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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Rhetoric arrangements of I Have a Dream [on hold]

I'm trying to find the different rhetoric arrangements of the speech "I have a Dream" of Martin Luther King, Jr. They are introduction, narration, confirmation, refutation and conclusion. I'm quite ...
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86 views

What do you call the collective singular as a rhetorical device? (e.g. 'the Hun')

I’m trying to figure out how to refer to the rhetorical device in which one refers to a collective as an individual member of that group, e.g. ’the Hun’ for soldiers of the German Empire during the ...
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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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How to use “what better way” to ask a rhetorical question?

I want to say that friendship can inspire a lot using a rhetorical question. Is the following question correct: What better way to get inspired than by accompanying a good friend?
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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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A word for when a word is used incorrectly (grammatically) but can still be parsed in a grammatically correct way?

Does such a word exist? An example: Do good. Supposing that my intention in saying "Do good!" was actually "Do well (on your test)!", the sentence still parses correctly as "Do good (deeds)!" I ...
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50 views

Context and meaning of “ cloak myself in the mantle of Voltaire …”?

This is from an old story about a publisher backing off from publishing a book after having made an initial contract with the author, because of some of the latter's controversial views. Chris ...
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Is there a name for these sorts of paradoxical inversions?

They most often come as advice on how to solve problems that seem the reverse of what would be expected: In order to think of a solution you must stop thinking about the problem. In order ...
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64 views

Effective repartee for “It's for your own safety” [closed]

We've heard this subversive phrase all too often but I've yet to come across a good reply. How would you categorize this device and Acknowledging that context is important, what kind of rhetorical ...
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598 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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What is the form of rhetoric called which involves posing questions and answering them oneself?

Donald Rumsfeldt had a way of speaking in public, where to make his point more forcibly he would pose questions and answer them. Has Saddam Hussain bombed his own people? Yes. Has he begun the ...
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380 views

Parallelism in the Sentence

According to the rule of parallelism, is the following sentence correct the spirit of winning should be more than the fear of being defeated Thanks!
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135 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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2answers
65 views

rhetorical terminology: Using a generic term to mean a specific thing?

Is there a name for the rhetorical practice of using a generic term to mean a specific thing? For example, a particular programming language uses the term "algorithm," which is a very broad term ...
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2k views

Usage and example of the word “litotes”

I've come across the word litotes, which means a rhetorical understatement. However, I’m having trouble understanding how to use it in colloquial English. Could someone please give an example?
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What fallacy is this? “Your argument is wrong/invalid because it's just an opinion.”

I encounter this fallacy frequently in online discussions where an opponent completely disregards all of my premises and says my conclusion is invalid because it's an "opinion" and "not objective." ...
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272 views

A Better Phrase for “On Hold” in the context of Stack Exchange [closed]

I thought about the appropriate location for this question before posting, and I came to the conclusion that it is, at its root, a problem of diction and rhetoric... We would, certainly, like to ...
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Why is “wry humor” more evidently used than “analogy” in this sentence? [closed]

The question is from the English portion of a particular test, asking for the rhetoric strategy used in this quotation: I love Henry, but I cannot like him; and as for taking his arm, I should as ...
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107 views

Another term for oxymorons

What is the term for an incongruous phrase like domestic violence, where the word "domestic" softens or alters the meaning of "violence", or Big Brother, which is not literally an oxymoron but is so ...
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55 views

Is this strictly a paradox?

It seemed that we were closing in on a vision of our universe in which everything to be calculated, predicted, understood. However two theories eternal inflation and string theory now suggest that ...
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361 views

Rhetorical evasion

While it may not be a rhetorical fallacy as such, I'm wondering if there is term that covers this: When losing an argument, divert the conversation to something unrelated, and say something ...
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328 views

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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222 views

Give me an example of an apophasis

How ought one best understand an 'apophasis'? Is it the act of mentioning something by not mentioning it, or mentioning it by explicitly saying you won't mention it? Or does it encompass both ...
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51 views

Do please let me know [duplicate]

I've been using this sentence for a while now, but someone suggested to me that it doesn't sound like proper English. "Do please let me know [e.g. if you need more information]" (1) vs "Please let ...
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851 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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387 views

What is the rhetorical strategy called when the author sets up an “us vs them” situation?

I know there's a word for that. It was a speech where Kennedy was demonizing the steel CEO's for raising prices while subtly dropping in words like "we" and "the American people". He was making it ...
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What is the name of this rhetorical device involving a change of word order?

In the quote below, the two occurrences of again are in different positions in their respective clauses. "Forgiveness is the answer to the child's dream of a miracle by which what is broken is ...
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86 views

Type of spurious reasoning which ignores other effects of a counterfactual

Consider a male athlete who is a reasonably skilled 100 metres sprinter, with a best time around 10.3 seconds. Probably not enough to make a career in track and field, but faster than the women's 100 ...
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288 views

Where did the practice of using quotation marks to discredit an opponent (“scare-quotes”) come from?

This is a practice extremely prevalent on conspiracy theory blogs and social media (a.k.a., conspiracy theory blogs), but where did the concept of discrediting opponents with quotation marks come ...
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287 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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107 views

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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79 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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112 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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418 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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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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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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495 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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71 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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161 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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75 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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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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223 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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What makes a question rhetorical?

according to Wikipedia: A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for its persuasive effect without the expectation of a reply. Example: "How much longer ...
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168 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
119 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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500 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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452 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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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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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 ...