Tag Archives: trope


Palilogia: Repetition of the same word, with none between, for vehemence. Synonym for epizeuxis.

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

Let’s get this surgery over with! My favorite soap opera starts in 5 minutes!

Just stitch him up! He’ll never know!

Hurry, damn it!

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


Paroemia (pa-ri’-mi-a): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adage, apothegm, gnome, maxim, proverb, and sententia.

“Leadership is the ability to translate reality into bullshit.” Anon.

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


Antimetathesis (an-ti-me-ta’-the-sis): Inversion of the members of an antithesis.

You are big.

You are small.

Big and small. Small and big.

Your belly hangs over your pants–so big!

Your conscience can dance on the head of pin–so small.

Big body. Tiny soul.

You need help. A good diet and exercise program will help your body. Maybe psychological counseling will help your soul.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help!

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.

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


Apagoresis (a-pa-gor’-e-sis): A statement designed to inhibit someone from doing something. Often uses exaggeration [or hyperbole] to persuade. It may combine an exaggeration with a cause/effect or antecedent/consequence relationship. The consequences or effects of such a phrase are usually exaggerated to be more convincing.

You thought Obamacare was a bad deal. Look at what’s coming our way through Congress to replace it!

Trumpcare (or whatever you want to call it) mistakenly uses the word “care” as in “health care.” As I read it, it should be called the “The Republicans and Trump Don’t Care About Sick People Death Warrant.”

If it passes in its present state (or even with further modifications to appease the Republican Conservative Evildoers), you are screwed–yes–Totally SCREWED. It’s like a health insurance plan for people who will never use it, because, if they do, it will cost an arm and a leg and probably their feet and some fingers too & that’s just for treating something like a case of the flu.

So, if you are prepared to die, support Trumpcare–it’ll kill you soon enough. When you see your insurance premium and your policy’s scope of coverage you’ll be clutching your chest and dialing 911. Can you do that–clutch & dial? Better start practicing. Or, better start calling your Republican Representative and begging her or him NOT to support the legislation.

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


Apoplanesis (a-po-plan’-e-sis): Promising to address the issue but effectively dodging it through a digression.

Wolf: What can you tell us about some of Tumpcare’s negative consequences? For example: 25 million people will lose their current coverage–they will join the ranks of the uninsured, even if they are fully employed–some will surely die. What about that?

Donald: Negative consequences? I wrote that damn bill myself Wolf! Sure, Ryan and his committee were there–a gaggle of supposedly silent partners who were  actually making choking sounds and giggling while I did the heavy lifting. Well actually, I had a little help from my daughter Ivanka (the smart one).

But really–the negative consequences are coming from the fake news coverage–that’s the only place: the enema–whoops–I mean the enemy of the people: they continue to sh**t the place up.

  • Post your own apoplanesis on the “Comments” page!

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


Cacozelia (ka-ko-zeel’-i-a): 1. A stylistic affectation of diction, such as throwing in foreign words to appear learned.  2. Bad taste in words or selection of metaphor, either to make the facts appear worse or to disgust the auditors.

Uncle Bill!

He is a leech at your dinner table: You, brother Dave, suck up your food as if you were latched onto a foot or an arm, or somebody’s unfortunate neck, or armpit, or crotch. Not only that, but in another meaning of leech, you wheedle money from our poor unfortunate uncle Bill who is blinded by love for our father and the deathbed promise he made eight years ago to take care of you, the youngest.

It’s time to get your act together you disgusting fool: At least get some table manners–wipe away your dripping drool and get rid of that jacket camouflaged with specs of soup, spatters of gravy, small bits of assorted meats and jellies, and what looks like blood, but is probably beet juice. And using the coat’s sleeves as napkins has made them stiff and soiled with what, only God can tell. Also, wiping your nose on your sleeves has given them a mucus sheen–not very attractive, Dave. The jacket is a roadmap where all roads lead to Slob.

  • Post your own cacozelia on the “Comments” page!

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


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).

Another day, another fiasco. Screwing up every day!

At a press conference the other day, the President said (among other things), “I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life.”

Is that something to be proud of?

There’s a huge difference between being the least X and not being X at all!

Am I missing something? Is there some aspect I’ve overlooked?

Did he ‘really’ mean by what he said that he is not anti-Semitic?

I don’t know.

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



Comparatio (com-pa-ra’-ti-o): A general term for a comparison, either as a figure of speech or as an argument. More specific terms are generally employed, such as metaphorsimileallegory, etc.

Your leadership style is like a tornado on ice.

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




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

You persisted. You wouldn’t back down. You took personal risks. You gave us all a shining example of courage, non-violence, and wisdom in action–a rare combination of virtues; a rarity that we can’t forget.

The pipeline was put on hold and we hold you responsible for enabling a judge, in good conscience, to see it our way and grant the stay.

Now, we are faced with the stay’s unravelling. Now we are faced with beginning again. I trust you will continue to display the same virtues in action so that we may influence a judge, build sympathy for our cause, and permanently block the pipeline’s construction.


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


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.

I thought you went crazy, as hazy as you were about the crash, but cash will bring you back to clarity–a rarity even with money on the table and no accident to speak of.  Now tell us, what happened and it’ll be a payday. Anyway, just tell us what you remember. The more detail, the better.

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


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.

I think this is one of the best social events I’ve ever attended!  No, I take that back. This is the best social event I’ve ever been to: the slow dancing frogs were a complete surprise! What can I say–THE BEST!

  • Post your own correctio on the “Comments” page!

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


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.”

For God’s sake, slow down! There’s no way I want to die in a traffic accident on my way to the mall.

I swear, if you don’t slow down, I’ll call 911 on my cellphone and have you arrested!

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

Diacope (di-a’-co-pee): Repetition of a word with one or more between, usually to express deep feeling.

Me boring?

You think I’m boring? Spending time with you is like hanging out with an overripe eggplant

Me boring?

What about the time you made us watch C-span? Watching empty Senate chambers is almost as exciting watching an empty parking lot. Ya-hoo! That was boredom squared!

Me boring?

You’re the one who’s boring!

What do you think of that, most boring person of the century? Why don’t we find something exciting to do, like looking through my baseball card collection?

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


Diaphora (di-a’-pho-ra): Repetition of a common name so as to perform two logical functions: to designate an individual and to signify the qualities connoted by that individual’s name or title.

Professor Smith is not Professor Smith when he ridicules students who’re unable to answer his obtuse questions. In these cases, he’s not even being a professor, let alone a bad professor.

We need professors who are professors–who treat students with respect and enable them to learn all they can possibly learn.

I will have a meeting about this episode with Professor Smith. My hope is that we’ll come up with some kind of plan to get him back on the Professorial track.

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


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

Claiming that you drove off the road shoulder because you liked the view is like claiming you visit dumps because you like their smell.

Well–possibly it’s true given how much you had to drink–you almost broke the breathalyzer when you fell down during your sobriety test!

  • Post your own diasyrmus on the “Comments” page!

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


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

Let’s see–you spent all the money that you borrowed from me, and now it’s time to pay me back.  You knew ‘paying back’ was part of the deal and you have not shown any interest in paying me back.

So,  which are you going to do: work off what you borrowed by working around the house and yard, or taking out a loan from a real bank and paying me back.

What’s it going to be: work it off, or take out another loan?

Post your own dilemma on the “Comments” page!

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 of each. All of the schemes and tropes are indexed, so it’s easy to find the one you’re looking for. Not only that, the examples of schemes and tropes may prompt you to try to create your own examples and use them as springboards for creating longer narratives.


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

Love: A desire for the ‘other.’

Love’s desire ranges from carnal to Platonic. Accordingly, one may claim to love another person on the basis of a carnal desire for the other person. I know it’s stupid, but it’s what we do.

But carnal desire and its fulfillment set a shaky foundation for love: Why shaky? Because it demands love making: a bodily experience whose gratification is short-lived. Its repetition in a given relationship gives it a slight echo of love’s eternity, but its ‘carnal truth’ is short lived & we all know it.

Platonic love is set on a more enduring, stable and appropriate foundation and best deserves the name of Love–it is closer to a spiritual experience. As it has been handed down, Platonic Love requires a relationship grounded in edifying communication. It fosters learning the IDEA of love, and it’s love’s Idea rightly learned that prompts and aims one’s particular ‘loves’ to be taken up with a MUTUAL focus on the IDEA of love, not each other’s bodies. (See Plato’s Phaedrus)

So, it looks like to be happy, maybe one must ‘go Platonic’ and come to understand that it isn’t simply desire that pulls us through life in the right direction, it is RIGHT desire. In this case, it is a desire for edifying love, that may rarely include sex, but whose prominent characteristic is the mutual exploration of Love’s  IDEA, and striving to learn together, and affect the RIGHT IDEA together. That is, insofar as their co-presence constitutes a relationship, the relationship is grounded in a mutual desire, conversationally, to explore the question: What is love?

Now ask what love is for you: Is it the repetition of  lust’s fulfillment, or an eternal IDEA that enables you to KNOW whether you’ve met your soulmate and allows your soulmate to work out their understanding of the concept of love in a conversation, where participants bear the conversational burden, through Q&A toward discovering a mutually satisfying IDEA of love–an Idea of Love that one might trust because of its foundation in Truth and rejection of carnality.

  • Post your own disntinctio on the “Comments” page!
  • 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 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. Not only that, the examples of schemes and tropes may prompt you to try to create one scheme or trope per day, starting with abating.



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

Pat: “I’m going crazy!”

Sam: “So am I! Let’s dance!”

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



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 lying on his back in a pool of blood in the alleyway between the “Bar of Good Hope” and a hardware store. His head looked like a pumpkin that had been sitting on somebody’s porch steps for a month. It was caved in on both sides–mercilessly crushed by the assailant’s baseball bat, which was lying on the concrete walkway alongside the victim. The victim’s brown eyes had a dull film over them and the victim wasn’t breathing, leaving no doubt that he was dead. I checked his pulse anyway. Dead. Dead as can be.

He was around six feet-three inches tall with sandy blond hair. He was wearing a gold wedding band. In addition, he was wearing red shorts, a black T-shirt, and expensive jogging shoes. He was muscular–broad shoulders and sculpted biceps, flat stomach, and legs that looked like he could out-sprint anybody on the body-recovery team.

He had no identification, so he would be admitted to the morgue as “John Doe.” Perhaps the assailant stole his wallet, but the brutality of the beating, and leaving the murder weapon behind, indicate this was a crime of passion: of anger, of love gone bad, or one of the other seemingly endless motives involved in murder.

Next, we need to figure out who this dead guy is, and then, create a list of suspects, and haul them into the Station for interrogation.

It’s not going to be easy solving this one. But once it hits the press, we may get some leads. Also, we’ll be checking fingerprints.

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


Ellipsis (el-lip’-sis): Omission of a word or short phrase easily understood in context.

There’s too much stuff piling up on the dining room table. Periodicals. Bills. Catalogs. Newspapers. Empty coffee mugs. Dead flowers. A bundt cake. Potato chips. Crackers. Empty wine bottle. And more.

We need to clear it off!

Who’s going to make the first move?

You help me, and I you.

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

Buy a print version of The Daily Trope! The print version is titled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99 (or less).


Enallage (e-nal’-la-ge): The substitution of grammatically different but semantically equivalent constructions.

It snowed for three days as the temperature hovered around zero fahrenheit. Sadly, a small group of homeless people froze to death under the blanket of snow. Five people killed because of the snow and the temperature and our failure to find them and give them the option of being transported to one of the city’s many homeless shelters.

We need to be more proactive in finding homeless people and letting them know there are shelters and, if desired, taking them to one the shelters. Our city’s shelters are warm and their food is good. In addition to having a hot meal, there are beds and showers, and free laundromats.

We can’t ignore the the plight of homeless people. As human beings, they deserve our respect and support. So, keep an eye out for them and show them that we care by offering them assistance in finding and taking shelter.

Thank you.

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


Enantiosis (e-nan-ti-o’-sis): Using opposing or contrary descriptions together, typically in a somewhat paradoxical manner.

Tonight, I will steal, yet be known as honorable.

For what I steal will be sold and the money distributed to those who really need it.

I am an honest and generous thief.

Call me “Robbing Hood.”

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


Enigma (e-nig’-ma): Obscuring one’s meaning by presenting it within a riddle or by means of metaphors that purposefully challenge the reader or hearer to understand.

Hey! Stop! Stay where you are and listen to my riddle:

“The more you take, the more you leave behind.”

What’s the answer to this riddle?

It’s footsteps: the more you take the more you leave behind.

Okay, be patient, I’m getting to my point and here it is:

When you come in after playing outside in the snow, stay on the tiled entryway until you’ve taken off  your boots! Then, when you step into the living room, walk across its carpet into the kitchen, and grab a snack out of the refrigerator,  all you’ll leave behind will be steps–not snowy, slushy or muddy footprints.

So, take the necessary step (ha ha): take off your boots before you step on the living room carpet.

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


Epanodos (e-pan’-o-dos): 1. Repeating the main terms of an argument in the course of presenting it. 2. Returning to the main theme after a digression. 3. Returning to and providing additional detail for items mentioned previously (often using parallelism).

I am not sure where all the vote recounting is taking us, or even why it is being done. It’s a waste of time and money.

We started out conversing about recounts when Trump ‘threatened’ a recount if he didn’t win the election. His ‘threat’ was characterized as more or less unsportsmanlike–at any rate as somehow wrong and maybe even a little whacky.

Now, a recount is being undertaken. Surely the Green Party candidate does not expect to pull out victories in Wisconsin and  Pennsylvania. But we hear whispers that the Democratic candidate is helping sponsor the recounts too–again I say: I’m not sure where all the vote recounting is taking us, or even why it is being done. It is a waste of time and money.

I will be shocked and probably die of a heart attack if anything changes with the election as a result of the recounts. I think I heard today that 5,000 votes for Trump were found in Wisconsin  that shouldn’t have gone to him. That puts a mini-dent (a tiny pock mark) in the 20-something thousand he won by in Wisconsin.

Bottom line: What’s the point. Somebody tell me why we’re recounting votes? 5,000 misappropriated votes don’t answer the question.

But hey–if you play the lotto: “You never know.” Who knows, maybe there will be a miracle and Clinton will take Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Ha ha! Fat chance. The recount is pointless. It is a waste of time and money.

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


Epanorthosis (ep-an-or-tho’-sis): Amending a first thought by altering it to make it stronger or more vehement.

The American people anxiously await the outcome as President-elect Trump works to put his cabinet together.

Or put another way: The American people are pooping in their pants as they await the outcome and pray that WWIII can be averted  as Trump announces his Cabinet appointees.

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