quizlet.jpgQuizlet for Rhetorical Term test

Quizlet for Rhetorical Terms--Just Definitions

Answers to Rhetorical Terms Practice Sheet:

A Glossary of Rhetorical Terms with Examples

Socrates: The fact is, as we said at the beginning of our discussion, that the aspiring speaker needs no knowledge of the truth about what is right or good... In courts of justice no attention is paid whatever to the truth about such topics; all that matters is plausibility... There are even some occasions when both prosecution and defense should positively suppress the facts in favor of probability, if the facts are improbable. Never mind the truth -- pursue probability through thick and thin in every kind of speech; the whole secret of the art of speaking lies in consistent adherence to this principle. Phaedrus: That is what those who claim to be professional teachers of rhetoric actually say, Socrates.
--Plato, Phaedrus 272

1. 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
2. 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
3. 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
4. Anaphora: the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses or lines.

*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.
5. Anastrophe: transposition of normal word order; most often found in Latin in the case of prepositions and the words they control.

*The helmsman steered; the ship moved on; yet never a breeze up blew. Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
6. 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
7. Antithesis: opposition, or contrast of ideas or words in a balanced or parallel construction.

*Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. Barry Goldwater
*Brutus: Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
*The vases of the classical period are but the reflection of classical beauty; the vases of the archaic period are beauty itself." Sir John Beazley
8. 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
9. Aposiopesis: a form of ellipse by which a speaker comes to an abrupt halt, seemingly overcome by passion (fear, excitement, etc.) or modesty.

*His behavior was—but I blush to mention it.

10. 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
11. Archaism: use of an older or obsolete form.
*Pipit sate upright in her chairSome distance from where I was sitting; T. S. Eliot, "A Cooking Egg"
12. Assonance: repetition of the same sound in words close to each other.

*Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.
13. Asyndeton: lack of conjunctions between coordinate phrases, clauses, or words.
*We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardships, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. J. F. Kennedy, Inaugural
*But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
14. Bathos:An abrupt, unintended transition in style from the exalted to the commonplace, producing a ludicrous effect.

*In the United States, Osama bin Laden is wanted for conspiracy, murder, terrorism, and unpaid parking tickets.

15. Cacophony: harsh joining of sounds.

*We want no parlay with you and your grisly gang who work your wicked will. W. Churchill
16. Catachresis: a harsh metaphor involving the use of a word beyond its strict sphere.

*I listen vainly, but with thirsty ear. MacArthur, Farewell Address
17. 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
18. 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 willTo strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. Tennyson, Ulysses
19. Euphemism: substitution of an agreeable or at least non-offensive expression for one whose plainer 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
20. Hendiadys: use of two words connected by a conjunction to express a single complex idea.

*It sure is nice and cool today! (for "pleasantly cool")
*I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Psalms 116
21. Hyperbole: exaggeration for emphasis or for rhetorical effect.

*My vegetable love should growVaster than empires, and more slow;An hundred years should got to praiseThine eyes and on thine forehead gaze;Two hundred to adore each breast,But thirty thousand to the rest. Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress"
22. 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!
23. Irony: expression of something which is contrary to the intended meaning; the words say one thing but mean another.

*Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;And Brutus is an honourable man. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
24. 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)
25. Metaphor: implied comparison achieved through a figurative use of words; the word is used not in its literal sense, but in one analogous to it.

*Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,That struts and frets his hour upon the stage. Shakespeare, Macbeth
*. . . while he learned the language (that meager and fragile thread . . . by which the little surface corners and edges of men's secret and solitary lives may be joined for an instant now and then before sinking back into the darkness. . . ) Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!
*From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent. W. Churchill
26. 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.
27. Onomatopoeia: use of words to imitate natural sounds; accommodation of sound to sense.
*The bacon sizzled in the pan.
*The hiss of the crowd startled the speaker.

28. Oxymoron: apparent paradox achieved by the juxtaposition of words which seem to contradict one another.

*I must be cruel only to be kind. Shakespeare, Hamlet
29. 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
30. 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
31. 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
32. Personification: attribution of personality to an impersonal thing.

*England expects every man to do his duty. Lord Nelson
33. 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.
34. Polysyndeton: the repetition of conjunctions in a series of coordinate words, phrases, or clauses.

*I said, "Who killed him?" and he said, "I don't know who killed him but he's dead all right," and it was dark and there was water standing in the street and no lights and windows broke and boats all up in the town and trees blown down and everything all blown and I got a skiff and went out and found my boat where I had her inside Mango Bay and she was all right only she was full of water. Hemingway, After the Storm
35. Simile: an explicit comparison between two things using 'like' or 'as'.

*My love is as a fever, longing stillFor that which longer nurseth the disease, Shakespeare, Sonnet CXLVII
*Reason is to faith as the eye to the telescope. D. Hume [?]
*Let us go then, you and I,While the evening is spread out against the sky,Like a patient etherized upon a table... T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
36. 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

37. Synecdoche: understanding one thing with another; the use of a part for the whole, or the whole for the part. (A form of metonymy.)

*I should have been a pair of ragged clawsScuttling across the floors of silent seas.T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
*The U.S. won three gold medals. (Instead of, The members of the U.S. boxing team won three gold medals.)
38. Synesis: 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
39. Tautology: repetition of an idea in a different word, phrase, or sentence.

*With malice toward none, with charity for all. Lincoln, Second Inaugural
40. 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 burnThe living record of your memory.