Rhetorical Glossary ( Mike Green)


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H

Hypallage

("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

Hyperbaton

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

Hyperbole

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

I

Irony

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

L

Litotes

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)

M

Metaphor

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

Metonymy

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.

O

Onomatopoeia

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

Oxymoron

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


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