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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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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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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332 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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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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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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210 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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443 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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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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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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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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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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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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71 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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98 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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299 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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291 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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55 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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91 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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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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“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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108 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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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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371 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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154 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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181 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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153 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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“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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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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Is there a word for answering a question with a question?

I am aware that answering student questions with further, leading questions is sometimes dubbed “Socratic,” but I am asking more broadly about all occasions where someone asks a question and, instead ...
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467 views

What do you call second-party quotes within a quote?

On NPR this morning I heard a newscaster say a phrase something like this: (paraphrased) … Bank declined to interview, but in a phone call said, "We are making (quote) every effort (unquote) to …" ...
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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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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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158 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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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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419 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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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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64 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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52 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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268 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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120 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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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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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 ...