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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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1k 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,...
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
67 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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
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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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7answers
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What do you call the rhetoric strategy of purposely 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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2answers
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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: ...
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3answers
178 views

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

What does it mean when someone says " the rhetoric has changed"?
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1answer
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What are the differences between rhetorical analysis and close reading? [closed]

Can someone please explain the similarities and differences between rhetorical analysis and close reading?
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4answers
707 views

What is the name of the stylistic device where you begin and end a text with the same metaphor?

There is a stylistic device where you begin and end a text with the same metaphor. I'm sorry I don't have a "real-world" example in English, but I'll try to describe what I mean. Let's say there's an ...
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1answer
114 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 ...
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1answer
60 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 ...
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0answers
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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, ...
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1answer
474 views

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"...
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2answers
499 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 ...
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5answers
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“A whole nother” way of looking at things

People say this so much (instead of "another whole" way, etc.) that I wonder how it got started. How did "another whole..." get changed to "a whole nother..."?
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Does “Turtles all the way down” mean endless continuation / exercise similar to ‘peeling onions,’’ or does it represent sophism?

I learned the phrase “Turtles all the way down,” popularized by Stephen Hawking in an answer to my latest question asking the meaning of the phrase, “Mercy within mercy within mercy." Jmereno ...
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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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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
665 views

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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2answers
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What is the term for the unstated elements within rhetoric and/or their use?

I've always understood that the term rhetoric specifically referred to the conveyance of some concept that is not represented at all in the literal meaning of the words used. A few examples: These ...
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0answers
154 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 ...
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6answers
833 views

Word for suggesting solutions to a problem solely to demonstrate contempt for the expected problem-solver

I have noticed that, with certain kinds of problems - political problems spring to mind - some people (who are not in a position to make decisions about the problem) are prone to suggesting a certain ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 article ...
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1answer
367 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 (...
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Term for when someone falsely accuses you of doing to them what they are actually doing to you

UPDATE: (2018-02-08) Pot-Calling-The-Kettle-Black (PCKB) reconsideration and another example: The Wikipedia article on PCKB indicates something interesting. It says that originally, the term was ...
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1answer
385 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....
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1answer
139 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 ...
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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 ...
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175 views

identifying a specific fallacious argument

What 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'  ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
120 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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“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 ...
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4answers
679 views

It's 2013, where's my flying car?

It's the 21st century, why don't we have world peace? It's 2013, where's my flying car? Is there a name for this kind of bad argument?
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1answer
64 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

“Are you calling me a liar?”

Normally I ignore the formalisms of rhetoric, but I'm curious: When the question, “Are you calling me a liar?”, is used to “defend” a point of opinion or interpretation, would it best be classified ...
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1answer
189 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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1answer
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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 meanings?...
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2answers
59 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. ...
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2answers
815 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?...
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2answers
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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 ...
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5answers
960 views

Another term for oxymorons [closed]

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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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 ...
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1answer
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Litotes: Always for Emphasis? Used for Non-committal Hedging? Any Authoritative Source?

My question is about litotes. I’m wondering if it is always for emphasis, or whether it can be a type of non-committal statement or hedging. And, is there an authoritative source that can be cited ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
644 views

“Eye of the Needle” Joke in Supply-Side Jesus

"It is easier for a rich man to enter heaven seated comfortably on the back of a camel than it is for a poor man to pass through the eye of a needle," is a funny inversion of "Matthew 19:24" from Al ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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What is a word for a question that has no answer because it is seemingly invalid?

A friend of mine posted a riddle on Facebook involving adding money and then subtracting money. It ended with a question asking where $1 went, but the trick was that there was no discrepancy, so the $...
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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 ...