Tag Archives: Ukraine


Epiplexis (e-pi-plex’-is): Asking questions in order to chide, to express grief, or to inveigh. A kind of rhetorical question [–the speaker does not expect an answer].

When will NATO actually take action? When Ukraine is annexed? When Hell freezes over? When the cow jumps over the moon? When Putin takes his shirt off? When John Kerry gets a haircut? When?

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

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


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

If you’ve been watching the news you’re probably puzzled by what “negotiation” means in Ukraine.

Here are some possibilities:


Tank you

Rubber Bumpy Borders

Drivin’ that train over Ukraine

Don’t Cry for Me Crimea

Your dodomu my dodomu. Get out.

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

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


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

Ukraine is the victim of a proxy invasion. Russia is joyously worried. The UK is boldly hesitant. The US is sharply unfocused. The EU is coldly boiling. NATO is inactively springing into inactivity. The UN is filing for bankruptcy.

What’s next?

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

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


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.)

I wish Put-in would Pull-out before things get out of hand in Crimea! If there was a clearly focused Camer-on, there would probably be better news from Ukraine.

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

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


Procatalepsis (pro-cat-a-lep’-sis): Refuting anticipated objections.

We say diplomacy and an infusion of a few billion Euro will save the day. A negotiated diplomatic solution to the current crisis is certainly more beneficial in the long run than running across the border waving M-16s and NATO banners. The first shot fired toward the East may be the last shot ever fired by anybody ever, given the nukes aimed at Europe and Putin’s red-hot paranoia.

About the the money: No Euro, no economic recovery, no Ukraine. A few billion is a relatively small price to pay to keep a sovereign democracy on the western frontier of freedom functioning while it regroups and regains its fiscal strength. We trust in Ukraine’s future–a future free from the clutches of border bending criminals and safe in the embrace of the European Union. 

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

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


Protrope (pro-tro’-pe): A call to action, often by using threats or promises.

Dear Mr. Putin,

If you value your favorite “My Little Pony,” you better move those troops out of Ukraine! We have kidnapped and are holding your Fantastic Flutters Princess Twilight Sparkle Pony hostage! When she burns, she “will melt and stink.” Is that what you want?

Bring those troops back to Russia by midnight MSK, or else!

FIRE copy   =   bye bye pony

Yours truly,


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

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


Prozeugma (pro-zoog’-ma): A series of clauses in which the verb employed in the first is elided (and thus implied) in the others.

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had a palace–ee-yi–ee-yi-oh. With a life-size painted plastic horse here and a golf course there–ee-yi-ee-yi-oh. With pirate ship restaurant here and a big live ostrich there–ee-yi-ee-yi-oh.

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had a palace–ee-yi–ee-yi-oh. With a helipad here and a rare breed of pig there. A car collection here and some bottles of Viktor Vodka there–ee-yi-ee-yi-oh.

Oh-yi! Oh! Oh! Oh! Where the heck did Yanukovych go?

Vladimir Putin had a hideout–ee-yi-ee-yi-oh. With a Yanukovych there and . . .

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

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

Scesis Onomaton

Scesis Onomaton (ske’-sis-o-no’-ma-ton): 1. A sentence constructed only of nouns and adjectives (typically in a regular pattern).  2. A series of successive, synonymous expressions.

1. Political problem. Violent solution. Civil war. Revoltion.

Riots. Fire. Bullets. Death. Broken nation. Torn apart. Broken promises. Broken hearts.

Ukraine! Today we feel your pulse again–revived by the hard pressure of vilolence and protest, and currently sheltered by a political deal, perhaps, now, there is a way to heal.

2. Don’t forget to write! Remember me in letters! I hope to hear from you soon!

  • Post your own scesis onomaton on the “Comments” page!

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