Tag Archives: tropes

Conduplicatio

Conduplicatio (con-du-pli-ca’-ti-o): The repetition of a word or words. A general term for repetition sometimes carrying the more specific meaning of repetition of words in adjacent phrases or clauses. Sometimes used to name either ploce or epizeuxis.

Why? Why? Why do I need s motor scooter? Why? Why not? Nobody has ever been killed driving one, except the guy who stood up going under a bridge overpass and lost his head right there. I would never do anything like that unless I wanted to die. He probably wanted to die.

Well. ok, according to your book of facts there are at least 110 recorded deaths per year of drivers of motor scooters. Damn it all anyhow. I’m too old to walk everywhere. I guess I could just go with Uber or find some some charitable organization that gives old people rides. Or, I could hitchhike–just like back in the 60s, man. That’s how I met your mother. She picked me up outside of Salt Lake City and we’ve been together, off and on, for the past 40-something years. We both take the same medications and enjoy listening to Hall & Oats. I don’t mind eating vegetables all the time, although sneaking down to MacDonald’s helps keep my digestion in balance; that along with my “Poo Brauen” (“Poo Brew”)–a special low-impact bowel mover concocted by a 16th century German Nobleman named Sir Smoothy Sphincterhosen. He invented “Poo Brauen” originally for Martin Luther, a religious figure known for his horrendous constipation. Sir Sphincterhosen probably added 10 years to Luther’s life and helped usher in the Protestant Reformation.

I bet Martin Luther would’ve had a motor scooter, zipping around Germany, hunting Papists, and pooping regularly. Why not Me?

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

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Congeries

Congeries (con’ger-eez): Piling up words of differing meaning but for a similar emotional effect [(akin to climax)].

Masked, wary, frightened, and determined, crawling through the grocery store staying below the killer mist drifting up and down the aisles. We need food, but if it’s not on the floor I won’t touch it–advice of FOX TV News. I crawl past a woman standing up examining a head of lettuce. I tell her to get down with me or she will die. She laughs and beans me on the head with the lettuce. Ha! Now it’s on the floor. I grab the lettuce and crawl as fast as I can to checkout. My knees are bleeding. My back hurts. I don’t think I’ll watch Fox TV News any more.

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

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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.

Too bad for quiet Eddie. It was just a matter of time before he flipped. Today, he caught his wife standing naked in the back of the laundromat and some guy running out the back door–butt in full view. He started questioning her–he was pushing too hard. She had a psycho streak that he had stepped around for the past 15 years. She started yelling and the naked stranger came back through the back door. “Whatsa matter honey?” “His teeth are too yellow,” she answered, picking up a bottle of bleach. Eddie turned, said “dead” and fainted. The naked stranger grabbed Eddie by his limp shoulders, “Let’s brighten up your smile pretty boy.”

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

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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.

You’re a shit for brains. Uh, well, I mean, your brain is a fertile plain littered with life’s organic droppings. Very fertile. Like overflow from a sewage treatment facility. Is that better?

Yes. Now I get it. Thanks for the compliment. I will tell Ivanka how fluent you are. You’re welcome.

Now, got to hell. Uh, well. I mean . . .

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

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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.”

DT: I swear by all that’s holy that I did not know about the bounties.

NP: Ok. What is “all that’s holy?”

DT: Money, young babes, and money, and more, lot’s more, money.

NP: Where’s God in your list? Is God there?

DT: No, God’s a bigger con than me. Ha Ha. Just kidding.

NP: I believe you knew about the bounties and ignored them in exchange for some young (Russian) women in your suite at Mar-A-Lago and a big pay off. We have surveillance video of you in bed with couple of women. Although you seem to be asleep, there you are.

DT: Fake news.

NP: The truth.

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

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Dendographia

Dendographia (den-dro-graf’-ia): Creating an illusion of reality through vivid description of a tree.

The ancient fallen tree caught the drizzling burst of rain as it struck its soft decaying trunk and soaked into the porous graying wood. It wasn’t alone there in the woods. It was surrounded by generations of beech trees–smooth silver bark and beechnuts; a favorite of foraging deer, chipmunks and red and gray squirrels. I’d like to think the fallen one is somehow responsible for the dense stand of mid- and large-sized trees surrounding it–a living legacy and testament to the continuous presence of life’s promise: of living and of dying , of offspring, of hope.

  • Post your own dendrographia to the “Comments” page!

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

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Diacope 

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

I can’t believe you stole Mr. Woo-woo. You and me have been friends for almost 2 months, and you stole Woo-woo right out of the big cardboard box while we were sleeping! Stole my beloved little puppy. Don’t tell me you took him to the Vet you miserable creep.  You stole Woo-woo. I don’t care about the fake Vet bill you’re waving at me! I don’t care that you brought Woo-woo back. That’s not the point. When he was gone, he was stolen and you stole him.

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

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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.

Glitch McConnell is a US Senator, and as a Senator, in addition to Kentucky, Glitch represents evil, bigotry, selfishness and a complete lack of empathy. Do you think he enjoys seeing all those children locked up along the Mexican border? You bet does! I don’t know whether he’s from Hell, or headed to Hell. Glitch must find some other way to serve Satan; maybe go to work at FOX News as one of their professional liars.

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

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Diaporesis

Diaporesis: Deliberating with oneself as though in doubt over some matter; asking oneself (or rhetorically asking one’s hearers) what is the best or appropriate way to approach something [=aporia].

Should I let my daughter cut my hair?

It’s been 2 months since my last haircut–my usual haircutter’s place is closed due to COVID 19.

I’m starting to look like Charles Manson’s older brother.

Maybe I could start a cult?

No, too much work.

My daughter’s not a hairdresser, but I’ve seen what she’s done for other people’s heads. I think I’ll let her do it!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias. A paperback of the Daily Trope is available at Amazon for $9.95. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

Diasyrmus

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

Your threats are as empty your soul, your imagination, and outer space. Yelling “Conspiracy” every time somebody disagrees with you or catches you doing something marginally legal or massively unethical is like an 8-year-old boy who peed his pants claiming his pants are out to get him and are trying to make him look bad.

It’s not your pants fatso! It’s you!

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

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Diazeugma

Diazeugma (di-a-zoog’-ma): The figure by which a single subject governs several verbs or verbal constructions (usually arranged in parallel fashion and expressing a similar idea); the opposite of zeugma.

My mind shot splinters of light, made a weird tooting noise, started a philosophic dialogue with my left lung, and actually told me how much tea there is in China. Is there anything we can’t do if we put our mind to it? I, for one, wish it were so.

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 definitions and examples. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.

Dicaeologia

Dicaeologia (di-kay-o-lo’-gi-a): Admitting what’s charged against one, but excusing it by necessity.

You: Yes, I took your golf shoes. Otherwise I couldn’t have played in the tournament, come in first, and won $600.00. I’ll go get your shoes out of my car. Please let me give you $100 for bringing me luck. It’s the least I can do.

Me: Your so-called “borrowing” is actually stealing. Give me all of the prize money and I won’t turn you in to the police. Those shoes are custom made and cost nearly $1,000. Taking them without my permission (given their value) is a felony.

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. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.

Dilemma

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

Last night you got drunk and for some crazy reason you gave your credit card to a homeless person, have made no attempt to cancel it, and think that “everything’s gonna be ok.”

Although you’re still drunk, I’m offering you two things you can do to keep this from happening again: 1. Get rid of your credit card and use only cash; 2. Have a responsible person “hold” your credit card. You will ask their permission to use it and explain what you’re using it for each time you use it.

Now, call the credit card company.

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. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.

Dirimens Copulatio

Dirimens Copulatio (di’-ri-mens ko-pu-la’-ti-o): A figure by which one balances one statement with a contrary, qualifying statement (sometimes conveyed by “not only … but also” clauses). A sort of arguing both sides of an issue.

Protagoras (c. 485-410 BC) asserted that “to every logos (speech or argument) another logos is opposed,” a theme continued in the Dissoi Logoi of his time, later codified as the notion of arguments in utrumque partes (on both sides). Aristotle asserted that thinking in opposites is necessary both to arrive at the true state of a matter (opposition as an epistemological heuristic) and to anticipate counterarguments. This latter, practical purpose for investigating opposing arguments has been central to rhetoric ever since sophists like Antiphon (c. 480-410 BC) provided model speeches (his Tetralogies) showing how one might argue for either the prosecution or for the defense on any given issue. As such, [this] names not so much a figure of speech as a general approach to rhetoric, or an overall argumentative strategy. However, it could be manifest within a speech on a local level as well, especially for the purposes of exhibiting fairness (establishing ethos [audience perception of speaker credibility]).

This pragmatic embrace of opposing arguments permeates rhetorical invention, arrangement, and rhetorical pedagogy.

It’s true, in some regards–very small regards–very, very small–I have let you down. But also, I have accomplished really great things, not only for you, but for the United State of America. For example, we have kept the pandemic death toll in the US under 5,000,000. That’s nearly 3,000,000 less than anybody–doctors, scientists, Melania, Hannity–might have predicted! At the same time we are Number 1! I like being number 1, even if it’s dead people.

While I may be making these numbers up as I speak, they might be true. Who knows? Unless you’re on your death bed right now, you are going to believe me because you want to believe me and vote for me in the fall.

As you plan for the future, please consider cremation. It will help deal with the clutter and smell at the morgues, and also, with the loaded panel trucks parked nearby.

Definition and commentary 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. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.

Distinctio

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

Cover: Something you put over yourself in bed to keep you warm (Better get under the cover, it’s cold.).

Cover: To to put a lid on something (You better cover those potatoes before the war boils off.).

Cover: Underbrush to hide behind (Take cover over there behind that bush.).

You, my friend, better find some cover and I don’t mean in bed or the kitchen. There’s a mob of people who you swindled with your fake virus remedy headed this way–you need to hide.

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Distributio

Distributio (dis-tri-bu’-ti-o): (1) Assigning roles among or specifying the duties of a list of people, sometimes accompanied by a conclusion.  (2) Sometimes this term is simply a synonym for diaeresis or merismus, which are more general figures involving division.

DT: OK–We need a comprehensive plan so we don’t get blamed for this. I mean, my God 50,000 people have died. I think most of them would have voted for me. We’re in deep shit.

I’ve gathered you together here today as my key people. Anyway, let’s get things lined up. Ivanka, you have no responsibilities, really. I want to you to show up in tasteful clothes and stand beside me nodding your head in agreement with whatever I’m saying. Jared, you’ll pretty much do the same, only you’ll actually say something every few weeks. Mostly, I want you talking about crackpot ideas based in conspiracy theories, mostly concerned with pointing fingers and also giving people false hope and blaming it on Obama and Biden when you get caught. Fauci, at briefings I want you way in the back. Far enough so nobody can see you because you’re such a midget. If you want to say something, raise your hand and I won’t call on you. Flynn, welcome back! I need you to help with my lies, creating them in a way that I won’t get caught, and if I do, taking the blame yourself. Don’t worry, I’ll pardon you.

What? What do you want Pence?

MP: Anything for me boss?

DT: Yes. Go paint Mommy’s toenails.

Are we ready?

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 150 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. There is also a Kindle edition available with links to all of the schemes and tropes. It costs $5.95

 

Ecphonesis

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

Donald in the 5th Grade

Donald: “Owwww. Owwww. Waaaaah. Mommy.”

Gym Teacher: “It’s just a soccer ball. It can’t hurt that much to kick it.  In fact, it shouldn’t hurt at all. What the heck is going on here?”

Donald: “I am cold in these stupid shorts. I want to go inside and put my pants on.”

Gym Teacher: “Sorry. You’re going to have to just keep crying for your mommy or admit what you really want.”

Donald: “What’s that?”

Gym Teacher: “You want to go inside so you can steal things from the other guys’ backpacks and lockers, just like you did last time. If you don’t get back out there on the field, I’ll be meeting with your mother–it will be warm and cordial, but this time I won’t relent. You’re going down boy.”

Donald: “Waaaah.”

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

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Enantiosis

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

The end is in plain view—the suffering that wrenches us from the good and turns us toward selfish speculation and greedy rumination on profiting from other’s sorrows. Like a devil. Like a dog. The soulless politician who can only yap, who will not give the surplus to the stricken—bereft of caritas, bereft of love, bereft of decency. Cold. Cruel. Muderous.

But now we see our travails are ending. That is, we see the hellish scourge fading, slowly, slightly, imperceptibly. Hope is on the rise. Life returns to normal. We are at peace.

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

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Enigma

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

I ask you my children: What does it take for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle?

Alas, you are unable to answer.

So, I shall answer for thee: A meat grinder set on extra fine.

Now, let’s do a parable. There was once a fat wicked man with specially stiffened blond hair and a painted-on face-tan. He was a Twitter addict. He tweeted day and night. He Tweeted lies with misspellings. One day he tweeted a fact with no misspellings. Nobody believed him because he always lied and misspelled: they thought someone had stolen his phone.

He had fallen and could not get up. They found him dead the next morning. He had hit his head on his toilet and bled to death. A huge funeral was planned in accord with a fifty page instruction booklet found under his pillow. On the day of the funeral nobody attended the parade in his honor, not even his wives and children. He was dumped into a landfill outside of Baltimore and subsequently erased from history.

In the end we must say: Eagles don’t Tweet, shit birds do. He was a shit bird.

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

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Ennoia

Ennoia (en-no’-i-a): A kind of purposeful holding back of information that nevertheless hints at what is meant. A kind of circuitous speaking.

Me: Two days ago, I looked outside and noticed the lawn is getting green! Yesterday, it looked like it grew a couple of inches. Today, it is ankle high. Soon, it’ll be up to my knees.

I love watching you ride your lawn limo around the yard with the grass flying out the side. I wish I could do more than just watch the videos I made of you mowing last summer.

You: Ok, I get it. I’ll mow the lawn.

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

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Enthymeme

Enthymeme (en’-thy-meem): 1. The informal method [or figure] of reasoning typical of rhetorical discourse. The enthymeme is sometimes defined as a “truncated syllogism” since either the major or minor premise found in that more formal method of reasoning is left implied. The enthymeme typically occurs as a conclusion coupled with a reason. When several enthymemes are linked together, this becomes sorites. 2. A figure of speech which bases a conclusion on the truth of its contrary. [Depending on its grammatical structure and specific word choice, it may be chiasmus].

1. We’ve been up for 22 hrs straight. Let’s get some sleep.

2. If work wears you down, time off will help build you up again!

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

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Epanodos

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

My $1,200 stimulus check will get me nowhere. How come the love boats and the big jet airliners are getting billions of dollars while I get jack shit? The government could give me $5,000 and have enough left to give the boats and planes a teeny bit less. I would rather be bailed out than stimulated. I’ve got all the coffee I need for stimulation! And anyway, the stimulation check is designed to stimulate “the economy” not me personally. In other words, it is actually a bailout that I get to disburse at my discretion for life’s necessities: for eggs, toilet paper, milk, bread, wine, and beer: I don’t know who you are Mr./Ms. Boats & Planes, but my meager check will enable me to have an omelette, wipe my ass, have a sandwich, and drink a glass of wine. What will you do with your money? Buy tons of fattening food, have your uniforms pressed, pop champagne corks, and pay taxes to Panama? You are getting MORE than you need, while I get LESS than I need. Give some to me!

Bottom line: It is all one big bailout: I get stimulated waiting for my check & when it comes it is ‘spent’ at the grocery store (there’s not enough to cover a mortgage or utilities payment)–I bail out the grocery store (in order to eat and drink). The federal government bails out everybody else who makes more than a few million per year. The point: It’s one big bailout. The “people” get a pittance that isn’t enough to cover expenses. The corporations get billions, and billions, and billions, and some of them aren’t even involved in producing essential goods and services: we can live without the hedonistic boat rides. So, I think the boat and plane people should give whatever they don’t spend back to the people–to all of us who have been financially wrecked by the Corona Virus.

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

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

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Epanorthosis

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

I am enjoying staying home! No, make that LOVING it! It’s like some kind of endless landlocked “Gilligan’s Island” episode, only we don’t have to escape and find a way home–we’re already there! I’ve taken on the persona of the Skipper, pushing everybody around, telling them what to do next and sarcastically registering my opposition to all of their worthless ideas. It’s good to be Skipper! But, ‘Mary Ann’ keeps asking for the combination to my gun safe, and ‘Ginger’ spends at least one hour every day eyeing my knife collection, which is locked in a showcase under glass. I really don’t care because I’m using ‘Gilligan’ as a human shield–keeping him one step in front of me all the time. It’s uncomfortable using the bathroom, but we both know that the ‘Skipper’ must be kept safe at all costs. Why? Because he’s the skipper dammit!

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

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Epenthesis

Epenthesis (e-pen’-thes-is): The addition of a letter, sound, or syllable to the middle of a word. A kind of metaplasm. Note: Epenthesis is sometimes employed in order to accommodate meter in verse; sometimes, to facilitate easier articulation of a word’s sound. It can, of course, be accidental, and a vice of speech.

Springsteen said something like “I’m looking for a lover, who won’t blow my cover, cover me.” I’m not sure what he’s talking about or who he’s talking to, but I’m looking for a tiss-iss-sue to blow my nose on and hopefully get well soon. Also, I’m looking for an afghan, that’ll be my cover, and while I recover, cover me.

Oh, and while you’re at it, will you look in my mailbox for my Big Government check? 1,200 bucks goes about as far as a blown-up race car sunk up to its rocker panels in mud with four flat tires. So, we’ll stick to total basics: wine, whiskey & weed, and use what’s left over for a couple six-packs of PBR, and maybe, a carton of Marlboro 27s.

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

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Epergesis

Epergesis (e-per-gee’-sis): Interposing an apposition, often in order to clarify what has just been stated.

President Trump, the idiot-in-chief, called the emergent pandemic a hoax–I heard it with my own ears! Now, he’s blaming WHO for his inept and catastrophic handling of the pandemic.  So, one must conclude that WHO told him it was a hoax and he went with their advice and did nothing for awhile and let the virus spread in the US. Trusting WHO’s advice led to all our problems. Clearly none of this was Trump’s fault. WHO is out of control. Bad WHO! Killer WHO! Communist sympathizing WHO spread China’s lies! They want to ruin our economy and make us all slaves to their imperial ambitions.

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

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

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