Lessons Learned #9b

More figures of rhetoric

Things are almost back to normal in this household, so here’s another Lessons Learned on a Friday.

As promised, here are some more figures of rhetoric, as per the book ‘The Elements of Eloquence’ by Mark Forsyth. It is amazing how many of these, thought to be forgotten, figures of rhetoric are used in current writing. If you don’t understand the description, just google it and hopefully it will be more clear. I found Wikipedia very helpful. However, if you want funny/interesting examples, buy the book! It’s giving extremely useful examples, very known ones which I can’t give you due to copyright infringement, but most of all it’s very funny…

Picture 67

I’m sorry for the long list, I hope you can keep your concentration whilst reading it. I couldn’t, hence the separation into two lessons. Maybe I should’ve used three… :). I still, for the life of me, can’t remember the terms, but that doesn’t take away that I like what they stand for, very much, as most are new to me!

Rhetorical Questions:

  • Erotesis – A question is asked in confident expectation of a negative answer
  • Epiplexis – A question whereby a person seeks to convince and move by an elegant kind of upbraiding (a lament or an insult)
  • Anacoenosis – With this question no reply is really sought or required, thus softening what is really a statement or command
  • Procatalepsis – The speaker raises an objection to his own argument, in the form of a question, and then immediately answers it
  • Hypophora – The speaker poses a question (not necessarily to his own argument) and then answers the question
  • Anthypophora – The reply to the hypophora, spoken by somebody else
  • Subjectio – A series of hypophora
  • Aporia – A question to which you really don’t know the answer

Hendiadys – The use of two words linked by the conjunction “and” instead of the one modifying the other

Epistrophe – The repetition of the same word or words at the end of successive phrases, clauses or sentences

Tricolon – When a sentence is composed of three parts perfectly equivalent in structure, length and rhythm. Sometimes the last one is longer (always the last one)

Epizeuxis – The repetition of a word or phrase in immediate succession, for vehemence or emphasis

Syllepsis – A single word is used with two other parts of a sentence but must be understood differently in relation to each

Isocolon – A sentence is composed of two or more parts perfectly equivalent in structure, length and rhythm

Enallage – Using a tense, form, or person grammatically incorrect

Zeugma – A single word is used in relation to two other parts of a sentence although the word grammatically or logically applies to only one

Paradox – A statement that contradicts itself and yet might be true (or wrong at the same time)

Chiasmus – Two or more clauses are related to each other through a reversal of structures in order to make a larger point

Assonance – The repetition of vowel sounds to create internal rhyming within phrases or sentences

Catachresis – A word or phrase is being applied in a way that significantly departs from conventional (or traditional) usage

Litotes – An understatement is used to emphasize a point by stating a negative to further affirm a positive, often incorporating double negatives for effect

Metaphor – A figure of speech that refers to something as being the same as another thing for rhetorical effect. It may provide clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas. Where a simile compares two items, a metaphor directly equates them

Metonymy – A thing or concept is called not by its own name but rather by the name of something associated in meaning with that thing or concept

Synecdoche – A term for a part of something refers to the whole of something or vice versa

Transferred Epithets – An abnormal, unexpected change of two segments in a sentence (adjective is applied to the wrong noun)

Pleonasm – The use of more words or parts of words than is necessary or sufficient for clear expression

Epanalepsis – The repetition of the initial word (or words) of a clause or sentence at the end of that same clause or sentence

Personification – The related attribution of human form and characteristics to abstract concepts

Allegory – An extended metaphor; to convey hidden meanings through symbolic figures, actions, imagery, and/or events, which together create the moral, spiritual, or political meaning the author wishes to convey

Hyperbole – The use of exaggeration

Adynaton – The form of hyperbole taken to such extreme lengths as to insinuate a complete impossibility

Prolepsis – A description is used before it is strictly applicable (amongst other explanations of prolepsis)

Scesis Onomation – Originally a sentence constructed only of nouns and adjectives (no verbs). Now it also is a rhetorical technique used to emphasize an idea by repeating it rapidly using slightly different words that have the same or a very similar meaning

Anaphora – Repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighbouring clauses

There, now you can put some eloquence into your writing.

Have a Happy Writing Weekend!