Questions tagged [rhetorical-devices]

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42 views

Is “When since” correct? [closed]

A friend of mine recently used an expression "When since" to start a question that could just as well start with "since when". I feel like it's incorrect, but a google search doesn't bring up any ...
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1answer
35 views

What's the word for using alternative descriptions in place of a name?

There's a word for a replacement of a name with a description of that person, place or whatever thing the name belongs to. This is a very common rhetorical device (especially in newspapers and ...
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What rhetorical device is used in the sentence?

What rhetorical device is used in the sentence "They are unconventionally rich and richly unconventional"?
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295 views

The name of the rhetorical device of reporting the use of vulgar language without quoting it?

A company of soldiers, of which our protagonist, Don, is a member, has set up a temporary camp from which they will launch some raids on some enemy positions. Of Don, we read that The company ...
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28 views

Rhetorical term for the opposite of apophasis/paralipsis?

There are several rhetorical terms describing cases where someone calls attention to something under the pretense of not talking about it or claiming that it shouldn't be talked about, thereby ...
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4answers
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Origin of “he's 6 feet tall if he's an inch”

I have heard this pattern used before in American English: She's 6 feet tall if she's an inch. It was a gallon of blood if it was a drop. The baby was 10 pounds if it was an ounce. I ...
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3answers
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What is this statement being used as?

In composing a written response to a comparison that has been made, I've become a bit stumped. In the statement, the latter claims superiority over the former, based upon the self-identified qualities ...
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2answers
271 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 ...
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1answer
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Is there a name for the substitution of “the + singular noun” for a plural noun?

For instance, I might say, "Overcrowding is a major concern in the classroom today" rather than "Overcrowding is a major concern in classrooms today". Is that substitution a literary device? The ...
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2answers
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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Is there a name for this type of rhetoric?

It seems that there is a literary term for almost every imaginable rhetoric; is there a name for the following one? Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, ...
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1answer
33 views

What's it called when a speaker has some object reflect someone's feelings?

I remember this is the name of some rhetorical scheme. It's hard to explain. It's like if I say: "The rain poured down her tears." Or if I say: "All I could hear over the whine of the plane's ...
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Is there a term for reversing phrases, usually for comedic effect?

For example, I say to a roommate, "I wish I could get caught up on my homework so I can start dating again," to which he replies, "I wish I could get caught up on my dating so I can start doing ...
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1answer
54 views

Would 'Google' be a synecdoche or a metonymy of the internet and technology?

I want to write an opening for my essay, but I'm not sure which term to use: metonymy or synecdoche. I have a feeling that it is a synecdoche because Google is a part of the Internet, but I would like ...
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The use of 'how could …' in past tense situations

A grammatical issue has been bugging me for some time, and I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. If I'm writing in the past tense and questioning the ability to do something or the possibility ...
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3answers
3k views

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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104 views

What is the rhetorical device that modifies a famous phrase, similar to antithesis?

According to Wikipedia: An antithesis must always contain two ideas within one statement A similar effect (parallelism emphasizing opposition of ideas) can be created in which the first element is ...
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1answer
178 views

Term for figure of speech in: 'Life is awesome, I confess'

I am listening to Lana del Rey's song where she begins with: Life is awesome, I confess Using confess this way; I found it rather funny, like a play on words, and if that's the case, hope to know ...
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2answers
212 views

Meaning of “take a knee”

Ice Cube's intro in his newest album starts with Yeah, you know me. Super OG. Always down to take a knee. What does this last sentence mean? He won‘t literally take someone’s knee I guess..
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Term for a particular type of specious argument

Is there a name for the debating technique of trying to advance a specious argument by passing off an fallacious assumption as an accepted truth? The context for this was in a communication that ...
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What is the rhetorical device in this type of sentence?

When she sang she could make a fence post cry. I received this answer from a reliable source that the whole thing’s a metaphor, last part is anthropomorphizing (the fence crying).
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What does “It’s just another day in paradise.” mean in political and diplomatic context in association with U.S. and Russia summit talks?

I came across a phrase, “It’s just another day in paradise” in an article by The Hill (July 20) that came under the title, “Trump demoralized his own team with dizzying Russian moves.” It reads; “...
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Is there a rhetorical method in this apparent error?

Although the construction “I could care less,” is derided as a careless rendering of “I couldn’t care less,” and one that undermines the speaker’s intention of expressing lack of interest in something,...
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1answer
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Rhetorical term for repetition for clarification?

In Malcolm X's Ballot or the Bullet speech, at one point he states: '...dripping with blood, dripping with the blood of the black man.... Is there a specific rhetorical term for this technique, where ...
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1answer
144 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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Rhetorical device? Answer question with example of the answer showing how to find the answer

Imagine the following online dialog. Question: What is a hyperlink? Answer: Click on the following, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hyperlink, or type it into your web browser. (Thanks ...
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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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316 views

Is this a simile and is this a metaphor?

The sentence is: To live on this farm is to live in the sky and the grass as well as the house. Is "as well as the house" a simile or is it just saying something similar to "including the house"? ...
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How to make a question rhetorical [closed]

How do I make a question rhetorical? I'm having trouble making a should question rhetorically. Please help me out.
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108 views

Meaning of “laughing string” in a Yeats poem

Does anyone know the meaning of ‘laughing string’ in these lines by Yeats? Bred to a harder thing Than Triumph, turn away And like a laughing string Whereon mad fingers play Amid a place ...
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3answers
127 views

What does “The thumb-nail, curled up on itself in the womb…” mean?

The thumb-nail, curled up on itself in the womb, feels fear The speaker is trying to convince his listeners that fear is more primal than any other emotions and feelings. Why did he use thumb-nail ...
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4answers
849 views

What's the name of this literary device?

Suddenly, the theater became silent. Just like the breathless spectators. I'm very much interested in how this rhetorical device would be classified. At first, "the theater" is a totum pro parte for ...
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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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Name of a word play [duplicate]

Russell one wrote: Between two quantities there is a conception of difference, but no difference of conception. Is there a name for this kind of word play?
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1answer
462 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
160 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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921 views

Do people actually address their male child “Son” rather than a name, in real life English, or is this mainly a written English usage?

I regularly see films, books, stories and other English usages in which a person uses the term "son" where one might normally use a name. Usually, it's a father and they're portrayed in a reasonably ...
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Is “Love did compose” personification, or is it something else?

In Andrew Marvell’s poem ‘The Fair Singer’ he writes that love did compose: To make a final conquest of all me, Love did compose so sweet an enemy, In whom both beauties to my death agree, ...
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What does “Now all I take is ibuprofen, and that's two flights up” mean? [closed]

There's a conversation between Dr.House and a patient in an episode of House MD named Lockdown, where House tries to explain an issue with withdrawal of the drug he's been using for a long time to ...
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What is the literary device that describes phrases like “faithfully unfaithful”?

I came across a Wikipedia page a few months ago that described a literary device that had two opposite words side by side in a sentence. Unlike an oxymoron ("horribly kind", "run slow"), this page ...
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Not quite “strawman” — a word for stating a non-believed proposition?

[Begin video clip]"The Earth is flat. You can walk from here to there and you never start tilting." [End video clip] "So it might have appeared to people at one time..." [Discard rest of hour-long ...
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Is there a name for “I don't mean to…, but” phrases?

"I don't mean to change the subject, but..." but you are changing the subject. "I don't mean to interrupt, but..." but you are interrupting. Is there a name for these type of "polite" phrases?
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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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Reversing Binomials

Siamese twins or binomials are pairs of expressions which are often conjoined. For example: back and forth ebb and flow near and far better or worse do or die Is there is a name for the rhetorical ...
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1answer
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What is the term for deliberately forcing a not-quite-grammatical parallelism?

There is a fairly common figure of speech where one deliberately imposes a parallel structure that is not quite grammatical. For instance, consider the question "Is A less, equal, or greater than B?" ...
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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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654 views

Is “as much as the next guy” a simile?

Would "as much as the next guy" be a simile, or just an idiom? I am working on a lesson plan for similes, and was not 100% sure.
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Term for Multiple Similar/Redundant Adjectives

I've been searching fervently for a potentially fictitious term that I thought I came across a while ago for structures like: The weather that day was so bleak and dreary, all I wanted to do was ...
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What is it called when someone uses a slightly absurd specific example of something to be humorous?

For example, "We're competing for attention with teenagers who would rather be playing Angry Birds," or "You need to explain this in a way that your grandmother who thinks the internet works by magic ...