Rhetorical Glossary ( Mike Green)
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use of an older or obsolete form. Pipit sate upright in her chair Some distance from where I was sitting; T. S. Eliot, "A Cooking Egg"
repetition of the same sound in words close to each other. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. O fortunatam natam me consule Romam! Cicero, de consulatu
a general term for abbreviated or condensed expression, of which asyndeton and zeugma are types. Ellipse is often used synonymously. The suppressed word or phrase can usually be supplied easily from the surrounding context. Aeolus haec contra: Vergil, Aeneid Non Cinnae, non Sullae longa dominatio. Tacitus, Annales I.1
harsh joining of sounds. We want no parlay with you and your grisly gang who work your wicked will. W. Churchill O Tite tute Tati tibi tanta tyranne tulisti! Ennius
a harsh metaphor involving the use of a word beyond its strict sphere. I listen vainly, but with thirsty ear. MacArthur, Farewell Address Cynthia prima suis miserum me cepit ocellis. Propertius I.1.1
two corresponding pairs arranged not in parallels (a-b-a-b) but in inverted order (a-b-b-a); from shape of the Greek letter chi (X). Those gallant men will remain often in my thoughts and in my prayers always. MacArthur Renown'd for conquest, and in council skill'd. Addison et pacis ornamenta et subsidia belli. Cicero, Pro lege Manilia Plato, Republic 494e
arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in an order of ascending power. Often the last emphatic word in one phrase or clause is repeated as the first emphatic word of the next. One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. Tennyson, Ulysses Nonne hunc in vincula duci, non ad mortem rapi, non summo supplicio mactari imperabis? Cicero, In Catilinam Facinus est vincere civem Romanum; scelus verberare; prope parricidium necare: quid dicam in crucem tollere? verbo satis digno tam nefaria res appellari nullo modo potest. Cicero, In Verrem Demosthenes, On the Crown 179
substitution of an agreeable or at least non-offensive expression for one whose plainer meaning might be harsh or unpleasant. When the final news came, there would be a ring at the front door -- a wife in this situation finds herself staring at the front door as if she no longer owns it or controls it--and outside the door would be a man... come to inform her that unfortunately something has happened out there, and her husband's body now lies incinerated in the swamps or the pines or the palmetto grass, "burned beyond recognition," which anyone who had been around an air base very long (fortunately Jane had not) realized was quite an artful euphemism to describe a human body that now looked like an enormous fowl that has burned up in a stove, burned a blackish brown all over, greasy and blistered, fried, in a word, with not only the entire face and all the hair and the ears burned off, not to mention all the clothing, but also the hands and feet, with what remains of the arms and legs bent at the knees and elbows and burned into absolutely rigid angles, burned a greasy blackish brown like the bursting body itself, so that this husband, father, officer, gentleman, this ornamentum of some mother's eye, His Majesty the Baby of just twenty-odd years back, has been reduced to a charred hulk with wings and shanks sticking out of it. Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff
use of two words connected by a conjunction, instead of subordinating one to the other, to express a single complex idea. It sure is nice and cool today! (for "pleasantly cool") I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Psalms 116 Perfecti oratoris moderatione et sapientia. Cicero, De oratore