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Questions tagged [rhetoric]

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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What is the word for (style of) answering a question/problem with a question to "deflect" answering the original question back?

See also: Is there a word for answering a question with a question? Looking specifically for the type of question, style or technique that shifts the responsibility for finding the solution for the ...
JoasM's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is the rhetorical purpose of the phrase: "to be honest?"

What is the rhetorical purpose of the phrase: "to be honest?" I think it has become a way to indicate that what came before was a lie but the speaker does not want to be direct. On LinkedIn, ...
Mike B's user avatar
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4 answers
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A tendentious reading, based on [adjective] reasoning — what adjective? [closed]

Let's say I quote a passage and offer a reading — or rather (according to me) the reading. To construct it, I employ...what? Motivated reasoning? Interested reasoning? I feel like there's a clear, ...
Nafine's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is there a phrase for when you "bite the bullet" on a logical consequence but maintain that it's not a "bullet" at all?

Opponents of a view often attempt to draw outrageous logical consequences from the view in order to discredit it: if p leads to something as outrageous as q, then that just shows that p is false. ...
rrutouowrpeie's user avatar
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2 answers
178 views

What exactly does ethos mean in rhetoric?

Ethos literally means "ethics", so it would seem that it would be used to describe appeals to one's ethics, morals, or "right vs wrong". However, it seems that it is also used to ...
Samuel Waller's user avatar
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1 answer
91 views

Generalization with plural versus with definite article [closed]

I was studying the usage of definite article in Arabic and I realized I am not on firm grounds in English either. With respect to either grammar or rhetoric, are there nuances between the following ...
blackened's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
70 views

What does the term "antisemitic" mean and how did it arrive at it's modern definition? [closed]

I ask this question for two reasons. One, it's being used a lot currently in western media and online spaces such as twitter, so maybe if I could fully grasp it's definition I could understand why it'...
Swarthy's user avatar
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2 answers
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What kind of repetition is "millions and millions and millions of"? [duplicate]

One Eva Smith has gone – but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths… J.B. Priestley, An Inspector Calls Would "millions and millions and millions" be an example of ...
Jo Taylor's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
83 views

What is the grammatical device that treats abstract concepts as having human agency?

What is the grammatical device that treats abstract concepts as having human agency? For example: "As it evolved, however, science also turned itself into ideology, belief, and prejudice." ...
Jon Dhoe's user avatar
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Goodly/godly, loose/lose - name of the rhetorical device? [closed]

What is the name of the following rhetorical device? loose - lose goodly - godly (not in the sense that both words are used in a text but that one is used while implicitly implying the other, e.g. ...
Guest_04's user avatar
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What rhetorical techniques are these? [closed]

"This is what you can do" "This is what Americans can do" To me, these two sentences seem different because (1) feels like it is directed at individuals, singling someone out. ...
h061's user avatar
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Name for a rhetorical device suggesting an individual fault by generalization

I am trying to find the name of the rhetorical device used in the following (deliberately absurd) example: John says that he believes in motherhood and apple pie. In my experience many people who say ...
David's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Rhetorical phrase analysis [closed]

Is there a rhetorical device found from the following phrase? It won't cost you a thing, but it may save your life.
Jonathan's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
341 views

What does "voice" mean in the context of written language?

The two most common frames of reference seem to be (1) agency attribution at the level of sentence structure (active vs. passive voice) and (2) the use of stylistic elements to stamp the persona of ...
Smita Lahiri's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
194 views

Is there a term for the grammatical/rhetorical construction of "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named"?

Is there a term for the construction of specifying someone or something solely via a relative clause without explicitly naming it, as in the example in the title - either at the level of grammar or of ...
tparker's user avatar
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3 votes
6 answers
127 views

Term for allowing implausible scenario in argument

What is the term for allowing an implausible scenario in order to be as generous as possible to the claim one is about to knock down? Example: Acme Acres recorded 2,000 births last year, but the town ...
bongbang's user avatar
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definition and usage for whipsaw?

My understanding of the whipsaw term is that can, according to Wiktionary, be used rhetorically as in these examples: verb (transitive) To defeat someone in two different ways at once. 2014 November ...
Nicholas Saunders's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
234 views

Is there a name for a rhetorical technique where a deceptive exaggeration is used openly and with admission in order to effect a desired emotion?

I'm talking about a specific usage of language where the deceit is passive and consistent - an arguer might use an exaggerated word, or a word entirely incorrectly, to alter an audience's reception to ...
Zach F.'s user avatar
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3 answers
335 views

What's the word for something that is purposefully generalised and understated?

“By the time his arrival was reported, Lindbergh was the world’s hero, and nobody was interested in an Italian who reached his destination at the end of a tow rope.” Like this example, the Italian guy ...
Nathan Hong's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
538 views

Is there a word to describe a plausible but incorrect explanation? [duplicate]

I'm thinking of something where somebody (with no malicious intention) offers a very plausible and scientific-sounding explanation (not a theory but something presented as a series of facts) such that ...
user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
3k views

Metaphor for creativity

What is a good metaphor for a person that is creative, or for creativity in general? I find nothing when searching and nothing really comes to my mind? Help appreciated!
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Seeking a name for literary device/technique involving denial and hypothetical dialogue

Preface To properly frame this question, I should note that I recently have been studying formal rhetoric according to the five canons (inventio, dispositio, elocutio, memoria, and actio), and paying ...
SeligkeitIstInGott's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Term for anticipating counterarguments and rebutting them

There's this term for the rhetorical device of anticipating counterarguments and rebutting them, but I simply can't remember it. Now I know what you're thinking - did you try googling it? Well I did,...
pellucidcoder's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
105 views

How do I clarify to readers that the bolded dialogue question is a rhetorical question?

Two characters, Scythe Master and Claudia, are having a conversation in this book I'm translating. The first speaker is Scythe. (Bolded part is what I'm 87% sure is a rhetorical question, based on ...
Toyu_Frey's user avatar
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Word for a style of argument pre-excluding a particular answer as impossible

I'm not sure if this is a type of fallacy, or merely a noun or adjective for a type of (obstinate) argument. I'm looking for a word that describes a situation where a person is demanding an answer or ...
tbrookside's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
2k views

Name for rhetorical technique of abandoning commas in a long list?

I just came across a very nice example of a rhetorical structure I know I have seen many, many times: Our national character feels like it’s possessed by every hellish ghost of American history: ...
mweiss's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
230 views

Term for rhetorical refrain

In the widely followed hearing on Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation to the United States Supreme Court, Senator Kamala Harris said to Kavanaugh's accuser of sexual assault; You have called for an ...
Raa's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
152 views

Is there a name for this particular kind of rhetorical question?

An example: Coffee? Why are you asking if I want coffee? Here the speaker, depending on context, means to say that they either want coffee or don't want it and that, in either case, this should be ...
readyready15728's user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
2k views

What does it mean when someone says " the rhetoric has changed"?

What does it mean when someone says " the rhetoric has changed"?
NaveenRaj N's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
117 views

Comparative studies of examples of epizeuxis

Epizeuxis is a rhetorical device which is defined as involving immediate or close repetition of a word or phrase - 'Break, break, break, On thy cold grey stones, O sea!' (Tennyson) or 'There's a fox, ...
Leon Conrad's user avatar
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1 answer
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What types of indirect references are and aren't allusions?

In school I learned that allusions are indirect references. Often my teachers would give examples in the form of references to well-known literary works. If I say "I can read the writing on the wall"...
Duncan Malashock's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

The usage of "who knows" [duplicate]

Is the second sentence correct English? What is the grammatical role and meaning of "who knows how many jobs"? ...Traditional cars happen to be human sized to transport humans but tiny autos can ...
sarah's user avatar
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1 answer
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Catchy description for this fallacy

First, I'd like to know the technical term for this fallacy, and then I'd like at least one down-to-earth example that I can refer to in a section heading. Background: Down Syndrome tends to feature ...
aparente001's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
286 views

Difference in meaning and usage between “macrologia”, “periergia” and “bomphiologia”

All of these terms are devices that can describe something that is superfluous but how do these terms differ? The Silva Rhetoricae (Gideon Burton, rhetoric.byu.edu) lists them under "figures of ...
Colbi's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
188 views

What's this form of rhetoric called?

Let's suppose my father was a good moral teacher to me. I say: "I learned my virtuous morals from my father." This is a true statement, because he did teach me good morals. However the subsequent ...
Zebrafish's user avatar
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3 answers
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Is a question with an obvious answer to ask another question rhetorical?

If you were to ask someone a question with an obvious answer just to ask another question or to bring a subject up, would that be rhetorical? Like asking "Are you okay?" when someone is obviously hurt ...
SilverMonkey's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
971 views

Who can help me with Metonymy and Synecdoche

To gain a further understanding of the difference between them, I have searched a lot of information about them, but I found that what some regard as metonymy are considered synecdoche by others. E.g....
Kris's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
267 views

Is 'the dead' a synecdoche?

Is the phrase 'the dead' a synecdoche? In using it, the individuals are being collectively defined by the fact they are dead, rather than acknowledging their personhood. If it is not a synecdoche, is ...
Kate's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
973 views

Metonymy and Synecdoche [duplicate]

Learning figures of speech sometimes can be confusing, and I am trying to figure out the difference between metonymy and synecdoche. Given the following sentence ①Grey hairs should be respected (...
Kris's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
285 views

What is it called when I poop the dog?

I'm wondering what it is called when a non-transitive verb is used as a transitive verb. An example would be if someone took the dog outside so it could defecate, and said, I pooped the dog. I ...
Brrrrrrr's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
2k views

"not admitting" vs "denying": Does the former imply guilt?

I always have the impression that "they didn't admit to a crime" tends towards implying that "they" are guilty, while the wording "they denied committing the crime" doesn't have any such bias. Is this ...
Nobody's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
298 views

term for sentences that can be read as "tends to" or "always" [duplicate]

I'm looking for a term -- from linguistics or semantics -- that indicates phrases of this structure have TWO (possible) senses: Men are taller than women. Seafood costs more than hamburger. Anchors ...
Dan H's user avatar
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20 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there a term for “neutral” words whose connotations are limited to being either positive or negative?

I've been wondering for some time now if there is an existing term for a rhetorical phenomenon I've noticed. It occurs when a word, instead of being used in its literal or etymological sense, is used ...
Don's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
98 views

Is there a term like 'metaphor' but for drawing a disanalogy?

Similes and metaphors drawn analogies, compare things. Is there another rhetorical term for when someone wants to draw a disanalogy? I can imagine a poet or at least rhetorician wanting to say e.g. ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Rhetorical question?

Today I served a customer dressed obviously for cycling. He came in with his trousers tucked into his socks and a very obvious cycling helmet. I asked my colleague Do you think he came on his bike?...
Angela Lewis's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
6k views

What is the word used to describe a question that demands one of two possible answers?

Politicians seem incapable of giving a straight answer when posed simple questions, sometimes because the question being asked simply cannot be dignified by a one word answer, other times because they ...
SCCC 125g's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
86 views

Word for applying heavenly arguments to terrestrial issues

Is there a word for the process of applying heavenly-derived arguments to terrestrial issues? For example, "John Doe argues against abortion because his Catholic faith says it's wrong. John's ...
techSultan's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
167 views

Is “prime candidates” in the sentence below used as a metaphor or personification?

Finally, states should reduce or eliminate the least useful graduate programs. Journalism (now dubbed “communications”), business and education are prime candidates. Is “prime candidates” here used as ...
gzk132's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
104 views

Term for a particular logical fallacy

In debates there's a particular logical fallacy that goes something like: "Person A is bad. Person A thinks X is good. Therefore X is bad." or alternatively: "Person A is good. Person A thinks X is ...
Ulysses's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
214 views

What is the precise name for this non sequitur

Randomly came across an article with the title Why Angry White America Fell For Putin today. Provocative title and content of the article aside, there is an obvious kind of fallacy in the title ...
spinkus's user avatar
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