Tag Archives: trope

Asteismus

Asteismus (as-te-is’-mus): Polite or genteel mockery. More specifically, a figure of reply in which the answerer catches a certain word and throws it back to the first speaker with an unexpected twist. Less frequently, a witty use of allegory or comparison, such as when a literal and an allegorical meaning are both implied.

Don: The election was stolen.

Normal Person: From where I’m sitting, it looks like your sanity was stolen.

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

Paper and Kindle versions of The Daily Trope are available at Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Astrothesia

Astrothesia (as-tro-the’-si-a): A vivid description of stars. One type of enargia.

Lode Star. Pole star. North Star. Without the stars, our ancient forebears would have had nothing to guide them across the open sea.

So much has depended on the stars—from astrology and navigation, to the story of Christ’s birth in the town of Bethlehem.

In recent centuries, noteworthy competitors are called stars: they metaphorically reign on high—Muhammad Ali, Joni Mitchell, Robin Williams—we look up to them like stars shedding their faint light from the edge of the void in night’s all-encompassing darkness, whether alive or dead, their stars shine, and prompting reflection on the stars’ excellence, we may set a course that accords with their course and, like sailors, we may find our direction on life’s open seas.

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

A version of The Daily Trope is available under the title The Book of Tropes at Amazon in paper and Kindle formats.

Asyndeton

Asyndeton (a-syn’-de-ton): The omission of conjunctions between clauses, often resulting in a hurried rhythm or vehement effect. [Compare brachylogia. Opposite of polysyndeton.]

Hope, faith, charity: the tines of a dull rake tearing at my heart with their scathing absence. I am unable, unwilling, uninvited: unhopeful, unfaithful, uncharitable. I fear. I scoff. I take. There is no forgiveness from anybody anywhere that assuages blunders, bad choices, wrong turns. Only time and forgetting clear the way. But still, we are doomed by our moral compass to navigate toward the abyss. The darkness. The infinite. The void. The end.

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

Print and Kindle versions of The Daily Trope are available from Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Auxesis

Auxesis (ok-see’-sis): (1) Arranging words or clauses in a sequence of increasing force. In this sense, auxesis is comparable to climax and has sometimes been called incrementum. (2) A figure of speech in which something is referred to in terms disproportionately large (a kind of exaggeration or hyperbole). (3) Amplification in general.

(1) We are born. We crawl. We walk. We run. We never get there. Life is like a dull knife—more likely to fatally cut you than a well-sharpened piece of steel, as you push its chipped edge forward and try to carve out your desired future, it slips out of time and guts you.

(2) My credit card is like a license plate affixed to a red limo going 125 MPH toward the gates of Heaven. It vibrates with luxury, fine dining, and gold. It is my partner, my joy, my dream come true, until the end of the month when I cut it up and steal a new one.

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

Print and Kindle versions of The Daily Trope are available from Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Bdelygmia

Bdelygmia (del-ig’-mi-a): Expressing hatred and abhorrence of a person, word, or deed.

Utilize. Where the hell did utilize come from? Why not just say “use?” The people who use utilize instead of use, use a Latinized version of a simple word: “ize” gives the little word bigness, importance, status. At least that’s what the word’s users think. Idiots. Twits. Losers. When I hear it, I hate it, the hatred rubs off on the users of utilize.

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

A version of The Daily Trope is available from Amazon in print and Kindle formats under the title The Book of Tropes.

Bomphiologia

Bomphiologia (bom-phi-o-lo’-gi-a): Exaggeration done in a self-aggrandizing manner, as a braggart.

When the election was stolen from me, I was a little upset. My followers were so upset, out of love for me and my amazing leadership talent, they decided to stage a coup (all on their own). Given their undying affection, they moved. They beat police with flagpoles and a couple fire extinguishers and concealed clubs: all they did was look at me, downtrodden and jacked around, and their anger spontaneously flowed.

They love me, worship me, and have faith in me like their savior. I am their savior. Maybe they’ll riot. Maybe they’ll kill Biden. It won’t be my fault. I am beautiful and they love me.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae”

A version of The Daily Trope is available from Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Brachylogia

Brachylogia (brach-y-lo’-gi-a): The absence of conjunctions between single words. Compare asyndeton. The effect of brachylogia is a broken, hurried delivery.

Tired. Hungry. Crazy. I peek out the broken window—the window broken by a single shot fired from across the street. It has finally happened—goddamn—another bullet whizzes through the window, killing the cat and lodging in the floor. My daughter cries uncontrollably. My wife stands up and moves toward the window yelling, “Who the fuck are you? What the fuck are you doing? What do you want?” She’s answered by a clean shot to the forehead, killing her instantly. My daughter and I will be dying soon and we know it. Regretful. Terrified. Resigned. We look out the window and silently wait.

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

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Cacozelia

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

I felt the parameters of my television crumble when my streaming box went slo-mo into a pantheon of stretched words and images. It was like floating on a sea of hardening cement with a stingray protruding from my crusted trousers. My soul filibustered my body’s ganglia. My eyes started watering and I snapped back only to find my goldfish Karma 27 crushed on the floor, eyeballs protruding like black and grey glass balls

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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paper and Kindle formats under the title Book of Tropes.

Effictio

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

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

His dyed blond hair is frozen by hairspray into a combination of a rolling wave and a Dairy Queen. His face and tiny hands are covered with bronzing cream making them look like a too-thick cadaver paint job performed by an angry mortician. His eyes are dull blue like spun aluminum moon hubcaps from the sixties. His mouth looks like a banana, peeled, cut sideways, and dyed with Red Dye 40. His teeth look like stunted piano keys superglued to his gums. His neck has a turkey wattle that swings in the wind. In calm weather it looks like labia. His loosely fitting white golf shirt can’t hide his robust boobs with little man-sized nipples pointing the way to the next faux pas. His watermelon belly is suggestive of an early pregnancy. He has an ass the size of North Carolina. It sticks out at right angles to his back. It actually provides a shelf that nobody dares to set anything on except envelopes filled with cash. His penis has been characterized as a “little mushroom” however there is some controversy over whether it looks more like a little toadstool. Having never seen it myself, I can’t say one way or the other, but I think “mushroom” is probably more accurate, given the source. In any event, “little” is the operative term. Legs and feet are what you would expect: legs like flabby gyros ready for the rotating spit; feet a bone spur museum curated by a crooked doctor from New York: try to find the bone spurs.

All-in-all this man’s appearance is a parody of Charles Atlas, the famous 1960s body builder whose image plagues old men with his tanned bodily perfection; old men who never made the mark.

Who is this man who still longs for the Charles Atlas look–who unsuccessfully uses hair and skin dye to approximate his boyhood hope? Who is unable to do anything below his neck to camouflage his failure? He is the President of the United States, Donald Trump.

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu) Buy a print version of The Daily Trope! The print version is titled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.

Ellipsis

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

Never a borrower . . . Get my drift? I can’t believe you want to bid on one of Mick Jagger’s cigarette butts from the sixties. Next you’re going buy a chunk of Jerry Lee Lewis’ ear wax. Be crazy if you want to be, but I’m not paying for it, even though you call it a loan. You still haven’t paid me back the money you borrowed for the Chuck Berry auction where you managed to get a pair of his underpants for $300.00. I loaned you $500.00 for that psychotic episode. So, fool me once . . . Got it? Never again. Not a penny.

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

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Enallage

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

We try harder than we’d like to admit. Overdone? Over-stressed? Broken like a little toy plastic car crushed by a careless foot on the way to the kitchen. The kitchen: oriented toward satisfying the stomach. Peanut butter. Olives. Canned tuna. Beer. Potato chips. Endless condiments. Cheese. Fake sour cream. Pasta, pasta, pasta. Rice. All there in the Kitchen. A community of food drunk, chewed and swallowed: disappearing in the darkness of the oral cavity, slurped, and torn and ground, by practical teeth that can bite and chew.

What do I care. What. Do I care? I have a knife that slices and dices. I have sliced but I’ve never diced. Why do I crawl to you? Why do I talk to you? Why do I sacrifice myself to you? We mark time by the shit you put me through. Your belly is soft, my thoughts are cruel. It’s the knife that talks to me–that moves my hand.

It’s the hydroxychloroquine. They warned me it could make me psychotic. I didn’t listen. I wanted an easy way around the pandemic. It’s all your fucking fault with your hand washing and your mask. See this? It will cure you of everything once and for all. Shut up: you look like a hula girl, like an egg, like a beautiful flower. You are so red, like a strawberry, like ketchup, like a piece of yarn woven into the cross on a Crusader’s tunic.

I am lost. I am tired. Don’t follow me to bed.

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

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Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless [can include oxymoron].

I can’t believe you’re making “peace” with the Taliban the way you are, especially bombing them a few days ago in the middle of negotiations. What the hell is that about? I wonder what your next move will be? Have you considered sending them flowers to apologize?  I’m sure they’ll be receptive to that. They’ll probably reciprocate with some freshly crafted IEDs and well-placed suicide bombings.

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

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Proverb

Proverb: One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adageapothegmgnomemaximparoemia, and sententia.

It has been said: “If you go looking for rainbows, you’ll need some rain first.” It’s true! Bearing that in mind, are you sure you really want to go grocery shopping? You’d probably be better off ordering another pizza instead of driving all the way to the store in your piece of crap truck.

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

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Synaloepha

Synaloepha (sin-a-lif’-a): Omitting one of two vowels which occur together at the end of one word and the beginning of another. A contraction of neighboring syllables. A kind of metaplasm.

All we need is Greenland. The USA has money to burn/not waste time considering consequences. After all, did George Washington consider the consequences. Did Abraham Lincoln? What about Jesse James and Al Capone? No! They just rushed headlong into the future. I’m like them. Lucky as hell. Look at all the lawsuits I’ve evaded, and the ditzy wives I’ve dumped. You should be calling me Donald Washington or Abraham Trump. Onward to Greenland. Is it actually green?

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.

Systrophe

Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.

He had tiny hands. They looked like chicken feet sticking out of his shirtsleeves. His lips were almost always puckered–not like he had eaten something bitter, but rather, as if he were sucking a straw and couldn’t get anything to come through it. It was like he looked mad, frustrated and thirsty all at once; maybe like a baby whose ba-ba nipple was malfunctioning. Post-pucker, he would throw his little chicken-feet hands around in no discernible gesture–maybe flailing, definitely not waving. His blond hair was stiffly coifed around his head like an amusement park ride called “Shellac Mountain” with hidden tunnels bypassing his bald flesh and buttressed against the wind’s revelation of the cosmetic circus playing beneath the surface of his hair.

This man wants us to believe he is worth a shit. Some people swear by him like he is Jesus Christ. Many of us just piss our pants or vomit dreading his continued presence in our lives. But some of us are immune to his idiocy having been inoculated with facts and learned opinions. We are biding our time. There will be a judgment day and it isn’t spelled Armageddon.

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

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Thaumasmus

Thaumasmus (thau-mas’-mus): To marvel at something rather than to state it in a matter of fact way.

I wake up in the morning with a pain in my head.The clock radio is droning the news. It seems like the same stories over and over again, day after day; with the exception of natural disasters and less troubling weather forces.

The stories reflect the best and the worst–the middle is missing. At each extreme we are terrified and humbled, sickened and uplifted, flattened and edified. It is like a spinning top where the extremes blend into a blur, and the blur, as long as the top is spinning, is a fact erasing tensions, obscuring their otherness in a kind of soft dizziness that consciousness fails to capture. Staggering is the norm and holding onto the railing is what gives life its sense of stability.

I am amazed and sickened by the wonder of it all.

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

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Acrostic

Acrostic: When the first letters of successive lines are arranged either in alphabetical order (= abecedarian) or in such a way as to spell a word.

Truth

Troublesome.

Ruthless.

Unbendable.

Trusted since the beginning of civilization.

Helps combat injustice.

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.

Anastrophe

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.

My days are numbered–like a clock ticking out my hopes. But–just because I have a time finite here on the planet, it does not mean that tomorrow is not another day!

I think I may be good for another 30 or 40 years. Given my age already, that’s a lot of years, but what the hell, I like to hope BIG. It’s a great way of stifling worry and stifled worry is worth more than I can say, especially when the stifling is effortless! Another day tomorrow is. I’m betting on being there.

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.

Antisthecon 

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.

We have another Szandal! Or, more clearly a continuation of an ongoing debacle–Dominus Trumpiscum and the Stormy Porn Star (mouth shut for $130,000) apparently had some kind of sex together–her account makes it missionary, his, makes it nothing (the usual denial). Stormy also says that she “almost choked” on Trumpiscum’s well arranged hair–it was the cinnamon-flavored hairspray that almost did her in. She said it “I felt I was chewing on some kind of breakfast cereal made out of smelly blond glass.”

Of course we don’t know if anything Stormy says is true, but we’d sure like to believe it! However it is hard to believe she was chewing on Trumpiscum’s hair! Or is it?  Hmmmm.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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

Aposiopesis

Aposiopesis (a-pos-i-o-pee’-sis): Breaking off suddenly in the middle of speaking, usually to portray being overcome with emotion.

Person: You . . .  You’re President Trump! I can’t believe I’ve met you here . . . right here at Bear Bottoms! Best pole dancing club in Utah. Can I buy you a drink?

Him: No. Hmmm, uh, I thought this was a national monument–I’m looking for Bears Ears, not bottoms. I must’ve taken a wrong turn back there in Salt Lake City somewhere.

Person: But this is clearly a bar–and a sleazy one at that!  How could you possibly mistake it for a pair of mesas out in the middle of nowhere?

Him: Security! Take this guy for a walk.

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

Colon 

Colon (ko’-lon): Roughly equivalent to “clause” in English, except that the emphasis is on seeing this part of a sentence as needing completion, either with a second colon (or membrum) or with two others (forming a tricolon). When cola (or membra) are of equal length, they form isocolon.

Colon or membrum is also best understood in terms of differing speeds of style that depend upon the length of the elements of a sentence. The Ad Herennium author contrasts the slower speed of concatenated membra to the quicker speed of words joined together without conjunction (articulus).

I had a car. I had a house. I had a wife. Everything was great until my wife went nuts. She wrecked the car. She burned down the house. Then, she got a lawyer. Now, she’s out on bail. I’m living in an apartment and taking the bus to work. As far as I’m concerned things couldn’t get much worse, unless she finds out about my previous marriage. My previous wife disappeared in New Jersey without a trace. I was cleared of any wrongdoing, but try to get anybody in Jersey to believe it! They were all against me–unfair, unreasonable, uncharitable. I’ve been living here in Ohio for the past 12 years without a trace of wrongdoing. Did I say “Without a trace?” Whoops.

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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

Maxim

Maxim (max’-im): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adageapothegmgnomeparoemiaproverb, and sententia.

He who laughs last didn’t get the joke.  Get it? 

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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

Mesodiplosis

Mesodiplosis (mes-o-dip-lo’-sis): Repetition of the same word or words in the middle of successive sentences.

There’s no time like the future! There’s no time like the past! There’s no time like the right time & the right time is now! Let’s go visit the Russians! I think we can learn a lot from them about things like stealing, money laundering and bribery! Also, after dealing with the Russians, you know Dad can tell us a thing or two about money laundering too. In fact, he may be better at it than they are! Come on Donny, let’s catch a cab over to the consulate!

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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99

Mesozeugma

Mesozeugma (me’-so-zyoog’-ma): A zeugma in which one places a common verb for many subjects in the middle of a construction.

It was time to go across the street, through the yard, onto the path.

He was in a hurry, but it did not matter.  As usual ‘time was a thief’ and it stole his timely arrival.

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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

Metallage

Metallage (me-tal’-la-gee): When a word or phrase is treated as an object within another expression.

When I look at the President of the US, I think, “How can he be called a ‘leader'”? If you think of him, perhaps, as Lemming in Chief, there may be room to call him a leader: but who he is leading and where they are being led is troublesome to say the least.

A key flaw in his Executive Lemmingship’s leadership has to do with the cliff. I don’t think there is a cliff in the US big enough for him to lead his millions of followers over in one shift. It would be a jammed-up mess. Perhaps Jared and Donald Jr. can help out. They can move sh**t around like nobody’d business! They could easily divide the responsibility, scout out a couple more cliffs. and take credit for a major accomplishment in the field of logistics–maybe even win an award from Logistics Magazine (circ. 70,000).

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.