Tag Archives: trope

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).

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).

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).

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).

Orcos

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

Senator Lunar: How many Russians can dance on the Head of the FBI?

Government Witless: Probably 5 or 6. But, respectfully, I believe it is the head of a pin, not an actual head & that it is somehow a metaphysical meditation on the corporeality of Russians’ souls (if they have any in the first place).

Senator Veritas: You lie I cry!

Government Witless: I swear I am telling the truth so far as Senator Lunar’s more or less insane question begs me to.  By the way: Your mother is alive and well in Miami.

Senator Lunar: 5 or 6 Russians dancing on Comey’s head, eh? There is no bruising. I think you’re lying Witless.

Government Witless: Respectfully Senator Lunar, my answer is true insofar as it is consistent with a historical tradition of speculation on bodies and souls, not to mention angels and whether they’re pure spirit. Russians are a new twist on the commentary.

But I want to ask you: Why are you asking me this more or less (on the face of it) irrelevant, if not crazy, question?

Senator Lunar: My Life Coach Billy Ed Joseph Ronald Richards gave me the idea. He was giving an ‘inspiration’ on how to advance political agendas and one way is ‘dancing’ on the heads of opponents. So, if 5 or 6 Russians danced on Comey’s head, it could very well be the case that he was ‘brought around’ and colluded with the Russians.

Government Witless: Wow! That’s more bizarre than 12th century philosophy and theology combined!

Senator Lunar: I swear it’s true. I may have been there. That’s not ketchup on my loafers. Whoops!

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

Palilogia

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

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

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

Just stitch him up! He’ll never know!

Hurry, damn it!

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

Paroemia

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

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

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

Antimetathesis

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

You are big.

You are small.

Big and small. Small and big.

Your belly hangs over your pants–so big!

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

Big body. Tiny soul.

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

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

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

Apagoresis

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apoplanesis

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Uncle Bill!

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

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

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

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

Chiasmus

Chiasmus (ki-az’-mus): 1. Repetition of ideas in inverted order.  2. Repetition of grammatical structures in inverted order (not to be mistaken with antimetabole, in which identical words are repeated and inverted).

Another day, another fiasco. Screwing up every day!

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

Is that something to be proud of?

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

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

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

I don’t know.

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

Comparatio

 

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

Your leadership style is like a tornado on ice.

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

 

 

Comprobatio

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

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

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

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

Thank-you.

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

Consonance

Consonance: The repetition of consonants in words stressed in the same place (but whose vowels differ). Also, a kind of inverted alliteration, in which final consonants, rather than initial or medial ones, repeat in nearby words. Consonance is more properly a term associated with modern poetics than with historical rhetorical terminology.

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

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

Correctio

Correctio (cor-rec’-ti-o): The amending of a term or phrase just employed; or, a further specifying of meaning, especially by indicating what something is not (which may occur either before or after the term or phrase used). A kind of redefinition, often employed as a parenthesis (an interruption) or as a climax.

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

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

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

Deesis

Deesis (de’-e-sis): An adjuration (solemn oath) or calling to witness; or, the vehement expression of desire put in terms of “for someone’s sake” or “for God’s sake.”

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

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

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

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

Me boring?

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

Me boring?

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

Me boring?

You’re the one who’s boring!

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

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

Diaphora

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

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

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

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

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

Diasyrmus

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

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

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

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

Dilemma

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

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

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

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

Post your own dilemma on the “Comments” page!

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

A paper edition of The Daily Trope, entitled The Book of Tropes, is available for purchase on Amazon for $9.99 USD. It contains over 200 schemes and tropes with their definitions and examples of each. All of the schemes and tropes are indexed, so it’s easy to find the one you’re looking for. Not only that, the examples of schemes and tropes may prompt you to try to create your own examples and use them as springboards for creating longer narratives.

Distinctio

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

Love: A desire for the ‘other.’

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

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

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

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

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

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

A paper edition of The Daily Trope, entitled The Book of Tropes, is available for purchase on Amazon for $9.99 USD. It contains over 200 schemes and tropes with their definitions and at least 2 examples of each. All of the schemes and tropes are indexed, so it’s easy to find the one you’re looking for. Not only that, the examples of schemes and tropes may prompt you to try to create one scheme or trope per day, starting with abating.

 

Ecphonesis

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

Pat: “I’m going crazy!”

Sam: “So am I! Let’s dance!”

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

 

Effictio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ellipsis

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

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

We need to clear it off!

Who’s going to make the first move?

You help me, and I you.

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

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