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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False attribution to increase authority

What is the practice called of falsely attributing an anecdote or piece of writing or fact to another source to give it more authority or authenticity, or to avoid the appearance of self-promotion? ...
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55 views

identifying a specific fallacious argument

How do you call redefining your opponent's argument to better suit your own prejudice ? For instance declaring that those who 'think' that a film will not be successful in Europe actually  'wish'  so. ...
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53 views

Rhetorical device - listing rejected answers

Is there a name for the rhetorical device whereby you ask a question and then list the rejected answers? For example: "What was it then? It wasn't x, nor y, nor z. No, in fact it was . . .." The ...
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Phrasing the main point as a parenthetical

In a blog comment I found myself responding to (what I considered) a foolish point using this format: “‹quotation of the original›” ‹sarcastic over-the-top agreement with the statement› ...
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What is the name of this rhetorical device?

Alice and Bob are discussing their recently ended short relationship. The ending of the relationship was instigated by Alice. Bob indicates that he thinks it is a shame the relationship ended. Alice ...
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107 views

“Are you calling me a liar?”

Normally I ignore the formalisms of rhetoric, but I'm curious: When the above question is used to "defend" a point of opinion or interpretation, would it best be classified as an ad hominem argument, ...
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47 views

Wedge between the related verbs?

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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1answer
29 views

'Anastrophe' a hyponym of 'hyperbaton'?

[Source 1:] 'an anastrophe is always a type of hyperbaton, but a hyperbaton is not necessarily an anastrophe'. [Source 2:] Anastrophe is most often a synonym for hyperbaton, but is ...
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130 views

What do you call the rhetoric strategy of purposefully writing a paragraph that no one can understand?

Most of us have come across a paragraph which sounded meaningless to us or which made us wonder if we were intellectually equipped to read it. That may have been the case, but sometimes one writes a ...
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59 views

Is this an example of rhetoric? [closed]

I don't know if this is an example of rhetoric. How has CVS changed over the past few years?
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103 views

“Freedom is slavery” and “Ignorance is strength” - What kind of rhetorical strategy is this?

What kind of rhetorical strategy (or fallacy?) is it when someone uses words with opposite meanings and combines them in what seems to be a contradiction? In George Orwell’s 1984 we can find: ...
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88 views

Rhetoric: 'Anyone that believes _____, must be _______.'

Is there a specific name for rhetoric that follows this general form? 'Anyone that _____, (is a, must be, etc.) _______.' I seem to recall that the above was a specific type of rhetoric pointed out ...
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160 views

“The only witness is a prostitute!” What do you call this type of rhetoric in English? [closed]

The defense attorney: “…and finally, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client can never be considered legally guilty unless the prosecutor can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. And, ...
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86 views

“We must eat to live, not live to eat.” — What kind of rhetorical figure is that?

In this kind of sentence the second half is an inversion of the first half. Is it a rhetorical artífice? What kind?
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1answer
35 views

What figures of speech are common in “roasts”? [closed]

When a celebrity or personality is "roasted", lots of bad things are said about and to the (un)fortunate guest; at the end usually there is a change in mood and the person is acknowledged by the ...
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2answers
237 views

Can I use the adjective as the first word?

Is it okay if I rearrange the sentence The apple on the table was green or The green apple was on the table to put the adjective in front, as the first word, like Green, was the apple on ...
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1answer
51 views

What is the meaning of Political Oratory in Aristotle's Rhetoric? [closed]

I have understood 'Forensic Oratory' to mean courtroom persuasion. But what is the meaning of Political Oratory in Aristotle's Rhetoric? Is it just like presidential campaign speeches? Does it have a ...
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2answers
124 views

What do you call seeming “hyperbole” that's actually true?

I saw an ad for a residential and commercial area on a bus the other day. It said something like this, with the emphasis being mine. Along the [whatever corridor], we have six barber shops, ten ...
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160 views

“Not as heavy as an elephant.” Which literary device is this?

I was having a conversation with a friend today. He jokingly asked me to help him pick up a desktop printer later (he's obviously strong enough to carry one on his own - a typical desktop printer is ...
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Use of “well” to signal a pseudo-awkward pause before an impending word repetition or pun

In an article titled “The Ice Age Cometh” (Fortune, May 25, 1998, reprinted in The Great Unraveling, 2003), Paul Krugman writes: Suppose that two tribes—the Clan of the Cave Bear and its neighbor, ...
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111 views

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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77 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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2answers
102 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
101 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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0answers
176 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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114 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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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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50 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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38 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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188 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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94 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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125 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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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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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
62 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
60 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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381 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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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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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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806 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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244 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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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
147 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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176 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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5answers
438 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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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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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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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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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?"