Language and Wordsmithing

Allegories: A long string of related metaphors or extended analogies that tell a story or deliver a
        message. They are often used to paint a larger picture. "I see myself as the man in the arena
        whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes
        short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming, but who
        does actually strive to do the deeds

Alliteration:  repetition of the same sound beginning several words in sequence.

*Let us go forth to lead the land we love. J. F. Kennedy, Inaugural

*Viri validis cum viribus luctant. Ennius

*Veni, vidi, vici. Julius Caesar

Altercation- a dispute, often ending in violence, between the patrons on the main points in dispute
Amplificatio- the grand manner of Harangue
Anacoluthon: lack of grammatical sequence; a change in the grammatical construction within the
        same sentence.

*Agreements entered into when one state of facts exists -- are they to be maintained regardless of changing conditions? J. Diefenbaker

Anadiplosis: ("doubling back") the rhetorical repetition of one or several words; specifically,
        repetition of a word that ends one clause at the beginning of the next.

*Men in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servants of fame; and servants of business. Francis Bacon

Anaphora: the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses or

*We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender. Churchill.

Anastrophe: transposition of normal word order; most often found in Latin in the case of
        prepositions and the words they control. Anastrophe is a form of hyperbaton.

*The helmsman steered; the ship moved on; yet never a breeze up blew. Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Antistrophe: repetition of the same word or phrase at the end of successive clauses.

*In 1931, ten years ago, Japan invaded Manchukuo -- without warning. In 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia -- without warning. In 1938, Hitler occupied Austria -- without warning. In 1939, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia -- without warning. Later in 1939, Hitler invaded Poland -- without warning. And now Japan has attacked Malaya and Thailand -- and the United States --without warning. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Antithesis: A sophisticated balance in which the two phrases or clauses oppose one another. "Ask
        not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." "A coward dies
        often; a brave man dies once."

Apophasis: A figure whereby a speaker denies what he or she is doing. "I won't tell you that he is a

Aporia: expression of doubt (often feigned) by which a speaker appears uncertain as to what he
        should think, say, or do.

*Then the steward said within himself, 'What shall I do?' Luke 16

Aposiopesis: A figure whereby the speaker is so moved by his own words that he breaks off speaking for moment. Marc Antony in Rome, Nixon in the Checkers Speech, and Ed Muskie in the snows of New Hampshire all break up at one point in their speech. Sophists did it on purpose to convey sincerity. It happens at funerals and farewell parties by accident.

Apostrophe: a sudden turn from the general audience to address a specific group or person or
        personified abstraction absent or present.

*For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

Archaism: use of an older or obsolete form.

*Pipit sate upright in her chair
Some distance from where I was sitting; T. S. Eliot, "A Cooking Egg"

Assonance: repetition of the same sound in words close to each other.

*Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

Asyndeton: A figure using multiple words but eliminating the connectives for emphasis. "I came, I
        saw, I conquered." Here at Cal. State, we are poor, downtrodden, abused, overworked,
        undernourished. I will have no more of it."

Balance: Two clauses or phrases of matching rhythm and length brought together for effect. "He
        was happy and she was happy." "If I can stand and cook it, you can sit and eat it."

Brachylogy: a general term for abbreviated or condensed expression, of which asyndeton and
        zeugma are types. Ellipse is often used synonymously. The suppressed word or phrase can
        usually be supplied easily from the surrounding context.
Cacophony: harsh joining of sounds.

*We want no parlay with you and your grisly gang who work your wicked will. W. Churchill

Catachresis: a harsh metaphor involving the use of a word beyond its strict sphere.

*I listen vainly, but with thirsty ear. MacArthur, Farewell Address

Causa Curiana- the case of Manius Curius

Censo Carthaginem esse delendam- “Carthage must be destroyed” Cato ended all his speeches

        with this statement

Chiasmus: two corresponding pairs arranged not in parallels (a-b-a-b) but in inverted order
        (a-b-b-a); from shape of the Greek letter chi (X).

*Those gallant men will remain often in my thoughts and in my prayers always. MacArthur

*Renown'd for conquest, and in council skill'd. Addison et pacis ornamenta et subsidia belli. Cicero, Pro lege Manilia

Climax: arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in an order of ascending power. Often the last
        emphatic word in one phrase or clause is repeated as the first emphatic word of the next.

*One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. Tennyson, Ulysses

Epanaphora: A figure of repetition for emphasis. "I have dream" seven times.

Contentio- argumentative debate

Contio- the word means “meeting” was transferred to a speech at any public meeting except
        session of the Senate

Contiones- speeches in the Senate

Controversiae- a law forbids a foreigner to ascend the wall; he ascends; he drives off the enemy;

        he is accused

Diserti- accomplished and skilled speakers

Epicheirema - literally "a handful;"  a form of syllogism in which support is offered for each of the
Euphemism: substitution of an agreeable or at least non-offensive expression for one whose plain
        meaning might be harsh or unpleasant.

*When the final news came, there would be a ring at the front door -- a wife in this situation finds herself staring at the front door as if she no longer owns it or controls it--and outside the door would be a man... come to inform her that unfortunately something has happened out there, and her husband's body now lies incinerated in the swamps or the pines or the palmetto grass, "burned beyond recognition," which anyone who had been around an air base very long (fortunately Jane had not) realized was quite an artful euphemism to describe a human body that now looked like an enormous fowl that has burned up in a stove, burned a blackish brown all over, greasy and blistered, fried, in a word, with not only the entire face and all the hair and the ears burned off, not to mention all the clothing, but also the hands and feet, with what remains of the arms and legs bent at the knees and elbows and burned into absolutely rigid angles, burned a greasy blackish brown like the bursting body itself, so that this husband, father, officer, gentleman, this ornamentum of some mother's eye, His Majesty the Baby of just twenty-odd years back, has been reduced to a charred hulk with wings and shanks sticking out of it. Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff

Hendiadys: use of two words connected by a conjunction, instead of subordinating one to the
        other, to express a single complex idea.

*It surely is nice and cool today! (for "pleasantly cool")

*I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Psalms 116

Homeoteleuton: A figure in which words that end with the same sounds are used for effect. "His
        effect was his defect."

Hypallage: ("exchanging") transferred epithet; grammatical agreement of a word with another
        word which it does not logically qualify.
Hyperbaton: separation of words which belong together, often to emphasize the first of the
        separated words or to create a certain image.

Hyperbole: A trope that is a massive exaggeration. Johnny Carson uses this trope all the time. For
        example, he may talk about a woman who was thin. Then someone asks, "How thin was she?"
        And he replies, hyperbolically, "She was so thin that when she swallowed an olive, her
        boyfriend left town."

Hysteron Proteron ("later-earlier"): inversion of the natural sequence of events, often meant to
        stress the event which, though later in time, is considered the more important.

*Put on your shoes and socks!

Irony: A trope whereby a contrary meaning is implied. Sarcasm is an example of irony. After one of
        my dull lectures, a student might say, "Boy, that was a sizzling presentation." Or, it is ironic
        that Reagan, the man who hated the evil empire, should befriend Gorbachev.

*Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

Imagines- images

Impudentia- shameless self-confidence

Insinuation- “the subtle approach” to be adapted when a case is perceived to be difficult or an
        audience hostile
Jurisconsultant- an authority of the law

Lavdatio funebris- funeral eulogy and is used for members of noble families

Lavdatio Turiae- a funerary inscriptions recording the virtues of a noblewoman named Turia

Litotes: understatement, for intensification, by denying the contrary of the thing being affirmed.
        (Sometimes used synonymously with meiosis.)

*A few unannounced quizzes are not inconceivable.

*War is not healthy for children and other living things.

*One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day. (meiosis)

Metaphor: A trope by which one things is described in terms of another. A word is used in a sense
        different from what was intended. Normally, a comparison is made from one category to
        another. For example, "George is a wolf" compares a man with an animal to better explain his

loci- backgrounds;  also plural of locus

Locus- a real place with which the student is familiar; also the location of a point at issue

Maiestas- the legal question of what constituted treason

Metonymy: substitution of one word for another which it suggests.

*He is a man of the cloth.

*The pen is mightier than the sword.

*By the sweat of thy brow thou shalt eat thy bread.

Onomatopoeia: A figures by which words imitate sounds. The cannon boomed; the bird screeched."

Oxymoron: Placing two words together which normally have opposite meaning or context. "A wise
        fool." "A liberal Republican." "An independent dog." "A dumb cat." Calling Roseann Barr "baby."

Novus homo- a new man

Ornatus- “ornamentation” is derived from a verb that means “to prepare” used especially at

        preparing and polishing arms for battle;  in rhetoric, the use of ornamentation in speeches

Paradox: an assertion seemingly opposed to common sense, but that may yet have some truth in it.

*What a pity that youth must be wasted on the young. George Bernard Shaw

Paraprosdokian: surprise or unexpected ending of a phrase or series.

*He was at his best when the going was good. Alistair Cooke on the Duke of Windsor

*There but for the grace of God -- goes God. Churchill

Paronomasia: use of similar sounding words; often etymological word-play.

*...culled cash, or cold cash, and then it turned into a gold cache. E.L. Doctorow, Billy Bathgate

*Thou art Peter (Greek petros), and upon this rock (Greek petra) I shall build my church. Matthew 16

*The dying Mercutio: Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Personification: A trope by which human qualifies are given to non-human entities. "The chasm
        yawned before us." (Chasms don't really yawn.) "The cloud stretched its fluffy arm toward the
        plane." (Clouds don't really have arms.)

Patrons- major cases were pleaded orators. Also used for anyone who pleaded for another
Pleonasm: use of superfluous or redundant words, often enriching the thought.

*No one, rich or poor, will be excepted.

*Ears pierced while you wait!

*I have seen no stranger sight since I was born.

Polysyndeton: The opposite of asyndeton. Here more connectives than are needed are added. "We
        are poor and downtrodden and abused and overworked and undernourished."

Praeteritio (=paraleipsis): pretended omission for rhetorical effect (the figure by which a speaker
        itemizes the topics that will not be discussed).

*That part of our history detailing the military achievements which gave us our several possessions ... is a theme too familiar to my listeners for me to dilate on, and I shall therefore pass it by. Thucydides, "Funeral Oration"

*Let us make no judgment on the events of Chappaquiddick, since the facts are not yet all in. A political opponent of Senator Edward Kennedy

Prolepsis: the anticipation, in adjectives or nouns, of the result of the action of a verb; also, the
        positioning of a relative clause before its antecedent.

*Consider the lilies of the field how they grow.

Rhetorical Questions: These are questions uttered by a speaker for which he expects no response.
        "Have we at long last endured enough of this president? How much longer must we suffer?"

Pro aequo et bono- for what was equitable and good
Sermo- conversational tone
Simile: A metaphor that is weakened or softened by the use of like or as. "George acts like a wolf."
        "She was as soft as snow.
Syllepsis: use of a word with two others, with each of which it is understood differently.

*We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately. Benjamin Franklin

Synchysis: interlocked word order.

Synecdoche: A trope which substitutes a part to represent the whole, or which substitutes the
        whole to represent only a part. "She was in love with a handsome blond." The part, "blond",
        represent the whole man. "I'll give you a copper for that salt." Here the whole, "copper",
        represents the part, a penny.

Synesis (=constructio ad sensum): the agreement of words according to logic, and not by the
        grammatical form; a kind of anacoluthon.

*For the wages of sin is death. Romans 6

*Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. Acts 6

Tautology: repetition of an idea in a different word, phrase, or sentence.

*With malice toward none, with charity for all. Lincoln, Second Inaugural

Utramque partem- on both sides of an issue

Vires causae- the strong points of a case

Zeugma: two different words linked to a verb or an adjective which is strictly appropriate to only
        one of them.

*Nor Mars his sword, nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.