Tag Archives: schmemes


Effictio (ef-fik’-ti-o): A verbal depiction of someone’s body, often from head to toe.

Note: This figure was used in forensic rhetoric (legal argumentation) for purposes of clearly identifying an alleged criminal. It has often been adapted to poetical uses.

He was around nine feet tall. He had long brown shaggy hair and a reddish beard around one foot long. His eyes were yellow and his teeth were sharply pointed. He had a golden hoop erring in each of his ears. His hands looked like flesh-covered vises. He was wearing a beautiful gray hand-tailored suit and a Brooks Brothers tie with pictures of martinis printed on it. His shoes were brown and made of some kind of reptile skin–most likely alligator–most likely very expensive

It was my first day at work and Mr. Adams was my boss!  I couldn’t wait to start working with him, learning from him, and possibly becoming good friends.

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


Epitrope (e-pi’-tro-pe): A figure in which one turns things over to one’s hearers, either pathetically, ironically, or in such a way as to suggest a proof of something without having to state it. Epitrope often takes the form of granting permission (hence its Latin name, permissio), submitting something for consideration, or simply referring to the abilities of the audience to supply the meaning that the speaker passes over (hence Puttenham’s term, figure of reference). Epitrope can be either biting in its irony, or flattering in its deference.

You know better than I do what it means to be unemployed, hungry, homeless. You’ve been there. And now you’re back on your feet. Things are looking better. Life, dare we say it, is looking good.

I think you’re in a position that few people are in. There is a pressing need to help people who’re in the predicament you were once in. You found your way out–not alone, but with the help and influence of others: ‘others’ who were just like you are now: experienced, compassionate, generous.

You would not have come here today if you weren’t interested! All that we ask is that you turn your interest into action.

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

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Expeditio (ex-pe-di’-ti-o): After enumerating all possibilities by which something could have occurred, the speaker eliminates all but one (=apophasis). Although the Ad Herennium author lists expeditio as a figure, it is more properly considered a method of argument [and pattern of organization] (sometimes known as the “Method of Residues” when employed in refutation[, and “Elimination Order” when employed to organize a speech. The reference to ‘method’ hearkens back to the Ramist connection between organizational patterns of discourses and organizational pattern of arguments]).

Why did you vote for Donald Trump?

1. You thought he could get things done?

2. You thought he was going to make life better for you?


3. He is honest and trustworthy?

Three strikes! He has turned out to be none of the above. Just read the papers!

(Oh, that’s right–the truth is fake news.)

Maybe you need to reassess your motives and prepare for the next election! There are actually politicians who exemplify the virtues you are looking for. Look for those politicians! Vote for those politicians. Forget about Trump. He is a big phony.

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

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.