Rhetoric is the art and study of the use of language with persuasive effect. Along with grammar and logic or dialectic, rhetoric is one of the three ancient arts of discourse.

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Dramatic hijacking of a sentence

A common trope in movies. What's it called? Person A: The President was a brilliant man! A truly one-of-a-kind-- Person B: killer, who used his ruthless abandon to get ahead!
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50 views

Word/name for rhetorical technique to give appearance of expertise where none exists?

For example, the speaker states "Anyone that has taken probability and statistics in college knows... blah blah blah", implying the speaker has such a background, with the intent to assert some ...
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55 views

How to describe the rhetorical technique of dismissing the question?

I seek an elegant term for argument or technique of rhetoric that takes the form of dismising the question, instead of responding to the argument. I first assumed that this would be a fallacy of ...
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3answers
67 views

Placing the object of an infinitive before it instead of after it

At the beginning of 1807, based on information gathered from Burr’s correspondence allegedly showing that he had begun preparations for a large-scale military expedition, the former vice ...
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65 views

Is it considered alliteration if two or more neighboring words start with different allophones of the same phoneme?

Both the words tea and trip start with different allophones of the same phoneme /t/. Would placing these words next to each other in a sentence not be considered alliteration, or is sharing the same ...
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1answer
49 views

Question about Diacope and Inflections

"They will laugh, indeed they will laugh, at his parchment and his wax." ―Edmund Burke "With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder." ―William Shakespeare I know the first sentence is an example ...
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1answer
44 views

Can't think of a name for a rhetorical figure

I have a feeling there's a name for a rhetorical figure, or perhaps a misuse of language, along the following lines: He went out to get drunk, and the mail. In other words I'm looking for a term ...
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Rhetoric vs. Mathematics: ellipsis/ellipse, parable/parabola, hyperbole/hyperbola

Do ellipsis, parable, and hyperbole from rhetoric have anything in common with the geometric curves ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola used in mathematics? There are three geometric curves known as ...
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1answer
34 views

What rhetoric is applied in this sentence?

There is no point in pretending that XXX is what it is not, nor that it is not what it is. I feel that English language has many of these kind of usage that exploits the fact that the logically ...
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1answer
28 views

Louis Theroux, rhetorics and his documentaries [closed]

For my Audiovisual theory class I am required to do a research project. I have gotten 2 criteria that my research project should consist of. The first is about documentary film. The second is ...
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76 views

Stylistic / rhetorical device used by Obama over and over

After reading some of his speeches, I see one rhetorical device used over and over by Obama, some examples for it include: large or small wealthy or poor able or disabled gay or straight young or ...
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63 views

A word for when I expect somebody to provide me something to continue doing my work

What is the most suitable word (or a short simple expression) for the situation when I am blocked by another person/process and cannot continue my work until that process is done? I suppose ...
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90 views

Does the type of play on words in “Some people are immune to good advice” have a name?

On Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman remarks, "Some people are immune to good advice." Similarly, a friend of mine described a weekend as "a celebration of procrastination". Does word play that juxtaposes ...
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92 views

Is there a name for the rhetorical device that uses difficult but irrelevant theories to advance one's argument?

Some arguments cite quantum mechanics as evidence to suppose the existence of a metaphysical being. In order to argue with these people, one would have to study quantum mechanics which is very ...
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2answers
66 views

Does the phase “what's an honest man to do?” have a specific literary origin, or is it simply a common-usage rhetorical question?

I have seen the phrase used in this form or as a template for other rhetorical questions - e.g., "what's an honest economist to do?"; "what's an honest business owner to do?";"what's an honest ...
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1answer
52 views

Variation(?) on Antanaclasis

US President Obama in his recent annual State of the Union address to the Congress: In the year since I asked this Congress to raise the minimum wage, five states have passed laws to raise ...
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1answer
51 views

What kind of rhetoric is (this particular) “No one ever […]”

The President also knows that we have to stop blaming victims for these crimes. No one ever asks the person who got robbed at gunpoint in the street -- why were you there, what were you doing, ...
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125 views

A statement of request in that implies an obvious answer is expected

Is there a name for a statement someone makes, in which they issue a command for feedback, or request information, but the answer they want is totally obvious? For example, your friend shows you ...
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2answers
238 views

How can a run-on sentence be valid as, say, a rhetorical device?

On run-on sentences, Wikipedia says: This is generally considered a stylistic error, though it is occasionally used in literature and may be used as a rhetorical device. At the end of the ...
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142 views

What is the correct grammar to use for this common style of speaking?

Oftentimes when people want to emphasize something, an idea is repeated three times, but without closing it as a full sentence. I am not sure how to write this in a formal essay. Here is my example: ...
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442 views

What is the opposite of synecdoche?

If synecdoche represents when a part of a thing or person refers to the whole, what is it called when the whole is used to refer to a part? For example, we often hear about what "The American People ...
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4answers
198 views

Is there a grammatical name for this type of sentence construction?

Zookeepers encouraged him to spend more time in the Monkey House…until one day they locked him inside. This quote was taken from an article about an African man who, in 1906, was locked in a zoo ...
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101 views

How would you characterize the phrase 'a more perfect union'? [closed]

My question pertains to the usage of 'a more perfect union' in its original context-- the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. I want to say that this is a metaphor, because the authors are using the ...
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1answer
142 views

Logical fallacy brain-freeze

There must be a name for this sort of after-the-fact non-argument. Sorry, this is the only way I could find to describe it. Debbie finds a kitten. Kitten has been burned over half its body, but ...
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143 views

What is 'decreased activity' an example of?

People use decreased activity (for example) where decrease in activity would be more literally correct. For example, reasons for my decreased activity usually refers to reasons for a decrease, not to ...
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302 views

What is the term for a common expression that is inaccurate or misleading?

What is the term for a common expression or colloquialism that is inaccurate or misleading, such as the use of "mental math" to mean "mental calculation" or "mental arithmetic"?
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256 views

Name for phrase of words in increasing significance

I'm looking at the phrase "THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY". The thing I'm trying to think of is the joke format where you list a bunch of things and then change the last word for humorous effect. I ...
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254 views

Term that means making humans look inanimate

Keeping personification as a related (yet opposite) concept, is there a term that means "to give humans lifeless or inanimate appearance"? For example, in a recent photo shoot, the photographer ...
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82 views

Is “Tsuki hits” an example of alliteration?

I understand alliteration to be "repetition of a sound in successive stressed syllables". Assuming that's correct then "Tsuki hits" should be alliterate (since stress pattern is "TSU-ki HITS"). But ...
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5answers
125 views

literary or rhetorical definition

Looking for single word definition for a question or riddle that seemingly has no answer. Designed to confuse. Not paradox or conundrum. I.e "What is the sounds of on hand clapping?"
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1answer
216 views

What is it called when one word in a sentence “downplays” another?

In sentences such as "I'm a little devastated" "He's a little obese" We tend to think of obese and devastated as being on the more extreme end of the scale when describing something, but what is ...
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296 views

What is the name of this stylistic device?

There is a stylistic device where you begin and end a text with the same metaphor.I'm sorry I don't have a "real-world" example in English, but I'll try to describe what I mean. Let's say there's an ...
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1answer
72 views

Which kind of logical fallacy is this?

A blogger writes of the artisanal movement that it is born out of a preference for things that are hand made. He points out (presumably as a criticism of this) that in the 16th century a gentleman ...
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91 views

Usage of “Who's to Say X”, Followed by Defending X, or Attacking X?

I have seen two different uses of "Who's to say X". It appears to me, that the author could either defend X in a sarcastic or ironic way, or could attack X by presenting evidence contrary to X. My ...
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1answer
166 views

What kind of rhetoric is “The computer runs as fast as a rocket.”?

At first sight I would say it is a metaphor, but after some thought I'm not sure anymore. The parallel is not so exact between the two objects, since the speed of a computer usually refers to the ...
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1answer
61 views

Isn’t it odd to refer the king of winner as the king of loser?

There was the following sentence in the article titled, “Vegas. Rove attack ads seal victory for Hillary” appearing in May 10 New Yorker magazine: “The oddsmaker’s only concern, he added, was that ...
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Responding with a basic fact to imply a point of view is clearly flawed or wrong

What is a word or concept that describes a situation where one person puts forth a point of view, and another person does not directly address the position, but instead responds with an obvious, basic ...
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897 views

Why would you want to do that? [closed]

I recently shared with several coworkers that I wanted to go to a particular class. My coworker responded to me with the following question: "Why would you want to do that?" I responded with a ...
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1answer
112 views

What is this type of argument called?

There is a kind of argument that goes like this: x is good because if x were not there, y would be bad. What is this kind of argument called? I learned about this in school but forget the name ...
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1answer
771 views

Litotes: Always for Emphasis? Used for Non-committal Hedging? Any Authoritative Source?

My question is about litotes. I’m wondering if it is always for emphasis, or whether it can be a type of non-committal statement or hedging. And, is there an authoritative source that can be cited ...
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1answer
580 views

Analyzing rhetorical strategies used [closed]

This essay question prompts: Read the letter carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze the rhetorical strategies Lewes uses to establish her position about the development of a writer. ...
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1answer
277 views

Rhetorical analysis — compare? [closed]

Can someone please explain similarities and differences between rhetorical analysis and close reading?
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1answer
423 views

Difference between “hypotyposis”, “ekphrasis” and “iconotext” [closed]

What is the difference between hypotyposis, ekphrasis and iconotext?
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302 views

Advice on rhetorical usage?

A rhetorical question is a question asked in order to make a point, without expectation of an answer. Here is something similair, and I want to know if there exists a name for it, I'll illustrate it ...
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338 views

Literary device: frequently referenced object which never appears

What do you call an object or a person which is frequently referenced but never actually appears? For example, Godot from ‘Waiting for Godot’?
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2k views

Did the “We shall fight on the beaches” speech mainly use words from Old English? If so, why?

I read today that Churchill's "We shall fight on the beaches" speech mainly used words from Old English. Wikipedia's article states that Melvyn Bragg claimed in "The Adventure of English" that only ...
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5answers
445 views

Word for rhetorical style where different arguments get progressively weaker

I'm looking for a word to describe the rhetorical style where one uses different arguments that are not additional, but rather get weaker and weaker. I'm not explaining it very well, so let me give an ...
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233 views

Name for equivocal similes such as found in hip-hop lyrics?

I've observed a figure of speech used heavily by rappers which uses the basic construction of a simile—a "this like that" comparison—when the similarity in the comparison is purely linguistic. That ...
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1answer
849 views

Term for mentioning X by saying “I will not say X” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the origin of the phrase “not to mention …” Is there a name for “I don't mean to…, but” phrases? Is there a term for ...
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The same word used to define itself [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a word for an acronym which spells out one of its component words? What's that figure of speech in which you use the same word to define its meaning, thereby ...