Questions tagged [rhetorical-devices]

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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 ...
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1answer
95 views

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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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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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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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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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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87 views

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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1answer
71 views

What's the name for a non-question posing as a question?

A rhetorical question is a question that doesn't require an answer. What's the name for a rhetorical device that's a non-question that requires an answer ? Eg, in the following convo what role does "...
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27 views

Word for stating something as fact when narrator and audience knows it is untrue?

I am looking for a literary term that is similar to irony. Basically, the narrator say something in an almost sarcastic way by stating something that everyone knows is untrue. The quote I am going off ...
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2answers
65 views

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 ...
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Types of Questions

Are questions such as "Will they like me?" and "Will I fit in?" said in a diary, for example, with an emotional tone, rhetorical questions? If not, what type are they?
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Inversion with phrase “handy for”

The following example sentence from Collins Dictionary seems to me perfectly natural and in line with the given definition of handy: 3. A thing or place that is handy is nearby and therefore easy ...
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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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78 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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3answers
215 views

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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246 views

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 ...