee’-sis): An emotional exclamation.

Donald in the 5th Grade

Donald: “Owwww. Owwww. Waaaaah. Mommy.”

Gym Teacher: “It’s just a soccer ball. It can’t hurt that much to kick it.  In fact, it shouldn’t hurt at all. What the heck is going on here?”

Donald: “I am cold in these stupid shorts. I want to go inside and put my pants on.”

Gym Teacher: “Sorry. You’re going to have to just keep crying for your mommy or admit what you really want.”

Donald: “What’s that?”

Gym Teacher: “You want to go inside so you can steal things from the other guys’ backpacks and lockers, just like you did last time. If you don’t get back out there on the field, I’ll be meeting with your mother–it will be warm and cordial, but this time I won’t relent. You’re going down boy.”

Donald: “Waaaah.”

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

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