Hot answers tagged rhetoric
In Ancient Greek, where both the rhetorical and geometrical terms were invented, they are the same words, employed in different figurative senses: A ‘parabole’ is a ‘casting/setting side by side’—using Latin-derived morphs an ‘apposition’ or ‘adjacency’. In rhetoric, it is a comparison, which sets two terms side-by-side; later it denotes a fiction which is ...
This is an example of metanalysis: taking two words that occur in close proximity, and re-analyzing them so that the word boundary changes position. In this case, the common phrase an other is reanalyzed as a nother, which then allows the insertion of the word whole to give a whole nother. Metanalysis has happened several times in English, the most common ...
The specific example you posted is technically a riddle: A riddle is a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. That doesn't really answer the more generic question in your title, however. Nor does it address your friend's assertion that all questions are valid. Strictly speaking, not all ...
You may be looking for metonymy. If you're looking for other examples, governments are often referred to like this—at least, Westminster for the UK parliament, and Washington for the US government. (In fact, looking up Westminster on Wikipedia was how I found metonym.)
Antimetabole is I think what you’re after: In rhetoric, antimetabole … is the repetition of words in successive clauses, but in transposed grammatical order (e.g., "I know what I like, and I like what I know"). It is similar to chiasmus although chiasmus does not use repetition of the same words or phrases.
This is an example of synecdoche. In these examples, the company HQ is a part of the city as a whole. The city is being used as a metaphor for the company. I wonder if these are being used in a slightly euphemistic way. It allows one to refer to the company without referring to directly, perhaps granting license to say something negative about the company ...
In this case it's a trick question, because it intentionally misleads. If a question is invalid for some other reason, like being honestly based on what turned out to a false premise, then I think invalid is correct.
This method of answering questions with questions, in order to let the questioner realize that he can find the answer by reasoning (Socrates would say that the answer was in him all along), is called maieutics (the related adjective being maieutic).
Probably a hypophora: a figure of speech in which a writer raises a question and then immediately provides an answer to that question Commonly, a question is asked in the first paragraph and then the paragraph is used to answer the question. It is also known as antipophora or anthypophora. At first look, examples of hypophora may seem similar ...
To answer the question of difference between Dancrumb's synecdoche and John Bartholomew's metonym, Wikipedia describes it thusly: When the distinction is made, it is the following: when A is used to refer to B, it is a synecdoche if A is a component of B and a metonym if A is commonly associated with B but not actually part of its whole. Redmond and ...
This is exactly the case of sophistry. Because he knows that he is playing a trick. Sophistry: the clever use of reasons or explanations that seem correct but are really false, in order to deceive people If he didn't know that he is playing some trick on you I would call it fallacy. Fallacy: a weakness in someone’s argument or ideas which is ...
In addition to JSBangs' metanalysis reference I found the following in classical rhetoric (as one often does): Tmesis, Gk. "a cutting", Also sp. timesis, dissectio Interjecting a word or phrase between parts of a compound word or between syllables of a word. Examples: In the following sentence the word "appear" occurs between the two ...
I think the word you are looking for is recursive. pertaining to or using a rule or procedure that can be applied repeatedly. In your example YAML Ain't Markup Language YAML is a recursive acronym Although God is...well, only God can define God. is more like circular reasoning, which I suppose could be seen as a basic form of recursion. Similar to ...
To take the best-known passage alone, rather than the whole speech, and skip over duplicates, we can quickly show that this is the case: we Old English we shall Old English sceal fight Old English feohtan on Old English on a variant of Old English an the Old English þe, from earlier Old English se beaches Old English bæce/bece landing Modern English ...
In rhetoric, this omne trium perfectum (all in threes is perfect or rule of three) is referred to as crescendo, auxesis or climax - an arrangement in order of increasing importance. Auxesis also refers more generally to placement of words or phrases in certain order to obtain climactic effect. When restricted to three phrases it can be referred to as ...
WTD is quite old (What the Devil). Here's an early example from 1727:
It's a Spoonerism.
It means that there are ordinary, run-of-the mill dinner jackets, and then there are special, well-cut, expensive dinner jackets, of the sort that a millionaire, master criminal or international secret agent would wear. The idiom can be used for other things too: I've tried pizza and I don't really like it. Ah, but there's pizza, and there's pizza. ...
This is an example of litotes, which is stating a positive through a negative. It just means that [X] is not bad, that there are many alternatives that are worse. In the sentence you link to If you are just interested in a simple command line processor which uses MSXML 6 then you could do worse than using a simple JScript application. the person who ...
These English terms derive indirectly from the respective Ancient Greek origins: ἔλλειψις (elleipsis): falling short / omission παρά- (pará-): "alongside" or "application" ὐπερ- (huper-): "exceed" The relationship of the rhetorical terms with these origins should be self-evident. I'll focus on the conic sections instead. We know that the conic sections ...
I don't see what's ironic about it, honestly. What is it about a more secure system being used to hack a less secure system that violates any expectation? That's like saying it's ironic that the reliable, well-armored, heavily armed German Panzer III tanks beat the bejesus out of the legendarily crappy British A9s and A10s in World War II. Well, no, that'...
Apophasis is exactly what you seek. To borrow the definition from Chambers, it means "effectively saying something by stating that you will not mention it." It is a commonly-used word in theology: a description of God is apophatic when He is described using what He is not. EDIT (adding another answer after FumbleFingers' comment) - Paralipsis. Once again ...
This might be a form of catacosmesis, which is the ordering of components (usually words, not arguments) from most to least important. It is the opposite of climax (rhetorically speaking), so perhaps you might refer to arguments arranged this way as anticlimactic. But the structure you cite is more about stating an argument, then adding a condition that if ...
There is grammatical ellipsis, which in general case might not introduce the sense of accelerated time, but quite the reverse, depending on how hard is it to parse, for example: The average person thinks he isn't. The parsing here needs backtracking which slows the reading, but gives an effect of delayed and double, in-depth comprehension. In terms of ...
Tu quoque: (Latin for "you, too" or "you, also") or the appeal to hypocrisy, is a logical fallacy that attempts to discredit the opponent's position by asserting the opponent's failure to act consistently in accordance with that position
This is a type of chiasmus (in general) or antimetabole (to be specific). Example of antimetabole from Sylvae Rhetoricae: You can take the gorilla out of the jungle, but you can't take the jungle out of the gorilla.
What about needs improvement or something along those lines. Variants like needs to be improved could be considered too, but the key concept is that the question is not ready yet, but can be changed so it is ready.
Such a question can be called a counter-question, but I do not believe there is an English word for actually posing such a question. You could make one up, such as "counter-questioning". That should be understood, at least.
The g-rated version of 'does a bear sh*t in the woods?' is, Is the Pope Catholic?
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