Rhetorical Glossary ( Mike Green)

Note: You may download the entries for this glossary here. If you wish to use this in your own Moodle course, first make a blank glossary and then follow the instructions for importing glossary entries here.

Browse the glossary using this index

Special | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | ALL

Page: (Previous)   1  2  3  4  5  (Next)



("exchanging") transferred epithet; grammatical agreement of a word with another word which it does not logically qualify. More common in poetry. Exegi monumentum aere perennius regalique situ pyramidum altius, Horace, Odes III.30


separation of words which belong together, often to emphasize the first of the separated words or to create a certain image. Speluncam Dido dux et Troianus eandem Vergil, Aeneid 4.124, 165


exaggeration for emphasis or for rhetorical effect. My vegetable love should grow Vaster than empires, and more slow; An hundred years should got to praise Thine eyes and on thine forehead gaze; Two hundred to adore each breast, But thirty thousand to the rest. Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress" Da mi basia mille, deinde centum, Dein mille altera, dein secunda centum, Deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum. Catullus, to his.

Hysteron Proteron ("later-earlier")

inversion of the natural sequence of events, often meant to stress the event which, though later in time, is considered the more important. "I like the island Manhattan. Smoke on your pipe and put that in." -- from the song "America," West Side Story lyric by Stephen Sondheim (submitted per litteram by guest rhetorician Anthony Scelba) Put on your shoes and socks! Hannibal in Africam redire atque Italia decedere coactus est. Cicero, In Catilinam



expression of something which is contrary to the intended meaning; the words say one thing but mean another. Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable man. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar



understatement, for intensification, by denying the contrary of the thing being affirmed. (Sometimes used synonymously with meiosis.) A few unannounced quizzes are not inconceivable. War is not healthy for children and other living things. One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day. (meiosis)



implied comparison achieved through a figurative use of words; the word is used not in its literal sense, but in one analogous to it. Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage. Shakespeare, Macbeth . . . while he learned the language (that meager and fragile thread . . . by which the little surface corners and edges of men's secret and solitary lives may be joined for an instant now and then before sinking back into the darkness. . . ) Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent. W. Churchill


substitution of one word for another which it suggests. He is a man of the cloth. The pen is mightier than the sword. By the sweat of thy brow thou shalt eat thy bread.



use of words to imitate natural sounds; accommodation of sound to sense. At tuba terribili sonitu taratantara dixit. Ennius


apparent paradox achieved by the juxtaposition of words which seem to contradict one another. Festina lente. I must be cruel only to be kind. Shakespeare, Hamlet

Page: (Previous)   1  2  3  4  5  (Next)