Tag Archives: trope

Metastasis

Metastasis (me-tas’-ta-sis): Denying and turning back on your adversaries arguments used against you.


Incite? I think you meant insight. This is what I think: Your hearings are doing the inciting. As patriotic Americans hear your lies about the peaceful visitors on a guided tour of the Capitol on January 6th, who were met and ejected from the building by force, by order of Nancy Pelosi, they have become very angry and mistrustful of the federal government’s role in all of this. They might even think the right thing to do at this point is to burn down the Capitol with all the Democrat Representatives, and the two Republican traitors, locked inside.

I’m not inciting anything here today with my remarks, and, by the way. I’m just speculating like you are. You’re running a guessing game, so can I. But my guesses are based in facts. Yours are based in lies about a group of innocent tourists who were violently ejected from the Capitol by overzealous police, who attacked them on orders from Pelosi. She’s the one you should be questioning and charging with crimes against the American people. She’s the one who should go to prison. She’s a disgrace.


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

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Metonymy

Metonymy (me-ton’-y-my): Reference to something or someone by naming one of its attributes. [This may include effects or any of the four Aristotelian causes {efficient/maker/inventor, material, formal/shape, final/purpose}.]


Palm Beach Fats sat on his golf cart throne surveying his swimming pool, sipping a Diet Coke, and slopping away at a double large breakfast burrito supreme. He held the big burrito with his well-manicured baby-size grippers.

He had told 20 lies already and it was only 9.30 in the morning.

He was warming up for the night’s rally in Virginia with his loyal lump. “They love me more than God,” he muttered as he vigorously scratched his rear end with his smaller-than-average index finger.


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

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Ominatio

Ominatio (o-mi-na’-ti-o): A prophecy of evil.


I say, the world will become a terrible place: Wild-eyed, uncaring, ignorant, belligerent people will go into retail sales at a place named after a River. Their mantra will be “the customer is an ass” as they pack boxes and envelopes and load them on trucks in a filthy windowless warehouse outside Seattle. They will delight in sending empty packages from time to time knowing the vexations it will cause customers who can’t understand the arcane refund policies.

Lo, shopping will become ‘on-line’ and people will be required to have credit cards, ensnared by banks in the cashless internet. “MasterCard” or “Visa” accepted will replace “come on in” as face-to-face commerce fades and the human touch is replaced by filling in an order form and offering your account number to nobody—a bot without a soul.


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

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Onedismus

Onedismus (on-e-dis’-mus): Reproaching someone for being impious or ungrateful.


You act like God is a pimp, there to procure whatever you desire. Your prayers are like telling Santa what you want for Christmas. You’re too self-absorbed to ever be considered a person of faith. Stop calling yourself Godly. Reflect and reconsider your life’s trajectory.


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

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Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia (on-o-mat-o-pee’-a): Using or inventing a word whose sound imitates that which it names (the union of phonetics and semantics).


When Trump walked quickly, his XXL adult diaper made a sloshing sound signaling Melania it was time for a change. Given that they were in Florida, she called Gov. DeSantis. “You promised,” Melania said in a threatening tone of voice. “No is not an option for you little man. He stinks and Junior is nowhere to be found. Do you want to stay Governor? Do you want to see sunrise tomorrow?”

DeSantis came in by chopper 15 minutes later—you could hear it’s budda budda budda as it circled Mar-a-Lago. He hopped out wearing rubber gloves and a gas mask and carrying a big plastic bag filled with XXL butt wipes. “Let’s do this” he said as he snapped his rubber gloves around his wrists.

As he walked in, he saw a sleeping Trump laying in his diaper on a large custom-built changing table decorated with gold angels and rhinestones.

“He’s sedated,” Melania informed DeSantis. “Thank God for that!” DeSantis exclaimed as a reached for the diaper’s Velcro tab. It made a scrooching sound as he pulled it open. Then, DeSantis tightened his gas mask and went in. He pulled out one of the baby-blanket size butt wipes when suddenly Trump woke up, and leaving his soiled diaper behind, jumped off the table, and walked quickly toward the swimming pool. His white terrycloth spa slippers softly flip-flopping on the tile floor.

“Don’t worry, sometime he want to clean himself. He uses pool,” Melania told DeSantis.


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

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Orcos

Orcos (or’-kos): Swearing that a statement is true.


I swear to all I revere and hold holy that I am about to tell the truth. You have my assurance that I won’t lie about something as important as this. Prevarication is off the table as are fibbing, bs’ing, telling whoppers, and bearing false witness.

What was the question, again?


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

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Oxymoron

Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.


She was a beautiful mess: simultaneously attractive and repelling, like durian, like deadly nightshade. I loved her and I hated her. I was torn in half, and fought with myself to embrace the better half.


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

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Paenismus

Paenismus (pai-nis’-mus): Expressing joy for blessings obtained or an evil avoided.


Wee haaa! Another sunny day! Let’s try to finish painting the house today.


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

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Palilogia

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


Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! He stole my wallet! Credit card! Cash! Shit! Your brother is a criminal bastard. We never should’ve taken him in. I’m calling the police—they can take him in now!


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

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Parabola

Parabola (par-ab’-o-la): The explicit drawing of a parallel between two essentially dissimilar things, especially with a moral or didactic purpose. A parable.


Life is a cardboard box: Sometimes it’s empty, sometimes it’s not. Either way, full and empty don’t mark it as better or worse.


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

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Paragoge

Paragoge (par-a-go’-ge): The addition of a letter or syllable to the end of a word. A kind of metaplasm.


I got so smartarola playing Popper Knock! It’s way too complicated to explain, but there is popping and knocking involved. I say, give it a try-o! Just get yourself a pair of leather gloves and a face shield and you’re almost there. Popper Knock!


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

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Paralipsis

Paralipsis (par-a-lip’-sis): Stating and drawing attention to something in the very act of pretending to pass it over (see also cataphasis). A kind of irony.


God knows we’ve talked about universal health care enough. It’s not like we haven’t had this conversation—this conversation about raising taxes on the rich—making a micro-scratch on the surface of their glittering wealth, while freeing billions of dollars to save lives and keep us healthy—our eyes, our insides, our teeth—everything!


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

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Paramythia

Paramythia (pa-ra-mee’-thi-a): An expression of consolation and encouragement.


I’m so sorry your son Jr. is giving drug-fueled speeches on your behalf. It’s like having an overflowing porta-potty on your otherwise gleaming sweet-smelling team. But you’ve been through worse—Stormy Daniels is your benchmark for the bottom, and you got through that with only a scratch. Oh, we can’t forget the impeachments—they didn’t make a dent. Oh yes—and the kids in cages at the border: hardly a ripple. Really, the only thing slowing you down is the truth. Just keep telling lies, the bigger the better, and you’ll be our first Dictator by the end of August. Relax and enjoy the sidelines for a little while. Everything’s going to be ok.


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

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Paraprosdokian

Paraprosdokian: A figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase [or series = anticlimax] is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe the first part. . . . For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists. An especially clever paraprosdokian not only changes the meaning of an early phrase, but also plays on the double meaning of a particular word.(1)


I turned Right on the Highway of Life and it was full of potholes.


1. “Paraprosdokian.” WikipediaThe Free Encyclopedia. 4 Jan 2008, 03:30 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 9 Jan 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraprosdokian>.

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Peregmenon

Paregmenon (pa-reg’-men-on): A general term for the repetition of a word or its cognates in a short sentence. Often, but not always, polyptoton.


Trump. Trump. Trump. His name sounds like a flat tire slapping the pavement. And like a flat tire, he’s a pain in the ass. When is he going to go far, far, far, far away? Maybe like Napoleon he should be exiled to an island. Coney Island fits his character. But North Brother Island in New York’s East River might be the right place.

The island operated until 1943 as a “quarantine station for people suffering from infectious diseases like tuberculosis, smallpox, measles, and typhoid fever.” ( https://interactive.wttw.com/urbannature/new-yorks-deserted-island#!/)

I think it is appropriate to view Trump as a vector—as a carrier of immorality and criminal tendencies. Getting him out there alone without social media in the middle of the East River will save a lot of gullible people from being conned and robbed.

Exile! Exile! Exile!


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

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Paroemion

Paroemion (par-mi’-on): Alliteration taken to an extreme where nearly every word in a sentence begins with the same consonant. Sometimes, simply a synonym for alliteration or for homoeoprophoron [a stylistic vice].


I’m digging deep in the dense dirt, displaying determination. Done! Now we plant the little peach tree, hoping it will grow and flourish like the little apple tree we planted years ago. You were a child, and I was pretty old already.


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

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Paromologia

Paromologia (par-o-mo-lo’-gi-a): Conceding an argument, either jestingly and contemptuously, or to prove a more important point. A synonym for concessio.


Yeah, you’re right about something for the first time since I’ve known you! But how trivial does it get? So what if I took the batteries out of your stupid toy? I needed them for my flashlight so I could fix the sink drain. Instead of calling it “stealing” you should think of another way of putting it—how about “took”? I’m not a thief, but you are an idiot. We need a little more trust around here. Ok, I’m sorry I called you an idiot. Maybe I’m an idiot for not asking to borrow the batteries.


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

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Paronomasia

Paronomasia (pa-ro-no-ma’-si-a): Using words that sound alike but that differ in meaning (punning).


My porpoise in life is to just squeak bye.


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

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Parrhesia

Parrhesia (par-rez’-i-a): Either to speak candidly or to ask forgiveness for so speaking. Sometimes considered a vice.


Her: I’m sorry, but I just have tell you: your husband is gone along with all the money in your joint checking account. He sold your car and his ride mower last night while you were sleeping. He’s headed for Vegas, where—guess what? He’s divorcing you and getting remarried as soon as the divorce goes through.

Wife: That bastard! I knew he’d do something like this some day. How do you know all this?

Her: I’m leaving for Vegas on the 5.30 flight. As your neighbor and friend, I figured I should be the one to tell you what’s going on.


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

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Pathopoeia

Pathopoeia ( path-o-poy’-a): A general term for speech that moves hearers emotionally, especially as the speaker attempts to elicit an emotional response by way of demonstrating his/her own feelings (exuscitatio). Melanchthon explains that this effect is achieved by making reference to any of a variety of pathetic circumstances: the time, one’s gender, age, location, etc.


He was born in 1946–at the end of WWII. He grew up in the 1950s—he volunteered to take the experimental polio vaccine, he watched Howdy Doody and Rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and played first base in Little League. He barely graduated from high school in 1966. He joined the Army and went to Vietnam. After that, he went to Woodstock. He bought a Triumph Thunderbolt and wandered around America on two wheels. He took a lot of acid, and learned how to do leatherwork, ending up in Monterey, CA, working in a small leather shop overlooking the Bay. One day, he decided to go to college on the GI Bill. He started out at a community college where they had open admissions. He got an Associate’s Degree and applied to the UC system, and was admitted to UC Santa Barbara. He graduated with a Masters and then went on to get a PhD from the University of Washington. He was a professor for many years. After 2 failed marriages, he met his current wife and they have a beautiful daughter. Their lives overflowed with love.

In every direction I look, I see tearful people, people remembering the goodness of this man and feeling the bonds of friendship that tied their lives, but no more. Now, there are memories—ephemeral traces and visions of what no longer exists, but affects us all as if he was seated there among you.

Goodbye my friend—my truest friend. Goodbye forever.


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

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Perclusio

Perclusio (per-clu’-si-o): A threat against someone, or something.


He: If you don’t get off your fat ass and start cooking dinner by the time I count to ten, we’re going to play the abusive husband game again.

He: Where the hell did you get that huge knife? Put it down dumbo. Ow damn—you cut my friggin’ pinkie off. Call 911! I’m bleeding!

He: What do you mean, you hate me and you’re calling the police? If you call the police, I’ll tell them you cut off my pinkie. You’ll be arrested and I’ll be sitting here with stitches and a bandage watching Wheel of Fortune with our neighbor’s wife.

He: What? I NEVER beat you. Prove it. Oh, the video on your phone. So what? How’d you get it on Facebook? Hmmm. Well, I’m screwed. Thanks. I’m outta here. It’s been hell knowing you.

She: Go! I was a normal person when I met you. Now, I hide in the shadows, fearful of your constant wrath. Go! Get out! Go find another victim. Or better yet, die. I’m going to get help and restore my soul.


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

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Periergia

Periergia (pe-ri-er’-gi-a): Overuse of words or figures of speech. As such, it may simply be considered synonymous with macrologia. However, as Puttenham’s term suggests, periergia may differ from simple superfluity in that the language appears over-labored.


The unchained melody climbed the staircase of my mind, skipping a step every two steps, like a frog in full-hop on the slanted plane. I felt like a rubber boot starring in a 21st century version of Cinderella; a boot that was “gripping” in its performance, as the eiderdown-like like dust blowing in the window made things slippery and threatened me with a fall. I laid on the dirty sticky floor, rather than fall on its splattered remnants of spilled food, alcoholic beverages, and fragments of plastic toys.

Suddenly, I woke up in the bathtub choking on soapy grey water. My tiny tugboat had sunk and the tub’s water was lukewarm like urine.


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

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Period

Period: The periodic sentence, characterized by the suspension of the completion of sense until its end. This has been more possible and favored in Greek and Latin, languages already favoring the end position for the verb, but has been approximated in uninflected languages such as English. [This figure may also engender surprise or suspense–consequences of what Kenneth Burke views as ‘appeals’ of information.


We set our lives, inevitably, inconsolably, wickedly, painfully, faithfully by time. Hours and hours, into boredom’s dread. Minute by minute into the throes of anxiety fearful of not “finishing” in time. Seconds pass predictably in countdowns to New Years or birthdays, competitions of all kinds: swimming, racing horses, running, holding one’s breath.

And the seasons pass—timed by their climates’ characteristics: warm, hot, chilly, cold. And to each season measures must be taken to adapt; to fit: with the right clothing (and more). Buried in the seasons broadly understood, like seasoning, is the idea of what is appropriate or fitting: the right time for . . . . This is the Kairos—celebrated and elucidated in Ecclesiastes.

Kairos is the most important time. It bears the weight of the quality of your life’s episodes, for better and for worse. It gives your life meaning. It gives your life purpose. Always know what time it is. Whether Chronos or Kairos, time is time.


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

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Periphrasis

Periphrasis (per-if’-ra-sis): The substitution of a descriptive word or phrase for a proper name (a species of circumlocution); or, conversely, the use of a proper name as a shorthand to stand for qualities associated with it. (Circumlocutions are rhetorically useful as euphemisms, as a method of amplification, or to hint at something without stating it.)


Hey look, it’s The Liar—fooling all of his followers all of the time. His technique is to appear to believe himself, himself. He affects righteous indignation all day every day, floating his lies on it with a raised voice, rolling eyes and wild gestures. The only time he slows down is to compliment Newsmax, because they compliment him and repeat his lies.

Lincoln was the Great Emancipator. Trump is the Great Prevaricator. Both Republicans. Two different trajectories. One directed us to affect charity toward the defeated after a war, the other, directs us to affect malice toward the winners after an election. Trump’s rebuke is a raw display of his sense of entitlement’s delusional inability to deal with democracy—to accept the majority’s voice as a guarantor of the Republic’s future. Prince Donald sees it differently. He believes he has a right (maybe divine) to be President and that that right has been usurped by a “stolen” election. Yes, “stolen” from him by the will of the people.


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

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Personification

Personification: Reference to abstractions or inanimate objects as though they had human qualities or abilities. The English term for prosopopeia (pro-so-po-pe’-i-a) or ethopoeia (e-tho-po’-ia): the description and portrayal of a character (natural propensities, manners and affections, etc.).


The onions said nothing, but they made me cry. Maybe they were telling me that silence isn’t golden after all. Or maybe I wasn’t crying. Maybe my eyes were just irritated by the onion as I chopped it into little pieces. My knife said “Go Johnny, mince that little sucker!” Then I thought: There’s violence in the kitchen—the ruthless cutting, peeling, poking, boiling, baking, sautéing, frying, chopping, tossing, pounding. Meat, fish, vegetables, birds, it doesn’t matter. Then I thought: OMG, smoothies! Whirring razor-sharp blades slashing solids into liquids.

There is violence up and down the vegetable food chain. Yanking a happy red tomato off its vine. Digging a snug russet potato up by its roots. Cutting a resting rhubarb leaf away from its mother plant. Ripping young corn cobs from their trembling stalks. Thrashing helpless grain.

But hey, we’ve got to eat.


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

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