Rhetorical Glossary ( Mike Green)
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an assertion seemingly opposed to common sense, but that may yet have some truth in it. What a pity that youth must be wasted on the young. George Bernard Shaw
use of similar sounding words; often etymological word-play. ...culled cash, or cold cash, and then it turned into a gold cache. E.L. Doctorow, Billy Bathgate Thou art Peter (Greek petros), and upon this rock (Greek petra) I shall build my church. Matthew 16 The dying Mercutio: z Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Hic est sepulcrum haud pulchrum feminae pulchrae.
attribution of personality to an impersonal thing. England expects every man to do his duty. Lord Nelson Nunc te patria, quae communis est parens omnium nostrum, odit ac metuit et iam diu nihil te iudicat nisi de parricidio suo cogitare. Cicero, In Catilinam
use of superfluous or redundant words, often enriching the thought. No one, rich or poor, will be excepted. Ears pierced while you wait! I have seen no stranger sight since I was born.
the repetition of conjunctions in a series of coordinate words, phrases, or clauses. I said, "Who killed him?" and he said, "I don't know who killed him but he's dead all right," and it was dark and there was water standing in the street and no lights and windows broke and boats all up in the town and trees blown down and everything all blown and I got a skiff and went out and found my boat where I had her inside Mango Bay and she was all right only she was full of water. Hemingway, After the Storm omnia Mercurio similis, vocemque coloremque et crinis flavos et membra decora iuventae Vergil, Aeneid 4.558-9 Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur, nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Cicero, De senectute
pretended omission for rhetorical effect. That part of our history detailing the military achievements which gave us our several possessions ... is a theme too familiar to my listeners for me to dilate on, and I shall therefore pass it by. Thucydides, "Funeral Oration" Let us make no judgment on the events of Chappaquiddick, since the facts are not yet all in. A political opponent of Senator Edward Kennedy
the anticipation, in adjectives or nouns, of the result of the action of a verb; also, the positioning of a relative clause before its antecedent. Vixi et quem dederat cursum fortuna peregi, Vergil, Aeneid 4.653 Consider the lilies of the field how they grow.
an explicit comparison between two things using 'like' or 'as'. My love is as a fever, longing still For that which longer nurseth the disease, Shakespeare, Sonnet CXLVII Reason is to faith as the eye to the telescope. D. Hume [?] Let us go then, you and I, While the evening is spread out against the sky, Like a patient etherized upon a table... T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
use of a word with two others, with each of which it is understood differently. We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately. Benjamin Franklin