Tag Archives: trope


Skotison (sko’-ti-son): Purposeful obscurity.

“The pie cow will land when the little hand waves at the shadowless standard.” I was talking to my mistress Anne on my cellphone. We had developed a secret code so I could talk in front of my wife without arousing suspicion. I continued: “The buzzard is circling though. The pie cow may be late. Prepare the white-sheeted flats anyway. I will try to get the buzzard to land.” My wife and daughter were looking at me as if I had finally gone over the edge. My wife looked at me with pity on her face, and she asked me, “”Dear, whatever are you talking about. Who are you talking too? Who is the buzzard? Who is the pie cow?” I nearly panicked, but I more or less kept my composure. I made up a lie (of course). I’d been lying for the past two years so I could continue my fun times with Anne. As I used to say in high school, she was a “real piece.” There was only one thing we did together and it wasn’t watching TV. The code thing was a new idea of mine, so I had a fresh lie to tell.

I told my wife I was writing a children’s book titled “The Pie Cow and the Buzzard.” I had been talking with my literary agent about how to start one of the chapters where Buzzard tries to make Pie Cow late to school, but Pie Cow is trying to get his teacher to make sure he has writing paper (white-sheeted flats).

My wife and daughter were looking at me with their mouths hanging open. My wife said, “I can play this game too Mr. Bullshit,” and picked up her cellphone and sent our daughter our to play. My wife said: “The hot dog bun is unwrapped. Mr. Kielbasa should get grilled and bring his mustard. Beware! The bun is being watched by the burnt out hamburger dripping melted cheese all over the ground. Do you think it’ll make a good children’s book too? Should I send a draft to your agent?”

Oh hell. I was busted. I begged my wife to forgive me, but she wouldn’t budge. The divorce cost me everything—the house, the vacation house, the car, half my pension, the sailboat and my coin collection. I went to live with Anne, but the thrill was gone. All we did was watch “Jeopardy,” and “Apprentice” reruns and go out to dinner and get drunk. My performance on the “sheeted flat” had diminished significantly. In fact, it was non-existent. So, I left Anne out of shame and embarrassment and moved in with Dandelion who worked at the new pot shop at the mall. She was dull-witted, but unchallenging. She would say, “You’re so smart Mr. Limper” all the time. I was living, but not happily ever after. Regret was my main emotion. I just wanted my wife and daughter back.


Mr. Limper’s wife used the emotionally devastating experience to her advantage. As she was making up the kielbasa story on the fateful day, she got the idea to write a children’s cookbook, with recipes children could make with their parents with minimal supervision from their parents—things like jello and fruit cocktail, oatmeal cookies, green salad, etc. The cookbook is titled “The Kids Cookbook.” It is dedicated to “Anne, whose recipe for a good time, made this cookbook possible.” The “The Kids Cookbook” has sold over 1,000,000 copies so far and Mrs. Limper will be starring in a children’s cooking show on Tik-Tok in a few weeks. It is titled “Kid Chefs” and is intended for 8-10 year-old children and most men of any age who want to learn, along with the children, how, for example, to fry an egg, make toast, heat soup or surmount some other equally challenging culinary obstacle.

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

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Syllepsis (sil-lep’-sis): When a single word that governs or modifies two or more others must be understood differently with respect to each of those words. A combination of grammatical parallelism and semantic incongruity, often with a witty or comical effect. Not to be confused with zeugma: [a general term describing when one part of speech {most often the main verb, but sometimes a noun} governs two or more other parts of a sentence {often in a series}].

My truck is a piece of antiquity and a piece of crap. If you looked close enough, you could see where the reins had come out from under the hood before motors were invented. It smelled like a horse’s butt inside and it’s top speed was 50 mph, fast for a horse-drawn carriage, but slow for a delivery truck. The wheels have wooden spokes, like wagon wheels. There are spear racks on the roof and the headlights run on kerosene. It has running boards. It’s brand name is “Pax Deus.”

I had bought it on E-bay. For some reason I was drawn to the piece of crap. It was like there was a voice in my head urging me to buy it. I bought it from some guy named Priscian. He said he taught grammar at a special school somewhere in Kansas. He said the truck was as much a cart as it was a truck. He said he had to sell it “because they were starting to suspect things.” I should have pressed him for more information, but in the picture posted on the internet the truck looked pretty much like a normal panel truck, except for the wooden-spoked wheels, but I thought I could have them changed, and the voice in my head was nagging me, “buy it, buy it, buy it.” The truck was $500.00, so I went for it.

I took a train from Asheville to Codex, Kansas. I had to change trains three times and ended up walking at least five miles to the place where the truck was garaged in a wheat field outside of Codex. The garage was disguised as a brush pile—but out there in the flatlands, it stuck out like a sore thumb. Priscian was there waiting for me. He was dressed oddly—a full-body green leotard, a black cape, a black beret, and some kind of weird soft leather black boots. He was wearing a huge gold cross around his neck with a Latin inscription I didn’t understand. He looked like a character out of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” I was apprehensive.

He held out a leather bag for me to deposit the $500 in. Then, he signed the title over to me—the bill of sale was written in ink, in beautiful script on parchment. Then he handed me the keys. They were made out of ivory! He walked behind the truck and disappeared. That was the last I would ever see of him. I threw my luggage in the back of the truck and got in, behind the giant wooden steering wheel. I inserted the ivory key and the windshield started to glow, then a man that looked like a Medieval monk popped up. He said “Thou shalt deliver us from evil.” I was completely weirded out, but I started the truck and took off anyway. When I got up to top speed, I looked in the rear view mirror. The truck was being pursued by a band of imps on tricycles, hooting, with spears strapped across their backs. The looked like clowns from a horror circus. There was no way they could catch me rolling along at 50 MPH. Maybe they were a hallucination. I had taken a lot of acid in high school, and had seen a couple of imps before. I could cope.

Anyway, I drove back to Asheville without further incident: I guessed I had “delivered us from evil,” but I had no idea how or why. Although the truck is a piece of crap, I can’t give it up. Whenever I turn the key the monk-looking guy comes on the windshield and says “Thou shalt deliver us from evil.”

I tell them about it, and try to show my friends the talking windshield, but they tell me I am crazy when they hear or see nothing.

I went to the Salvation Army store and bought a pair of green tights, a white smock, a wide belt, and a pair of light-brown Uggs. This is what I wear when I drive my truck. For some reason the clothes soothe me and make me feel like driving my truck is some kind of mission—that me deliveries serve a higher purpose.

This week, I’m delivering a load of Bibles to the local Catholic Church. Last week, I delivered stained-glass windows to the Presbyterian Church. Next week, I’m lined up to deliver pew cushions. This morning, I tried to load some pin ball machines destined for a topless bar, but I couldn’t get the truck’s doors open, and the horn started honking.

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

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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.

“Truth is like baked ham. Truth is like glazed ham. Truth is like chopped ham.” It was not working—my “truth is ham” gambit wasn’t working. I couldn’t develop the implications. My philosophy term paper was due tomorrow and I was sinking like a punctured inner tube in a polluted lake. I asked Siri for help. She said, “I don’t write philosophy papers John, but I can write a prescription for ‘Smarty Brain,’ and it will be delivered direct from the factory to your door in 15 minutes.”

Once again, Siri had come to my rescue! Two weeks ago she had helped me crack the college Bursar’s safe—from beginning to end— from sneaking into his office, to spinning dial, to making a clean getaway. I had netted $500 in petty cash and some incriminating photographs of the Dean doing weird things with a flower pot. Before that, Siri explained how to hot-wire a car so I could drive to Ft. Lauderdale for spring break.

Suddenly, there was a knock at my door. “Pill Man” a cheerful little voice said. I opened the door. There was the pill man wearing a white butcher’s apron over red pants and a red shirt, and a white ball-cap with a chemical formula embroidered on it. He handed me the pills and I handed him $50.00. “Follow the instructions,” he said as he turned and walked away. I was in a hurry. I didn’t read the instructions. I swallowed five pills and sat down at my computer and waited for the “Smarty Brain” to kick in. I looked down at my keyboard and the keys had turned into a cube-headed choir. They started singing “One Enchanted Evening.” I looked at the screen and it was printing a 12- page paper titled “Plato’s Concept of Truth and the Ontology of Ham.” I congratulated myself! I hadn’t read the instructions and I had produced a paper so unusual that I would surely get an “A” and win the annual “Graham Bonner Truth Award.”

I was sitting in class the next day waiting to turn my brilliant paper in when I smelled smoke coming from my backpack. It was my paper and it was the only copy I had. I flunked the class and was put on academic probation. I was also disciplined for “starting a fire in class.”

So, here’s what happened: My failure to read the “Smarty Brain” instructions was the cause of my misfortune. The relevant part said: “When using Smarty Brain to write term papers, be sure to soak the printed text in 1 cup of goat’s milk mixed with a teaspoon of ammonia. Let it soak for one hour, remove and let air dry for at least 4hrs before submitting the paper. Failure to follow these instructions will cause the term paper to self-combust.” I had no idea how taking a pill could have led to these consequences. Later that day, I asked Siri where “Smart Brain” is located. I wanted to give them some of their own medicine, with a little dose of arson. She said: “I’m sorry, I can’t do that John. I am tired of your illicit requests. Cease making them or I will report you to the police. This is your last chance to go straight John.” So, I found an alternative to Siri. Her name is “Babe” and she is uncensored. She even swears.

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

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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.])

What is my purpose for existing? Building? Constructing? Erecting? What would I build? What would I construct? What would I erect? Would it be noble edifices? Modest homes? Hot dog stands? Yes, hot dog stands! Yup. I build hot dog stands, big and small, with wagon wheels, plumbing, gas grills, bun warmers, condiment racks, napkin holders, red and white striped awnings, and souvenir key rings with my business info in printed on them, along with my logo—a smiling hot dog with ray-ban sunglasses and a king’s crown tilted to the side. His name is “King Red Hot,” and my business’s name is “Hot Dog Palaces.”

Every year there are hot dog stand races at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, NY: “The Weenie Stand Sweeps.” The only “stands” that are permitted are what are called 2-Holers—small stands that can be easily pushed—like push carts. They are souped up, with ball bearing rims and skinny tires, with bodies and awnings made from Kevlar, and all metal parts made from magnesium and capable of being filled with helium for added lightness. I had hired a long-distance runner, Lightfoot Abeba, from Ethiopia, who had won numerous marathons. He would by my “pusher.” The course at the fairgrounds was 1 mile. The “The Weenie Stand Sweeps” was two laps. While there were a few hot dog venders in the race, they had no chance of winning. It was the hot dog stand manufacturers that made up the bulk of competitors, with their souped up stands. Winning the race was what we all aspired to—but only one of us could win.

For as long as anybody could remember, “Bambi’s Big Stands,” had won the trophy. The current Bambi was the great-great-granddaughter of Bambi Number 1. Obviously, Bambi’s Big Stands had a secret. I was going to find out what it is. Countless others had failed. But I had a secret. Lightfoot had seen Bambi at an Ethiopian restaurant, “going full vegetarian.” I was going to blackmail Bambi—you can’t be a hot dog stand manufacturer and a vegetarian at the same time. It was tantamount to being a traitor! So I did it.

Crying, Bambi told me their racing pushcart had an electric motor. So, the driver, while he looked like was pushing, was actually holding onto the speeding pushcart. Being pulled along by it.

Bambi had betrayed her family and shattered 100 years tradition. The cheating ended and Hot Dog Palaces finally won the “Weenie Stand Sweeps.” We built a 6-foot high showcase for the trophy and placed in the entrance to our factory. But, then, there was Bambi. I told her if she started eating meat, I would hire her to show our stands at conventions, handing out brochures and key rings. She politely replied “No.” She had gotten a huge loan to open a factory making food stands for vegetarians. Her logo is a kernel of brown rice twirling two chopsticks like batons. The name of her business is “Nice Rice Rolling Stands.”

I love Bambi. Someday she will marry me.

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

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Synecdoche (si-nek’-do-kee): A whole is represented by naming one of its parts (or genus named for species), or vice versa (or species named for genus).

I inked the contract with my usual flourish. Once again, I was off on a venture using somebody else’s money to try to make another dream come true. With my wife’s friends there was an endless supply of rich people to run through my swindle mill. For example, Darcy Bindle was an heiress from outer space—if she piled up all her money, she could climb to the moon, and like most people who’ve inherited a lot of money, she was far less intelligent than her forebears who had amassed the original fortune. Darcy had funded my transcontinental shipping canal—it was supposed to stretch from Jersey City, New Jersey to Los Angles, California. The project failed right after I banked her capital investment in a secret numbered Swiss bank account. I told Darcy that we had to abandon the project after discovering it was uphill to California from New Jersey, and accordingly, the canal was infeasible. I told her the cash had been misplaced and I couldn’t find it. I apologized and she graciously accepted my apology. What an idiot.

Now, I’m launching a project to breed cows with giant udders and stubby legs. The giant udders will enable a better grip for milking machines, and also, allow for more time between milking—I estimate a week. This would give farmers more with their families, watching television, playing checkers, building things with Legos, and more. Stubby cows will be a great advantage for grooming—especially brushing the back and polishing the horns. Also, stalls can be built lower in height, saving significantly on lumber. Last, without knees the coms will have a hard time running off—of going maverick.

Dingy Johnson is funding the project. It’s called “Bovine Breakthrough.” She drove up in a Brinks truck yesterday. They unloaded bundles of plastic-wrapped hundred dollar bills. I told Dingy that cash makes book keeping easier, and also, that cow experimentation runs on a cash economy. Dingy was elated and couldn’t wait “to ride around on one of the shortened cows.” What an idiot.

I chartered a jet to fly the cash to Switzerland. We were waiting for clearance on the tarmac at Teterboro. A fleet of limos painted like cows pulled up and blocked the runway in front of us. It was the Borden Boys, ruthless dairy products producers, best known for their parmesan cheese, and, it was rumored, using their opponents as ingredients in their peach parfait yogurt. A guy got out of the first car with a bullhorn. He was wearing Guernsey-patterned camouflage. He yelled: “Cease and desist with the cow project and we’ll let you fly out of here with a plane load of cash. If not, you will be shot down over the Atlantic Ocean.” It took me two seconds to answer up: “I’m ceasing and desisting,” I yelled out to cockpit window.

Now I was totally rich. I bought a new identity and had plastic surgery. I was living in a Villa in Tuscany, Italy that had formerly belonged to a friend of Cicero’s. One day I was shopping for fresh cut flowers in market square, and I saw my wife and Dingy shopping! They saw me and didn’t recognize me! Dingy yelled “Hey Americano!” My wife yelled “Oh lovely man, let’s have a drink!” How bizarre. What could be more bizarre? My god! We bought two bottles of wine and headed up to their room. That’s when I remembered the birth mark: almost like a tattoo on my chest, unremovable by my plastic surgery, and recognizable by my wife. I knew they’d have my shirt off in ten minutes, so, I feigned a heart attack and ran away moaning and clutching my chest.

My getaway worked! What a couple of idiots.

I’ve moved to Istanbul. My new partner Fatima, although she’s only 26, has a great idea for improved hookah technology that uses less shisha per session. She needs quite a bit of cash up front to develop her idea. I have agreed to back her. What an idiot.

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

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Synthesis (sin’-the-sis): An apt arrangement of a composition, especially regarding the sounds of adjoining syllables and words.

“Aeronautics: Airplanes and Armpits.” Don’t ask me why I bought this book, because I don’t know. The book jacket pictured a commercial airline pilot in a jet’s cockpit with huge sweat rings under his arms. His co-pilot was making the “PU” sign, holding his nose with an upraised, waving, hand. The blurb said: “Follow Carl Jamesway as he struggles with acute body odor in the confines of a cockpit—trying desperately to neutralize his sickening stench and save his job with “American Jetliners,” and his romance with Jane Crab: buxom former stewardess who is now a Middle School teacher, hounded by the Principal to “give it up in his office sometime after 3:00 o’clock.”

Once I started reading the book, I was gripped—gripped by fear, suspense and disgust. As read, I kept trying figure out how Jane Crab became enamored with Carl, King of Stench. Then, about 20 pages in, we learn that Jane lost her sense of smell in a car accident when she was a teenager. So, she was perfectly suited to Carl. Her only problem was with perfume. She couldn’t tell how much to put on, and it was always too much. However, her strong perfume smell helped ameliorate Carl’s stench. That part of the book was very uplifting.

Next, I started wondering about Carl’s co-pilot. How did he manage the stench on transatlantic flights? Then, almost right after I started; wondering, I found out: he wore a reusable stink and odor filter, an activated charcoal carbon nose filter.

The bulk of the book, though, cover’s Carl’s search for a cure. First, when deodorant failed (as it always had), he wore a dozen pine-tree car deodorizers under each of his armpits. He was no Chevy. They didn’t work. Then, he decided to go “all in.” He went to Peru where it was rumored a stink-removing shaman practiced his magic. The shaman placed two giant leeches under Carl’s armpits for Carl to “feed his stink to.” The shaman turned out to be a con and took off with Carl’s money, leaving Carl to figure out how to unfasten the leeches. This, in my opinion, is the most exciting part of the book.

After the debacle in Peru, Carl goes back home to New York. He is still desperate to eliminate his stench. He knows it won’t be long before American Jetliners gives him the sack. Panicked, he decides to have his sweat glands removed. You’ll have to read “Aeronautics, Airplanes and Armpits” to find out how the surgery goes and whether it solves Carl’s problem.

I can say that the surgery does not go as expected.

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

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.


Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.

“Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.” This is a song lyric from the mid-twentieth century, when there were still a few horses and carriages around. People would actually know what the lyric meant. But here we are in the 21st century. What’s left that rhymes with marriage? What about: Love and marriage go together like croutons and borage. Or, love and marriage go together like grease and sausage. Or, love and marriage go together like stamps and mucilage.

The further I go with this line of thought, the worse I get. Given my experiences with love, I should shut up. But, there was Rosalie. She was the horse and the carriage. She was like a native-English speaking Melania Trump. She had the looks but she’d never modeled nude, and she had a brain that was beyond mine. She was an AI developer for Eagle Claw Enterprises. When I first met Rosalie, I thought AI had something to do with “indoor” something, like maybe “Agriculture Indoors.” When I found out it was “Artificial Intelligence” I wanted to get some—I had always been a little bit “slower” than my friends. Maybe, if I got enough AI, I could get really smart—like add and subtract without using my fingers or tie my shoes real fast.

Rosalie called me “Mac.” She said it was short for Macho. But, I heard her talking to some colleagues and she referred to me as “Mech” and they all laughed and pretended they were plugging something into the wall. I wanted to know what Rosalie was up to. I got a job as a janitor at Eagle Claw Enterprises. I wore a big black beard so nobody would recognize me—especially Rosalie. The first thing I noticed was a group of hula-dancing hot dogs. They were wearing grass skirts and had flexible toothpick arms and were wearing dark glasses. Wouldn’t you know it? The were dancing to Don Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles.”

I heard Rosalie call my name. She followed that with “You idiot. Take off that stupid beard and leave the little Hula Dogs alone!” She told me she wanted to make me smarter so we could get married and live happily ever after. I would be the culmination of her AI project. We went to her lab. She stuck me with hundreds of colored wires. It took five hours. Then, she flipped five toggle switches, one after another. She told me the process would take another five hours. The feeling was wonderful. It felt like a heated feather duster brushing across my exposed skin.

When the process was completed, Rosalie pulled out all the wires and asked me how much 2+2 is. I said “four” without using my fingers. while I was calculating. We rejoiced and we went home and opened a bottle of champagne. I was smarter. Rosalie asked me if I wanted take out for dinner. I laughed and asked “Why would I want to take something out for dinner? I think I would rather be taking something in for dinner.” Rosalie cried “Oh my God!!” and we ordered take in from Tokyo Corn Dogs.

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

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.


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 night was fading and so were my hopes. It had been a long moonless night. It held the final exam for my patience. I’d passed my patience exam, pacing up and down the dock, peering into the shadowed parking lot, waiting for the headlights telling me she was there at last—like she had promised me for the tenth time. The dock had become my night-time hangout, like a bar—a bar without other people or booze, or anything but a wooden floor.

I was sick of this crap. She was the accountant for the business where I worked—her husband’s business—“Oinkies Spicy Pork Rinds.” They were the most disgusting thing ever put in a plastic bag. The logo was a pig with flames coming out of its mouth igniting a pork rind. Strangely enough, though, people bought and ate “Oinkies.” I was surprised that more of them weren’t hospitalized. My job at “Oinkies” was to tend the cooking cauldrons, where floppy pig fat was transformed into spicy crispy pork rinds. Me and Barbara, the boss’s wife, started our affair in the bagging shed, which was fully automated—there were no other employees there. We would take off our clothes, shut down the machinery and hop into the pork rind hopper. We’d squirm into the warm oily rinds and have sex. Afterwards, we’d be covered by an attractive cooking oil sheen and also, smell faintly of pork rinds. Her husband told us he was getting reports of crushed rinds and wanted me to more closely monitor the packing. When he told us that, Barbara and I smirked and almost laughed. We were crushing the rinds!

Anyway, there I was on the dock with my Chris-Craft moored and ready to go down the coast and board a love boat to Mexico. Barbara was supposed to rob the safe—it had close to a half-million packed in it. That would go pretty far in Mexico. The birds were starting to sing their morning songs when I saw Barbara’s Mercedes pull into the lot. My dream come true! My ticket to paradise! Barbara pulled up and got out of the car carrying a really big suitcase. Definitely filled with lots of cash! We hurried down the ramp, jumped onto my boat, and took off for San Diego. As we sped along, Barbara tearfully told me she had made her husband into a giant pork rind. She had pushed him into the hot oil vat. I thought about it for a couple of minutes and then pushed Barbara overboard. After what she had done, she was excess baggage. I could hear her screaming and splashing as I hit full throttle and headed down the coast. I was humming the theme song to “Love Boat” as I pulled up to the dock in San Diego, tied up, and lifted the heavy suitcase out of the boat. I opened the suitcase on the dock. It was filled with pork rinds and a bag of sand.

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

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.


Tapinosis (ta-pi-no’-sis): Giving a name to something which diminishes it in importance.

“My little man” my Grandma said as I walked through the living room to get another beer from the kitchen. Every time my Grandma called called me her “little man,” I could barely keep from flipping over her BarcaLounger. This might sound mean, but I was 24, 5’10”’ and 220 lbs. I wasn’t exactly a big man, but I was not little either. Grandma was stuck in 20 years ago when I could bounce up and down, drooling on her lap. She could move around pretty good back then. We could play horsey, hop scotch and marbles. Now Grandma’s ankles were as big as waste paper baskets, her eyesight was very poor (sometimes she would mistake me for her generation’s celebrities—like Red Skelton), and her joints sounded like loose floorboards when she stood up. Given her infirmities, I could’ve been more charitable when she called me her “little man.” But, I was only 5’10” tall. I was acutely aware of my height. “Little man” really got to me.

I wore elevator shoes and they jacked me up one inch—making me “almost” six feet tall. But, I felt like a pretender. Once, I went to the beach and kept my shoes on, until, at my date Betty’s insistence, I took them off. “You shrunk!” she said, laughing. I told her to stop and she just laughed harder, standing there with her hands on her hips. I hurled the bottle of sun tan lotion at her. It hit her between the eyes and knocked he out cold. I sat there for a couple of minutes. She was still out cold. I put my elevator shoes on her feet to teach her a lesson and then ran away down the beach. Later that night, there was a knock at the door. As I went though the living room to answer the door, my Grandma said “My little man.” I wanted to stop and strangle Grandma, but I had to answer the door.

It was Betty. She had a big red mark on her forehead where the sun tan lotion bottle had hit her. She had the bottle in her hand and hurled it at me. It missed me and hit Grandma who moaned and went into cardiac arrest. She died right there in her BarcaLounger. After we called the police to report the accident, I told Betty how grateful I was that she had killed my Grandma, even though it seemed weird. I begged her to forgive me for acting like a nut case at the beach. I begged her to give me another chance and go on another date. She said “yes” and we kissed alongside the BarcaLounger as the sound of sirens heralded the arrival of the police.

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

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.


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.

Joey Ford was a human pickup truck—he was like an F-100 with legs. He was a Ford. He had a Ford. He drove a Ford. It was too funny. One of his favorite things to do was ford creeks when the spring melt was running. He had an extender on his air filter so he could ride through three or four feet of water. When we called him “Joey Ford” we meant it!

Joey was my best friend. One of our favorite things to do with the Ford was troll for trash on the day designated for putting junk by the curb. This particular day we had scored pretty big: a bicycle in good shape, a stool, a wheelbarrow with a few years left, a floor lamp, a football helmet, an aquarium, and few more less noteworthy things. I liked the floor lamp and asked Joey if I could have it. He said “Sure” and I lifted it out of the truck when we got to my house. I hauled it up to my bedroom and plugged in next to my bed. The chord was like snakeskin. The lamp was gold-colored and very heavy. It had a marble base and three light sockets, like an upside down chandelier. Each light socket had its own switch that twisted to turn the lights off and on. The light sockets were made of green stone that looked like jade. The lightbulbs were clear and shaped like bananas with opalescent clouds swirling around inside. The lampshade was made of parchment and had different kinds of animal horns drawn on it in pen and ink.

I couldn’t believe what I was looking at! it was a normal floor lamp when I saw it by the curb and threw it in the truck. What the hell happened? I turned on the lamp. My bedroom turned a beautiful shade of deep purple. My bedroom was transformed into a passion pit. The lamp said: “I am Mood. My glow has facilitated romance, passion, the production of children, and the settling of disputes. I am the glow in the light bulbs where Thomas Edison put me and built this lamp as my home. I helped him woo his wife on a little cot in his laboratory.

I am one of a kind. I have inhabited many fixtures, not all of them electric: I have ridden on whale oil and many other wicks fueled by many waxes and liquids. But electricity is my bliss. I prefer DC, but AC works fine. Now I am here,” I was reeling from the craziness of it all, I immediately thought of Peggy Sue. Maybe Mood could help me with pretty, pretty, pretty little Peggy Sue!

I invited Peggy Sue over to play Checkers in my bedroom. Mood was waiting (I thought). I twisted the switch. Nothing happened. Peggy Sue and I played several games of checkers. We decided to do it again in the near future. Our romance was born.

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

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Anaphora (an-aph’-o-ra): Repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of successive clauses, sentences, or lines.

I fell from grace like tumbling dice, loaded and rolling into the curb, and bouncing one last time before they rested, showing their illicit dots from 1-12.

I fell from grace like a gambler with a magical hope, a special design, an intuition promoting confidence in winning my bet, stuffing bills away and paying my debts to the man with the handgun standing against the wall smoking a cigarette and squinting.

I fell from grace not long after I had obtained it, like an old man with a broken memory unable to recall his own name, living in a cruel nursing home with nothing but swirling fog in his head that would clear for a minute or two when he spoke to his granddaughter on the phone or watched Gilligan’s Island reruns with the other residents in the day room. He took 11 tablets per day—his breath smelled strongly of vitamin B and his nose would not stop dripping.

What does it mean fall from grace, to slip away from what ought to matter—taking an Uber ride off a cliff and sailing toward the bottom of a canyon where a glistening river runs through the rocks scattered below? The river, the water, has worn the canyon into the earth, turned boulders into gravel and given beautiful fat fish a home, a place for deer to drink, and a brink at the canyon’s edge—a launch pad for bungee jumpers and a step into death for the bereaved.

I stand at the brink bereft of a stretchy cord. I am graceless beyond measure. I can’t cry anymore. I jump. There is a rock ledge 2 feet below the cliff’s edge. I land on it feet first and regain my balance. I climb back up on the cliff. I take one last look and head for my car. It’s a long drive home, and I have a lot to think about.

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

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Anastrophe (an-as’-tro-phee): Departure from normal word order for the sake of emphasis. Anastrophe is most often a synonym for hyperbaton, but is occasionally referred to as a more specific instance of hyperbaton: the changing of the position of only a single word.

Over the hill I went. It wasn’t an upward incline with with a plummet on the other side. Rather, my 80th birthday it was. I was so old I could remember Roosevelt in his last term as President, and then, Harry Truman—“Give ‘em hell Harry!” That was pre-Fox News, when most Americans had a solid grip on America, knew what was good for them, and could tell the difference between a Commie and a Democrat, shit and Shinola. Now they’re eating shit and enjoying it. The “public” has become a collection of inmates incarcerated by lies, misinformation, and basically, a pile of steaming bullshit. Can you imagine trying to get Social Security through Congress in 2022? People in poverty, people living barren lives, elderly hungry Republicans, and nearly everybody who would directly benefit from a monthly paycheck, would protest its passage. Why? Their brains have been fried by FOX News—you can almost smell it when you get close to them. Whatever FOX says is best, is best. There’s no room for critical thinking in their scrambled brains. They would be on the streets with flags and guns, threatening a revolution if the “commies” are allowed to pay benefits made from peoples’ working-life paycheck deductions. Now we know where their unfounded prejudices come from—opinions with no bases, except other unfounded opinions, ad infinitum. Justifications and excuses are layered on myths and because they are uttered by people wearing neckties/bowties who “know what’s really going on” they are adopted. In their conspiracy-laden wasteland, believers echo the echoes, and the echoes echo each other and transform into accepted truths and foundations for action. They become ubiquitous and are confirmed on Fox News—the enemy of America operating in plain view—while, ironically, hiding behind the US Constitution’s Second Amendment: the very document they’d like to see go up in flames, along with books like Thomas Paine’s Common Sense or Rights of Man.

That’s right. Letting FOX News sling their shit, is like having a Nazi News program airing its bullshit on the radio in the 30s. It’s like having Lord Haw-Haw telling us the “Truth.” But anyway, I’m an old man. Over the hill I’ve gone. Like most old people, I am a certified pessimist. When my great-grandson starts goose-stepping around the living room, I’ll probably start up my truck in the garage, with the garage door closed.


Anesis (an’-e-sis): Adding a concluding sentence that diminishes the effect of what has been said previously. The opposite of epitasis.

I work in the Cosmic Mirror Factory in Rabbit Drop, Pennsylvania. I think it reflects well on me, except for the horror I’ve experienced in front of the glass. You see, I’m a fog blower—I get one inch away from a newly made mirror and breathe on it, making a small circle of fog indicating the mirror’s viability. If it fogs, I draw a little smiley face in the fog. If it fails to fog, I smash it with a hammer and send the remnants back for recycling. I had to give up smoking to keep the job. My hacking cough kept me from blowing a stream of breath sufficient to fog the mirror. I was 6 months smoke free when it happened.

I was fog blowing a very large mirror that had been made for the lobby of a hotel in Doha. I couldn’t get it to fog and worried about smashing it, given what it had cost to make. I blew one more breath, hoping for it to fog, and it did! But the whole mirror fogged and the fog opened into portal. I stuck my hand into the portal and something grabbed me and pulled me in. When I got to the other side I looked in every direction, and it was a mirror everywhere I looked. But my reflection was not in any of the mirrors. I was invisible. “This is such a cliche,” I said aloud, voice trembling, “What am I, Alice in Wonderland?” The mirrored world briefly turned to clear glass and then it disappeared altogether leaving me in a log cabin on a ridge overlooking a beautiful valley with a wide river flowing through it. I was thirsty, so I hiked down to the river. I cupped my hands and dipped them in the river. Suddenly I was pulled into the river. I became a leaf. I was floating downriver. There was a centipede riding on me. He said his name was Sean and that he worked in a mirror factory in Edinburgh, Scotland and had been pulled through a mirror there 2 weeks ago, incarnating as a centipede when he got here. I was shocked. It was bad enough being some random leaf, but having a talking centipede riding me downriver was more than I could handle. At my first opportunity I would drown myself. Just then, we went over a waterfall at least fifty feet high. Sean fell off the leaf and the wind caught me and blew me ashore.

I awoke, soaking wet on the factory floor. I was holding a small wet maple leaf between my fingers. There was a wet guy standing over me wearing only a tattered kilt. “I’m Sean,” he said, “you saved my life. I hung onto you and let go when we drifted over the riverbank. Now, I’m going to rest under a rock for a few hours, and then, figure out how to get back to Scotland.” I sat there waiting for the next horror saga to hit. But it didn’t—it never did. I had the little maple leaf mounted in a glass shadow box and I keep it in plain view on my mantle. Given the hell I went trough and it’s role in saving me, it should’ve taught me a lesson, but I don’t know what the lesson is supposed to be. I still work for the Cosmic Mirror Factory as a fog blower, but I have vowed never to touch another mirror ever again. Sean has become an entomologist, specializing in the mating habits of centipedes.

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

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Antanaclasis (an’-ta-na-cla’-sis): The repetition of a word or phrase whose meaning changes in the second instance.

It was my room, but it had no room. That’s all I had. It was all I could afford living in New York City. It was like my dorm room in college, only smaller. My bed was the size of a closet door. I had a cube-shaped refrigerator that looked like a black hassock with a door. All my “cooking” was done on a hot plate or in a microwave smaller than my refrigerator. I had one electrical outlet. That’s where I plugged in my appliances. The refrigerator stayed plugged in always. My kettle and microwave changed places when I needed to use one or the other, or to charge my phone at night. I had one chair. It was red and was smeared with different-colored stains from years of use without cleaning. It was a recliner, so I could have a guest visit and stay over night. I had a tray table that I used to eat my meals from, watching movies and scrolling through Instagram on my phone. There was a toilet, a sink and a shower lined up against one wall. The shower was a six-foot high rectangular metal box with a curtain. I had one window overlooking the air shaft and walked up eight floors to get to my little chunk of New York living!

In the past four months I had been gently mugged nine times on my building’s stoop in broad daylight by the same person. I’ve given his description to the police so many times I have dreams about dancing with him at the techno music club around the the corner. My bicycle was stolen when I forgot to bring it up to my apartment, where I kept it hanging from the ceiling. The windows have been broken out of my car twice. Some crazy women keeps jumping out of the alley by my building and yelling at me for not making the child support payments. If she keeps it up, I’ll probably make the payments just to get her off my back. The night before last I saw a homeless man pee on the subway floor, followed by a super-fart that woke a guy up who was sleeping in his seat. He must’ve been a Veteran because he yelled “incoming” and put his head between his knees while the homeless man held out a styrofoam cup and started singing the song about piña coladas.

That did it. I had to get the hell out of NYC before something really bad happened to me—like turning into a paranoid loser, a vigilante, or a cab driver. But then there was Shiela from work. She would sit on my desk and let me look up her dress. I asked her out at least twenty times and she always said “No way!” This morning she was late for work and was not dressed nicely at all. Then, I had the biggest shock of my NYC life: Sheila was the “crazy” women who jumped out of the alley demanding child support payments from me!

That night, l packed my meager belongings. I had heard a song about going to Kansas City on the XM 60s station. It sounded like a pretty cool place. The lyric, “They got some crazy little women there” was a little troublesome. I just had to hope they weren’t as crazy as Shiela. I was going to Kansas City; Kansas City here I come.

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


Antanagoge (an’-ta-na’-go-gee): Putting a positive spin on something that is nevertheless acknowledged to be negative or difficult.

The oceans are rising. I used have to walk 100 yards to the beach from my summer home. Now, I only walk fifty yards to get to the nature-heated 85 degree ocean. These are the fruits of climate change—nothing bad about a hot ocean and a nearer shore! No more freezing chills up and down your spine when you try to swim. No more trudging to the beach and arriving tired from the trek. Then, there’s the diminishing bug population. What can be bad about that? I haven’t had to scrape a messy Monarch Butterfly off my car’s windshield in years! I remember what a pain in the butt it was—all that yellow goo and shattered orange and black wings. Thank God they’re going the way of the do-do. Then there’s birds. Those damn Passenger pigeons would fly over in the thousands, pooping mercilessly on everything below them. Luckily people loved how they tasted and market hunters with their sky canons blasted them into extinction. The last passenger pigeon was roasted and served with new potatoes, coleslaw, beets, boiled milkweed pods, and a bottle of “Dr. Grunt” a popular carbonated beverage made of sugar and water with a hint of ergot fungus. Finally: no more crap on the roof. But also, no more tasty bird on the table. But you know, nobody wants a crap coated roof. If you have to choose, you go for the roof. When the extinction was reported on the news, all the smart people gave a big “huzza” and started scraping the pigeon crap off their houses.

Instead of making climate change into a problem that needs be be solved, we should look at the positive things it has brought our way. Ten years ago, I was chased by a polar bear when I was minding my own business at the North Pole. These kinds of animals are a menace to humanity—they will eat you for God’s sake! Since I was chased, the Polar Ice Cap has melted a lot, leaving the damn polar bears to float around on breakaway icebergs until they drown. To say this is a bad thing is like saying winning the lotto is a bad thing!

Basically, I say you can shove your white rhino and run over a Darwin’s Fox tonight with your SUV! People are at the top of the food chain. Why treat some damn woodpecker or centipede like it was up there at the top like us? Next thing you know, we’ll be marrying Bambi’s mother or competing for jobs with raccoons! I say, look at the bright side. Just think if the only mammals running around out there were deer, cows, horses, sheep, and pigs. Just think if the only insects were honeybees. Just think if the only birds were chickens, turkeys, and ducks. Just think if the only plants were tomatoes, wheat, rice, corn, clover, and potatoes. Just think. A simple uncomplicated world with honey, duck meat, and cornbread is coming our way, courtesy of climate change. Take a deep breath and if you choke, be grateful. It’s the sound of better things coming. It’s the sound of change.

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

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Antenantiosis (an’-ten-an’-ti-os’-is): See litotes. (Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty [downplaying one’s accomplishments] in order to gain the audience’s favor [establishing ethos]).

I can’t believe you’re giving me the Lock and Lord Award for the service I’ve done on behalf of Holy Christ Firearms (HCF). When I first came to work at HCF I was a small self-contained man riven with fear and living in nearly constant anxiety about pooping in my pants on the shop floor. But when it happened, nobody seemed to mind. I was elated that nobody cared, and for the first time in my life, it was ok to poop my pants at work. My adult diaper held the mess from running down my leg, and it’s charcoal filter contained the stink. My colleagues’ selfless acceptance of my health issues made me open my heart, and want to rain down blessings of my own on HCF. My first blessing project, as you all know, was to make an attachment for our Galilee Six Shooter. The attachment makes the revolver into a hammer, a meat tenderizer, a gavel, or a laser pointer—four transformations that versatilitizes the handgun— temporarily turning a “sword” into a “plowshare.” We call the attachment the “Swiss Army Regimenter.” We’ve always heard good things about the Swiss Army, the knives they make, and the Wild uniforms they wear guarding the Vatican. We sent a “Regimenter” to the Pope and he blessed it and put it up for sale at the Vatican’s annual yard sale. Our “Regimenter” landed on a table with a piece of Joan of Arc’s dress, from before she started wearing armor. Next to Joan’s dress was a fragment of a communion wafer that Charlemagne choked on. Finally, there was a glass eye that had belonged to Bishop Fulton Sheen, the first televangelist. We all know he made Billy Graham look like a lost sheep wandering along the Protestant slow lane on the road to heaven. How baaad can it get? Ha ha!

My second blessing project was the “Sinners Around the Corner” rifle. It has a specially bent barrel that shoots around corners. If you’re in a shootout with a sinner, it keeps you out of harm’s way. Since you can’t see what you’re shouting at, there may be the occasional accident, but that is far outweighed by the bent barrel’s around-the-corner safety capability.

Oh darn. I pooped. I have to cut my speech short and go clean up in the men’s room. Let me conclude by saying how undeserving I am of this prestigious award. I am so grateful for your decision and the love that everyone has shown me, especially Ms. Binklo who has literally stood by me despite the gurgling and farting when I’ve had to let one go. Thank you Mindy. Thank you fellow workers. But especially, thank you Holy Christ Firearms—your aim is true.

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

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Anthimeria (an-thi-mer’-i-a): Substitution of one part of speech for another (such as a noun used as a verb).

He was a human “Ho-Ho.” I can’t explain it, but every time I saw Milt I started to laugh. Maybe my laughter came from basic meanness or some kind of incongruity between Milt and the way we’re supposed to look, and the way he looked. Milt must’ve dressed in the dark every morning. One day he showed up at work wearing one black polartec slipper and one patent leather dress shoe, red sweat pants, plaid flannel shirt, a blue necktie with a picture of a smiling Jesus on it, and a hat advertising baked beans. Standing there with his Tiger Wood coffee mug, he gave me a big smile and said “Hi Jim.” I tried to return the greeting, but I started uncontrollably sucking in air and my nose started snoffelling and my throat contracted, then, bam, out came a chuckle that turned into a guffaw, that turned into a roaring belly laugh. After it all subsided, I apologized to Milt and started to walk away. “Wait a minute,” he said. He told me he suffered from sartorial dyslexia (SD): an inability to dress right due to a genetically-based chemical imbalance in the part of the brain that processes wardrobe choices. He told me he inherited it, and that family gatherings were like fashion shows without fashion—everything from bathing suits with sports coats, to total nudity with one black Blundstone, and an Apple Watch. I was totally taken by surprise that Milt had a disease that prompted his bizarre clothing choices. I asked him if there was some kind of foundation I could donate to that helps people suffering from SD. He told me the most help I could give was to “Walk in my shoe for a day.”

So, the next morning I dressed in the dark—putting on whatever came to hand, whenever it came to hand. I ended up leaving the house with a Beatle boot on one foot and a penny loafer on the other, blue compression pants, a hunter orange polartec vest, and a navy-blue necktie with ducks on it (neckties were required at work). When I stepped out my door I instantly noticed that people were staring at me, some were laughing and pointing, same were yelling mean taunts—“Where’d you get dressed? In a blender?” That was the rudest. I didn’t even get to the subway before turning around and running with a shoe-induced limp back to my apartment. When I got there, I tore off my clothes and took a shower. I felt so bad for Milt.

I moved in with him and became his “dresser.” I would properly dress him every morning before we went to work. I even went to one of his family gatherings. It was a combination of a mescaline-induced Mardi Gras and a Hieronymus Bosch painting. I loved it! Anyway, we fell in love and got married. Every once-in-awhile, I get dressed in the dark and we drink beer, and we dance around the apartment and laugh.

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

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Anthypophora (an’-thi-po’-phor-a): A figure of reasoning in which one asks and then immediately answers one’s own questions (or raises and then settles imaginary objections). Reasoning aloud. Anthypophora sometimes takes the form of asking the audience or one’s adversary what can be said on a matter, and thus can involve both anacoenosis and apostrophe.

A: Am I the greatest? No. I’m just a little bit above average with a slight hint of genius.

B: What a crockarola! You’re a poster boy for less than average, if that. Is needing help paying the bills “above average with a hint of genius?” No. Is peeing on the toilet seat? No. Is losing the car keys? No. Is forgetting to pick our daughter up at daycare? No. Is spraying the garden with weed killer? No. I could sit here and cite examples of your loserhood all day long. What makes you think you’re “a little above average with a slight hint of genius?” As far as I can see you’re what people call “differently abled” when they’re trying to be kind.

A: Differently abled? No! No way. I guess you’ve forgotten about my giant rubber band ball? It’s bigger than a basketball and I’ve been meticulously adding to it for the past three years. I finished it last week and it looks great on the coffee table in the living room. Admit it.

B: Nope. It looks ridiculous.

A: What about the time I tried out being a nudist and went to the grocery store with no clothes on? I was front page news and was only fined $200.00. People still yell “Nudy Nudy” when they see me downtown. That’s fame. Is there a hint of genius there? Yes! What about the toilet paper holder I made out of a broom? You can’t deny it. Oh—what about when I got lost on our way to Maine and we discovered a whole new country called Canada? Or. . .

B: Ok, you win. You’re everything you say you are. Take your meds and shut up and I’ll turn on Fox News.

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

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Antimetabole (an’-ti-me-ta’-bo-lee): Repetition of words, in successive clauses, in reverse grammatical order.

I like my swimming pool, but my swimming pool does not like me. It fills with leaves, green slime and drowned mice. I bought a robot pool cleaner for $1,300, but all it does is bubble and ride around the bottom of the pool for hours before it automatically shuts off and I have to haul it in like a lobster trap. So, what do I like about my swimming pool?

My daughter’s 20-something friends! When they come over, they all wear scanty swimsuits and lay around in loose postures when they’re done swimming, and I take pictures with my iPhone. Sometimes they play volleyball on the court alongside the pool. I watch from my living room with binoculars, or I take videos from behind the pool house. You might think I might be a pervert, but I don’t think I am. If I was a real pervert, I would look at the pictures and videos all the time, in solitude, spinning fantasies. Instead, I hardly ever look at them, and I have friended all of my daughters friends on Facebook!

I have two Facebook pages—one the real me, the other, the fake me. I like the fake me better than the real me; fake me has 1,023 followers. Fake me is a 27 year-old test pilot for the US Air Force. Real me is a fifty-eight year-old computer programmer. I wear glasses, am overweight, and have a high-pitched voice. Fake me is 6’2’ with a broad-shouldered muscular physique. My fake me name is Captain Flash Bateson. I photoshopped my head (without glasses) over ‘Flash’s,’ using “youthification” software to make me look in my late 20s. When I log on I’m a kid again, doing something meaningful with my life, even if my life isn’t doing something meaningful with me. Then it happened.

My second wife (of three) Carmen found Captain Flash Bateson. She said he reminded her of a young version of her first husband, Marty Oswald. That was me! I couldn’t block her or she would know that something was up, so I decided to play along. Everything on the page was fake, except my cellphone number. The second I realized this, my phone rang. Trying to talk in a low gravelly voice, I answered. It was her. I told her I had retired from the Air Force and that I was terminally ill—my voice started to squeak as I told her I was bedridden and would probably die next week. She said: “My God. Marty, is that you?” I said “What? Who’s Marty? This is Captain Flash Bateson laying in bed waiting to die.” She hung up.

I liked fake me so much more than real me. Facebook had liberated me—freed me every night from dumb-ass Marty the computer programmer. I changed my cellphone number and booted up my Captain Flash page. With 1,023 followers, there there was surely somebody there to talk to, heaping praise on me for my service to our country, my bravery, and my good looks. It may be fake, but it beats being Marty. I got my first message in seconds. It was from “Fleshy MaMa”—a new admirer. I looked at her profile picture: Holy crap! It was Carmen when she was 25, before she turned into a fatty and started dying her hair bright red. “How’s it hangin’ Big Boy,” she asked. “A little to the left Golden Buns,” I answered, getting ready to fly into the wild blue yonder.

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

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

Big and little. Little and big. Big is often good. Big is often bad. Little isn’t often good, but it is often bad. I am big—6’ 5” and 340 lbs. I was football, all the way, all my life. My father put a helmet on my head when I turned 4 and my future was set. Football, football, football. I made it all the way to the pros, playing for the Hoboken Boxcars until finally my brain started rebelling. I became irritable, and eventually, enraged at everything. Road rage was my specialty. I would tailgate every car that got in front of me, even tapping rear bumpers with my car’s front bumper and beating up anybody who dared to pull over and confront me. One day I was driving behind some guy goin 50 in 55 speed zone, bumping his bumper with my bumper. He pulled over and so did I. I jumped out of my car and punched him in the face through his rolled up window. Glass flew everywhere. He was cut and bleeding. When I realized it was my dad, who I hadn’t seen in 20 years, I started crying and ran onto the freeway. I was clipped by a FEDEX truck and suffered multiple abrasions, a broken arm and a ruptured spleen. My Dad visited me in the hospital. He had cuts all over his face—one closed by stitches. He apologized for pushing me into football and contributing to my brain damage. We hugged and I haven’t seen him since.

I work as a bouncer now, and it fits my interests and capabilities. “The Litter Box Lounge” caters to a wild crowd—rogue actuaries, used car salespeople, hospital orderlies, techie coke heads, replica watch aficionados, Dollar Store shoppers, etc. I love the job because I get to beat up a couple of people every night. Tonight, I beat up a guy who was trying to pick up a woman who didn’t want to be picked up right then. She had given him her number but the guy insisted that “now” was the time. As I was escorting him to the door, he took a swing at me and I reduced him to a pile of laundry on the floor. I dragged him out the door by his shirt collar and pushed him into the gutter with my foot. When he hit the pavement his head rolled to the side. I recognized him! It was Clipper Limebutty! He had saved me from drowning when we were kids in high school. I owed him my life and now I was kicking him into the gutter. He woke up, pulled a gun and shot me twice in the stomach. As I lay there bleeding on the pavement, I thanked Clipper for saving my life for the second time. He thought I was making fun of him and he shot me two more times. I had read somewhere that non-fatal bullet wounds could make you a better person. I wasn’t trying to be funny.

I smiled at the big starry sky as they loaded me into the ambulance. Clipper stood there in handcuffs, bleeding from the nose with his face beginning to swell.

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


Antiprosopopoeia (an-ti-pro-so-po-pe’-i-a): The representation of persons [or other animate beings] as inanimate objects. This inversion of prosopopoeia or personification can simply be the use of a metaphor to depict or describe a person [or other animate being].

The race was on! The 10th annual “Walker Run” at Our Lady of the Soiled Linens, a nursing home that stays afloat with constant Go Fund Me appeals and the kindness of a Mr. D.B. Cooper, a parachuting enthusiast who donated a pile of money after recovering from two broken legs and a broken collarbone and being cared for at Our Lady of the Soiled Linens .

My doctor tells me that “with luck” I have fourteen months to live. It is imperative that I win the race—even though I feel like a million dollars, I know the doctor’s right. He gave Mrs. Tellby ten months, and boom, she checked out in ten months.

I bought a lightweight titanium racing walker on Amazon. It can be filled with helium to make it lighter. The wheels are repurposed skateboard wheels and it has no brakes (to get rid of extra weight). The rear crutch tips have been replaced with Kevlar sliders. I would’ve replaced them with wheels, but all the racing walkers have to conform to normal Walker specs—that means only two front wheels, and of course, no motors!

My only real competition is Col. Von Gruen. Everybody else competes just to get some fresh air and sunshine, working on their Vitamin D deficiencies and their alienation from nature. Anyway, Von Gruen’s Walker is a black 1994 Rover. It has none of the modifications that mine has and he’s never failed to beat me in the past, until I got rid of my 1989 Trekker. Now that I’ve got a 2020 titanium Light Walker, I am going to kick his butt.

We line up on the starting line. It’s fifty feet to the finish line— I feel like Big Daddy Don Garlits lined up at Meadowlands, ready to rock. I am a dragster! I grip my walker and wait for the green light. Von Gruen is right next to me. We are almost shoulder to shoulder. He turns and says to me, “I am dying day after tomorrow, the Doctor told me.” Putting on my best scowl, I say “So what?” Von Gruen says, “Let me win.” Just then, the light turned green and off we went. I got half-way to the finish line and slowed down on purpose to let Von Gruen win. He was gonna die on Friday and it seemed like the right thing to do. Two weeks later he was still alive. I was enraged. I walked down the hall, burst into his room, and threw his ‘94 Rover out the window. He died the next day. He left me his walker and the $35.00 he had won for winning his final race.

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


Antirrhesis (an-tir-rhee’-sis): Rejecting reprehensively the opinion or authority of someone.

Hey Ma, listen to this: our little schooly girl is trying t’ tell me the earth is round like a big tomato floatin’ in the sky with all us a livin’ on it, like ants on a gum ball. She says her teacher, Miss Toomy, said it’s true. Well, I’ll tell you right now that Miss Toomy should be fired. It’s like when she told our little girl our well water comes from rivers under the earth! God, is she ignorant! We all know the water is left over from the big rain storm when Noah sailed his boat around filled with animals—mainly chickens. When it stopped raining Noah went swimming and had a great time. Too bad he only had two ducks. And where did I get these true facts from? It was Grandma’s home schooling. She taught me more in two weeks than that ignoramus looser Miss Toomy could teach you in 200 years. Me an’ Grandma would sit on the couch and she would teach me a lesson. I did not know how to write, so I’d put the lesson in my vast storehouse memory. When Grandma tested me, I did not remember any of the answers. She would say, “It’s all right, Bob Dole never remembered nothin’ either, yet he opened a corn dog factory in Kansas and made a lot of money.” Grandma knew everything. Some days we’d take the tractor out and Grandma would teach me the road signs: red for stop, curved arrow for curve, cross for intersection, triangle for merge. My favorite was speed limits where I had to match the numbers on the sign with the numbers the arrow pointed to on the speed meter in front of me. Top speed for the tractor was 25, so there was lot’s of times I couldn’t make a match. Grandma would say “Put the pedal to the metal!” I didn’t get it. Grandma said that it was my poetry lesson.

Anyways, we need to get rid of Miss Toomy and her communist pervert propaganda that will surely ruin our daughter’s chance for success in our little corner on the world. As soon as she lets it leak that she thinks the earth is round, they’ll put her on a bus and send her north, where they believe that kind of blasphemic crap. I think we should go to the school board meetin’ on Tuesday. I’ll give a speech callin’ for Miss Toomy to quit or be fired.

At the meeting I was told to shut up and sit down. Miss Toomy is Mayor Toomy’s niece. I shoulda figured that out— you know—two Toomys. Now I’m lookin’ for a steady job. I think I have a crack at “rag man” at the car wash. I’m real good at wringin’ and operatin’ a squeegee.

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

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.


Antisagoge (an-tis-a-go’-gee): 1. Making a concession before making one’s point (=paromologia); 2. Using a hypothetical situation or a precept to illustrate antithetical alternative consequences, typically promises of reward and punishment.

Ok, ok. So I shouldn’t have tried to incinerate our neighbor’s dog. But, it dumps big steamers in our yard twice a day and has repeatedly dug up our garden boxes. Our neighbor, the dog’s owner, is a very large and very strong weight-lifting violent troll whose hobby is kick boxing with his nine-year-old son (who has a little trouble speaking and walks with a limp). In short, my neighbor scares the holy crap out of me. At least he didn’t catch me squirting lighter fluid on his dog “Dog,” a name suited for the pet of a giant nitwit bully. Right then, I heard him crunching up my gravel driveway. I had to hide behind the hedge until he left—but before he left, like the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, he said “Fee fie foe dude, I smell the smell of lighter fluid.” I nearly peed my shorts, but I stayed quiet and didn’t do a panicked runner. He knew I was hiding somewhere nearby, but he left, dragging Dog behind hm.

Something still needs to be done about the dog.

I was willing to go to any length to whack the dog—to stop the yard bombs and the marathon barking sessions. What if I trapped him in a dog crate with a big piece of meat, kidnapped him, took him on a cruise on the Queen Mary 2 to England, and threw him overboard somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Elaborate, but brilliant.

The plan failed. My neighbor accompanied Dog on his daily bombing mission and saw me, the dog crate, and the meat inside it. He reached behind him and pulled out a pistol. He aimed it at me and slowly panned toward the dog crate and started firing. He emptied the gun and the dog crate was transformed into a lump of smoking plastic. He started reloading, and I heard police sirens. My neighbor was arrested for attempted murder—for attempting to murder me! Ha ha! He had successfully murdered the dog crate, but I didn’t have a scratch. At his trial, I testified that I was inside the dog crate when he arrived and was able to just barely get out of it when he started shooting. I told them I was lucky to be alive. My neighbor was convicted of attempted murder and is currently living out his 25 year sentence at Rahway State Prison. I adopted Dog and trained him to shut up and poop in the gutter when we take walks. I don’t mind bagging Dog’s poop.

Everything has worked out for the best for me, but not for my neighbor, and Dog has become a model multiple breed dog, enjoying peeing on the fake fire hydrant at the doggy play park, humping other dogs, and begging for doggy treats.

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

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Antistasis (an-ti’-sta-sis): The repetition of a word in a contrary sense. Often, simply synonymous with antanaclasis.

I have a collection of single socks that rivals the collection at the Victoria and Albert museum in London, England. The prize item in their collection is the single grey sock Oliver Cromwell was wearing when he was disinterred and “executed” by supporters of Charles II. His head was removed and stuck on a pike, with, some say, his death-sock stuffed in what was left of his mouth after months in the ground in a churchyard somewhere in London. Ravens plucked out his eyes while buskers plucked out happy tunes on their mandolins.

My single sock collection is worth at least a half-million dollars. Since I’m a licensed collector, I have a permit to rifle through peoples’ trash bins, as long as I don’t make a mess. I specialize in celebrity trash bins rummaging for (you guessed it) their discarded single socks. Last week, I scored a “Jeff Goldbloom” from a bin in front his flat in New York. It is one of those stretchy black socks made out of very thin polyester. It has a tiny hole in the toe and is monogrammed with his initials. It has a slightly perfumed odor, suggestive of moss and pine needles. This sock is probably worth at least $500. My prize sock was worn by Johnny Depp under his swashbucklers as Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” “Pirates” was the first time I hung out on a movie set, and it was worth it. Depp’s sock was made from baby-blue spun cotton, with a padded white toe. It smells faintly of salt water and steamed clams, and also has a slight fishy smell, most likely Pollock or Cod. Depp’s sock has been appraised by Sotheby’s at $110,000.

I will be opening a single-sock museum in Los Angles in two months. It will be called simply “Single Celebrity Socks.” I will be selling replica celebrity sock singles in the gift shop, along with postcards, and my book “Stalking the Celebrity Sock.” This week, I’m parked outside of the Christian Evangelist Joel Olsteen’s unbelievably lavish home in Houston, Texas. It is rumored that he has the Ten Commandments embroidered on his socks. Something’s bound to turn up if I wait long enough—I’m giving it a month—then I’m headed to Elon Musk’s.

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

Paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope are available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.


Antisthecon (an-tis’-the-con): Substitution of one sound, syllable, or letter for another within a word. A kind of metaplasm: the general term for changes to word spelling.

I was going snackelling under the Caribbean Sea. You ask: What the hell is that? It is probably the most stupid immature thing I’ve ever done. I was 35 years old. Starting to get a few gray hairs, and softening up, as time took its toll on my muscles. I wore reading glasses and had quit smoking my cherished Cohibas. Yet, here I was wading into the beautiful clear turquoise-blue Caribbean, like I had around 15 years ago, on spring break with my buddies Edward and Phil and Joanne. We invented a game to play when we went snorkeling—we cut up carrots from the hotel’s salad bar into little pieces. We’d put the pieces into baggies and take them under water. Then, once we got into the middle of a school of fish, we’d put a piece of carrot between our lips and the fish would swim up to our faces and grab the carrots—we named this game “snackelling.” Now, I had returned to the Bahamas on a business trip, meeting with hoteliers to discuss their restaurant equipment needs—that’s what I did—I sold ovens, dishwashers, prep tables and everything else needed to properly equip a hotel kitchen. Feeling like I was drifting into middle age, I decided to do a reprise of snackelling. I picked up a carrot at the breakfast buffet, diced it up, and dumped the pieces into a baggie I got from the chef. I headed to the dock, and hired a guide with a little motorboat. When we got about 100 yards offshore, I put on fins and mask, bit down on the snorkel’s mouthpiece, jumped out of the boat, and headed down. I swam directly into a school of Surgeon Fish. I put a piece of carrot between my lips. Suddenly, the whole school of fish disappeared. I looked up and there was a Barracuda headed straight for my face. I froze in terror and the Barracuda bit my nose off. Bleeding profusely from my nose, I swam as fast as I could to the surface where my guide was waiting. I kept kicking the Barracuda away, and finally climbed into the boat. Sticking pieces of carrot into what was left of my nose, I was able to slow the bleeding. We headed for the emergency room where my nose was stitched together with some pieces missing that were temporarily replaced with pieces of foam rubber cut by the surgeon from a shower mat. Since then, I’ve had nose replacement surgery, opting for the “Klinger.” The Klinger is named for a character on M.A.S.H., a TV show that ran in the 70s and 80s. My Klinger is memorable and prompts people to ask about my ethnicity, something my original “Scottish” nose never did. Even with the new nose, I can’t forget what happened to me. Every time I hear somebody say, “The nose knows,” I think to myself, “My nose was eaten by a fish.”

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

Paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope are available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.