Tag Archives: the future

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.

My time here is limited, short, and running out. It’s disappearing like a morning haze burnt away by the warmth of the sun.

There is no foretelling, predicting or calculating the future. All that we know is that it will be.

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

Anamnesis

Anamnesis (an’-am-nee’-sis): Calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author [apparently] from memory.  Anamnesis helps to establish ethos [credibility], since it conveys the idea that the speaker is knowledgeable of the received wisdom from the past.

George Sand tells us, “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” Sand almost had it right! But she missed one important point.  As Johnny Depp so thoughtfully put it: “Tomorrow it’ll all be over, then I’ll have to go back to selling pens again.”

Between Sand and Depp there is an emotional chasm.  Between Depp and Sand there is a ticking time bomb.

Tomorrow is always inevitably coming and it can blow to bits the promises, the affections, the passions, and yes, even the “one happiness” afforded by “loving and being loved.”

And when that “one happiness” is exploded by time, burned to ashes by circumstance, and blown away by fortune’s wind, what is left?

Going back to selling pens, or writhing in pain on the cold dirt of despair?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Gorgias has inserted the bracketed words [apparently] and [credibility].

Quotations from:

Sand: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/georgesand383232.html

Depp: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnnydepp384558.html

 

Epicrisis

Epicrisis (e-pi-cri’-sis): When a speaker quotes a certain passage and makes comment upon it.

Related figuresanamenesis–calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author from memory–and chreia (from the Greek chreiodes, “useful”) . . . “a brief reminiscence referring to some person in a pithy form for the purpose of edification.” It takes the form of an anecdote that reports either a saying, an edifying action, or both.

The political philosopher Eric Vogelin tells us that “the role of human existence must be played in uncertainty of its meaning as an adventure in decision along the edge of freedom and necessity.”

Uncertainty motivates decision. Decision entails risk.  Risk is the estimated consequence of action, and action is the herald of sorrow and joy, regret and satisfaction, and all the other dialectically-poised and unknowable outcomes of human being–of being always, all the time, a prisoner of choice on an island of freedom.

Yet, the island may be as large as the future is unknowable. So, as we set off on our next adventure in decision, somehow we must transform our uncertainty as to where we will end up into the belief that we’re going in the right direction.

Our hope is history’s backward-looking map and rhetoric is the star that sets our course.

We are Janus’ children born into the present.  Looking back and seeing forward, we are able to move ahead.

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