Tag Archives: war


Paromoiosis (par-o-moy-o’-sis): Parallelism of sound between the words of adjacent clauses whose lengths are equal or approximate to one another. The combination of isocolon and assonance.

I look out my hard frosted window.

I take my eyes to the soft darkening glow.

I watch the tinted crust of weeks-old snow.

No man. No husband. No father. No lover. No daughter. No son.

Empty. Untrodden. Pristine. Untouched. He will not come.

What is done, is done.

I am a widow gouged by my loss.

You are the “grateful nation”

who “appreciate my husband’s service”

and see his death as a warranted cost.

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


Epilogus (e-pi-lo’-gus): Providing an inference of what is likely to follow.

What’s next? Peace? War?

WE know what’s next.

THEY know what’s next.

It isn’t peace.

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


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.

Being careful not to slip and fall down on what’s left of my neighbor next door, I continue my walk and follow my thoughts about death, my career, my car, last summer’s vacation, my flat screen TV, and my mother, daughter, and wife who ran beneath the tracer fire last night as it stitched up the sky with its thread of red, brighter than the dark puddle of blood collecting in the gutter and reflecting my dread.

I turn. I howl. I vomit.

My family is dead.

You call it war. I call it endless sorrow and pain. You call it just. I call it criminally insane.

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


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.

This is war. It’s not a threat, a nightmare, or some stupid kid’s macho video game. This is about killing, killing, more killing, and much, much more filthy, disgusting, remorseless, relentless, unforgettable, stench-filled, shrieking killing.  This is war. Let’s go! Let’s kill! Let’s do the right thing!

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


Antitheton (an-tith’-e-ton): A proof or composition constructed of contraries. Antitheton is closely related to and sometimes confused with the figure of speech that juxtaposes opposing terms, antithesis. However, it is more properly considered a figure of thought (=Topic of Invention: Contraries [a topic of invention in which one considers opposite or incompatible things that are of the same kind (if they are of different kinds, the topic of similarity / difference is more appropriate). Because contraries occur in pairs and exclude one another, they are useful in arguments because one can establish one’s case indirectly, proving one’s own assertion by discrediting the contrary]).

What you hope will inspire fear in your enemies and induce them to capitulate may actually inspire your enemies to hope more fervently for victory.  Theirs will be a quality of hope that you, my friend, should absolutely fear!

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


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].

Did you think that invading Iraq was a good idea?  What about Afghanistan? Good idea? What about Syria?  Good idea? When is war ever a good idea?  Never? Sometimes? Later this week?

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


Tmesis (tmee’-sis): Interjecting a word or phrase between parts of a compound word or between syllables of a word.

It is time to do what must be done. Sooner, not later.

Are we Team U.S. of fuggetaboutit-A?

I don’t think so.

I’d like to think that we are Team U.S. of friggin-kaboomin-A!

You know what to do!

It’s a slam jump swish 3-point lay-up free throw hook shot–It’s a full-court no “me” in “team” press! Blow your whistles and grab your b-balls, we’re going to war!

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


Apostrophe (a-pos’-tro-phe): Turning one’s speech from one audience to another. Most often, apostrophe occurs when one addresses oneself to an abstraction, to an inanimate object, or to the absent.


The destruction, the mayhem, the hatred, the violence, the brutality, the killing, the stench.

War!  You incinerate my hope. You nourish my fear.

War! You are the spawn of Eden. You are the Father of nations.

War! You engender solidarity. You slaughter the flock.

People, must we have enemies in order that we be friends?

War says “Yes!” Peace says “No!” History says “Yes and No.”

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


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.

Sad dreaded bard speaks to my heart–his lamentation sifts through the ashes of my war-torn life–son gone, blood on the wall, twilight beckons, darkness calls. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. How can I believe that God is just?

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