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    Rhetoric

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    • Stanzaic form

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    • Rhetoric

    • Rhetoric is the art of discourse, wherein a writer or speaker strives to inform, persuade or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the European tradition. Its best known definition comes from Aristotle, w ... Read »


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    • Accent Neutralization

    • Accent reduction, also known as accent modification, accent neutralization, or deaccentation, is a systematic approach for learning or adopting a new accent. It is the process of learning the sound system (or phonology) of a language or dialect. The method involves several steps, which include identifying deviations in ... Read »


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    • Accent reduction

    • Accent reduction, also known as elocution, accent modification, accent neutralization, or deaccentation, is a systematic approach for learning or adopting a new accent. It is the process of learning the sound system (or phonology) of a language or dialect. The method involves several steps, which include identifying de ... Read »


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    • Actio

    • Actio is a term in rhetoric that means the delivery that is given to a speech. Hand gestures, voice variation, speaker to audience eye contact, and an engaging manner are all needed for an effective actio. ... Read »


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    • Ad hominem

    • Ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the arg ... Read »


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    • Adoxography

    • Adoxography is a term coined in the late 19th century, and means "fine writing on a trivial or base subject". It was a form of rhetorical exercise "in which the legitimate methods of the encomium are applied to persons or objects in themselves obviously unworthy of praise, as being trivial, ugly, useless, ridiculous, d ... Read »


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    • Air quotes

    • Air quotes, also called finger quotes, are virtual quotation marks formed in the air with one's fingers when speaking. This is typically done with hands held shoulder-width apart and at the eye level of the speaker, with the index and middle fingers on each hand flexing at the beginning and end of the phrase being quot ... Read »


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    • Amplification (rhetoric)

    • In classical rhetoric, figures of speech are classified as one of the four fundamental rhetorical operations or quadripartita ratio: addition (adiectio), omission (detractio), permutation (immutatio) and transposition (transmutatio). The Latin Rhetorica ad Herennium (author unknown) from the 90s BCE, calls these f ... Read »


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    • Anacoenosis

    • Anacoenosis /ˌænəsiːˈnoʊsáµ»s/ is a figure of speech in which the speaker poses a question to an audience in a way that demonstrates a common interest. The term comes from the Greek ἀνακοινοῦν (anakoinoûn), meaning "to communicate, impart". Anacoenosis typ ... Read »


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    • Anacoluthon

    • An anacoluthon (/ænəkəˈluːθɒn/ AN-ə-kə-LOO-thon; from the Greek anakolouthon, from an-: "not" and ἀκόλουθος akólouthos: "following") is an unexpected discontinuity in the expression of ideas within a sentence, leading to a form of words in which there is logica ... Read »


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    • Anatomy of Criticism

    • Anatomy of Criticism

      Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (Princeton University Press, 1957) is a book by Canadian literary critic and theorist, Northrop Frye, which attempts to formulate an overall view of the scope, theory, principles, and techniques of literary criticism derived exclusively from literature. Frye consciously omits all speci ... Read »


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    • Antidosis

    • Antidosis (Ancient Greek ἀντίδοσις), is the title of a speech treatise by the ancient Greek rhetorician, Isocrates. The Antidosis can be viewed as a defense, an autobiography, or rhetorical treatise. However, since Isocrates wrote it when he was 82 years old, it is generally seen by some pe ... Read »


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    • Antimetabole

    • In rhetoric, antimetabole (/æntáµ»məˈtæbəliː/ AN-ti-mə-TAB-ə-lee) is the repetition of words in successive clauses, but in transposed order; for example, "I know what I like, and I like what I know". It is related to, and sometimes considered a special case of, chiasmus. An antimetabole is a ... Read »


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    • Antiptosis

    • Antiptosis, which translates from the Greek ανταλλαγή (exchange of) and περίπτωση (case), is a rhetorical device. Specifically, it is a type of enallage (the substitution of grammatically different but semantically equivalent constructions) in which one grammatical ... Read »


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    • Antithesis

    • Antithesis (Greek for "setting opposite", from ἀντί "against" and θέσις "position") is used in writing or speech either as a proposition that contrasts with or reverses some previously mentioned proposition, or when two opposites are introduced together for contrasting effect. Antithesis c ... Read »


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    • Antithetic parallelism

    • Antithetic parallelism is a form of parallelism where the meaning of two or more excerpts of text are obversed, although directly linked by providing the same meaning from differing perspectives. This type of parallelism is used in order to create repetition of meaning as a technique for cognitive reinforcement, thus m ... Read »


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    • Aphelia (rhetoric)

    • Aphelia (Greek, "plainness") is a rhetorical term that refers to the plainness of writing or speech. It is used to explain or teach rather than to entertain or elicit an emotional response. The sentence structure is typically both short in length and lacks "poetic and rhetorical adornment." Parataxis and asyndeton ... Read »


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    • Apologetics

    • Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, "speaking in defense") is the theological science or religious discipline of defending or proving the truth of religious doctrines through systematic argumentation and discourse.Early Christian writers (c. 120–220) who defended their beliefs against criti ... Read »


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    • Apologue

    • An apologue or apolog (from the Greek ἀπόλογος, a "statement" or "account") is a brief fable or allegorical story with pointed or exaggerated details, meant to serve as a pleasant vehicle for a moral doctrine or to convey a useful lesson without stating it explicitly. Unlike a fable, the moral ... Read »


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    • Aporia

    • Aporia (Ancient Greek: : "impasse, difficulty of passing, lack of resources, puzzlement") denotes in philosophy a philosophical puzzle or state of puzzlement and in rhetoric a rhetorically useful expression of doubt. Definitions of the term aporia have varied throughout history. The Oxford English Dictionary inclu ... Read »


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    • Aposiopesis

    • Aposiopesis (/ˌæpəsaɪ.əˈpiːsɪs/; Classical Greek: ἀποσιώπησις, "becoming silent") is a figure of speech wherein a sentence is deliberately broken off and left unfinished, the ending to be supplied by the imagination, giving an impression of unwillingness or ina ... Read »


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    • Apposition

    • Apposition is a grammatical construction in which two elements, normally noun phrases, are placed side by side, with one element serving to identify the other in a different way; the two elements are said to be in apposition. One of the elements is called the appositive, although its identification requires considerati ... Read »


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    • Aretology

    • An aretology (from ancient Greek aretê, "excellence, virtue") in the strictest sense is a narrative about a divine figure's miraculous deeds. In the Greco-Roman world, aretologies represent a religious branch of rhetoric and are a prose development of the hymn as praise poetry. Asclepius, Isis, and Serapis are among ... Read »


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    • Argumentative dialogue

    • Whereas formal arguments are static, such as one might find in a textbook or research article, argumentative dialogue is dynamic. It serves as a published record of justification for an assertion. Arguments can also be interactive, in which the proposer and the interlocutor have a more symmetrical relationship. The pre ... Read »


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    • Ars dictaminis

    • The ars dictaminis was the medieval description of the art of prose composition, and more specifically of the writing of letters (dictamen). It is closely linked to the ars dictandi, covering the composition of documents other than letters. The standing assumption was that these writings would be composed in Latin, and ... Read »


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    • Art of memory

    • The art of memory (Latin: ars memoriae) is any of a number of loosely associated mnemonic principles and techniques used to organize memory impressions, improve recall, and assist in the combination and 'invention' of ideas. An alternative and frequently used term is "Ars Memorativa" which is also often translated as " ... Read »


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    • Asiatic style

    • The Asiatic style or Asianism (Latin: genus orationis Asiaticum, Cicero, Brutus 325) refers to an Ancient Greek rhetorical tendency (though not an organized school) that arose in the third century BC, which, although of minimal relevance at the time, briefly became an important point of reference in later debates about ... Read »


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    • Atticism

    • Atticism (meaning "favouring Attica", the region that includes Athens in Greece) was a rhetorical movement that began in the first quarter of the 1st century BC; it may also refer to the wordings and phrasings typical of this movement, in contrast with various contemporary forms of Koine Greek (both literary and vulgar ... Read »


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    • Battler (underdog)

    • A battler is an Australian colloquialism referring to "ordinary" or working class individuals who persevere through their commitments despite adversity. Typically, this adversity comprises the challenges of low pay, family commitments, environmental hardships and lack of personal recognition. It is a term of respect an ... Read »


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    • Bathos

    • Bathos (/ˈbeɪθɒs/ BAY-thoss;Greek: , lit. "depth") is a literary term, first coined by Alexander Pope in his 1727 essay "Peri Bathous", to describe amusingly failed attempts at sublimity (i.e., pathos). In particular, bathos is associated with anticlimax, an abrupt transition from a lofty style or grand ... Read »


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    • Bdelygmia

    • Bdelygmia, deriving from a Greek word meaning "filth" or "nastiness", is a technique used in rhetoric to express hatred of a person, word or action through a series of criticisms. Bdelygmia often appears as an "abusive description of a character" or "by strong and inappropriate critique". It is synonymous with . It is ... Read »


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    • Belgrade Competition in Oratory

    • The Belgrade Competition in Oratory is an annual academic event at the University of Belgrade's Law School, which has gained significant popularity of the general public all over Serbia. In this competition students deliver their speeches on both free-choice and given topics. The event represents an opportunity for stu ... Read »


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    • Bloviation

    • Bloviation is a style of empty, pompous political speech particularly associated with Ohio due to the term's popularization by United States President Warren G. Harding, who, himself a master of the technique, described it as "the art of speaking for as long as the occasion warrants, and saying nothing". The verb "to b ... Read »


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    • Brutus (Cicero)

    • Cicero's Brutus (also known as De claris oratibus) is a history of Roman oratory. It is written in the form of a dialogue, in which Brutus and Atticus ask Cicero to describe the qualities of all the leading Roman orators up to their time. It was composed in 46 BC, with the purpose of defending Cicero's own oratory. He ... Read »


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    • Burlesque

    • Burlesque is a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects. The word derives from the Italian burlesco, which, in turn, is derived from the Italian burla – a joke, ridicule or mockery. Burlesque ov ... Read »


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    • Campaign rhetoric of Barack Obama

    • The campaign rhetoric of Barack Obama is the rhetoric in the campaign speeches given by President of the United States, Barack Obama, between February 10, 2007 and November 5, 2008 for the 2008 presidential campaign. Obama became the 44th president after George W. Bush with running mate Joe Biden. In his campaign rheto ... Read »


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    • Captain Obvious

    • Captain Obvious is a name invoked in conversation to draw attention to a self-evident fact. The phrase uses "captain" in the sense of a comicbook super-heroes. Somebody might say "Thank you, Captain Obvious!" to sarcastically thank someone who had just stated something self-evident. The Hotels.com website has a charac ... Read »


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    • Catachresis

    • Catachresis (from Greek κατάχρησις, "abuse"), originally meaning a semantic misuse or error—e.g., using "militate" for "mitigate", "chronic" for "severe", "anachronism" for "anomaly", "alibi" for "excuse", etc.—is also the name given to many different types of figures of speech i ... Read »


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    • Challenge (rhetoric)

    • A challenge can serve as a dare or an exhortation, motivating a person or persons by "[a]n invitation or summons to a trial or contest of any kind" and thus to "a difficult or demanding task, esp[ecially] one seen as a test of one's abilities or character". In this sense, speakers or writers can use challenges to motiv ... Read »


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    • Chiastic structure

    • Chiastic structure, or chiastic pattern, is a literary technique in narrative motifs and other textual passages. An example of chiastic structure would be two ideas, A and B, together with variants A' and B', being presented as A,B,B',A'. Alternative names include ring structure, because the opening and closing 'A' can ... Read »


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    • Chironomia

    • Chironomia is the art of using gesticulations or hand gestures to good effect in traditional rhetoric or oratory. Effective use of the hands, with or without the use of the voice, is a practice of great antiquity, which was developed and systematized by the Greeks and the Romans. Various gestures had conventionalized m ... Read »


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    • Chreia

    • The chreia or chria (Greek: ) was, in antiquity and the Byzantine Empire, both a genre of literature and one of the progymnasmata. A chreia was a brief, useful (χρεία means "use") anecdote about a particular character. That is, a chreia was shorter than a narration—often as short as a single se ... Read »


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    • Circumlocution

    • Circumlocution (also called circumduction, circumvolution, periphrasis, or ambage) is locution that circles around a specific idea with multiple words rather than directly evoking it with fewer and words. It is sometimes a necessary tool of communication (for example, in getting around lexical gaps to overcome untrans ... Read »


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    • Climax (rhetoric)

    • In rhetoric, a climax (Greek: κλῖμαξ, klîmax, lit. "staircase" or "ladder") is a figure of speech in which words, phrases, or clauses are arranged in order of increasing importance. In its use with clauses, it is also sometimes known as auxesis (lit. "growth"). Climax is frequently used ... Read »


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    • Cluster criticism

    • Cluster criticism is a method of rhetorical criticism in which a critic examines the structural relations and associative meanings between certain main ideas, concepts, or subjects present in a text. There are three steps in performing a cluster criticism: identifying key terms, creating clusters from associated e ... Read »


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    • Cognitive rhetoric

    • Cognitive rhetoric refers to an approach to rhetoric, composition, and pedagogy as well as a method for language and literary studies drawing from, or contributing to, cognitive science. Following the cognitive revolution, cognitive linguists, computer scientists, and cognitive psychologists have borrowed terms fr ... Read »


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    • Collective noun

    • In linguistics, a collective noun is a word which refers to a collection of things taken as a whole. Most collective nouns in everyday speech are mundane and do not identify just one specific kind, such as the word "group", which may apply to "people" in the phrase "a group of people" but may also correctly refer to "d ... Read »


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    • Colon (rhetoric)

    • A colon (from Greek: κῶλον, pl. κῶλα, cola) is a rhetorical figure consisting of a clause which is grammatically, but not logically, complete. In Latin, it is called a membrum or membrum orationis. Sentences consisting of two cola are called dicola; those with three are tricola. The corr ... Read »


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    • Comma (rhetoric)

    • In Ancient Greek rhetoric, a comma (κόμμα komma, plural κόμματα kommata) is a short clause, something less than a colon. In the system of Aristophanes of Byzantium, commata were separated by middle interpuncts. In antiquity, a comma was defined as a combination of words that has no ... Read »


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    • Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis

    • Commentary on Cicero's Dream of Scipio (in Latin Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis) is a philosophical treatise of Macrobius based on the famous dream narrated in On the republic of Cicero (Chapter VI, 9-29), in which Scipion the African the Old appears to his adoptive grandson, Scipion Emiliano, and reveals him his fut ... Read »


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    • Common sense

    • Common Sense

      Common Sense is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 advocating independence from Great Britain to people in the Thirteen Colonies. Written in clear and persuasive prose, Paine marshaled moral and political arguments to encourage common people in the Colonies to fight for egalitarian government. It was pu ... Read »


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    • The Common Topics

    • In classical rhetoric, the Common Topics were a short list of four traditional topics regarded as suitable to structure an argument. Edward P.J. Corbett and Robert J. Connors expanded the list in their 1971 book Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student to include: ... Read »


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    • Commonwealth Club Address

    • The Commonwealth Club Address (23 September 1932) was a speech made by New York Governor and Democratic presidential nominee Franklin Delano Roosevelt in San Francisco on his 1932 presidential campaign. Roosevelt said the era of growth and unrestricted entrepreneurship had ended, and the individualism must give way to ... Read »


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    • Communication Theory as a Field

    • "Communication Theory as a Field" is a 1999 article by Robert T. Craig, attempting to unify the academic field of communication theory. Craig argues that communication theorists can become unified in dialogue by charting what he calls the "dialogical dialectical tension", or the similarities and differences in their u ... Read »


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    • Comparatio

    • Comparatio in Classical rhetoric is strategy that uses comparison to persuade people. Comparatio relies upon people's knowledge or beliefs about a phenomenon, and then discursively "links" that phenomenon to a different phenomenon about which the speaker/writer wishes to make a claim. For example, if someone wanted to ... Read »


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    • Composition studies

    • Composition studies (also referred to as college composition, writing studies, or simply composition) is the professional field of writing, research, and instruction, focusing especially on writing at the college level in the United States. In many American colleges and universities, undergraduate students must take fr ... Read »


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    • Consolatio

    • The Consolatio or consolatory oration is a type of ceremonial oratory, typically used rhetorically to comfort mourners at funerals. It was one of the most popular classical rhetoric topics, and received new impetus under Renaissance humanism. The Consolatio literary tradition ("consolation" in English) is a broad ... Read »


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    • Constitutive rhetoric

    • Constitutive rhetoric is a theory of discourse devised by James Boyd White about the capacity of language or symbols to create a collective identity for an audience, especially by means of condensation symbols, literature, and narratives. Such discourse often demands that action be taken to reinforce the identity and t ... Read »


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    • Contrast (literary)

    • In literature, an author uses contrast when he or she describes the difference(s) between two or more entities. For example, in the first four lines of William Shakespeare's Sonnet 130, Shakespeare contrasts a mistress to the sun, coral, snow, and wire. Contrast is the antonym of simile. In poetic compositions, it is ... Read »


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    • Controversia

    • A controversia is an exercise in rhetoric; a form of declamation in which the student speaks for one side in a notional legal case such as treason or poisoning. The facts of the matter and relevant law are presented in a persuasive manner, in the style of a legal counsel. The exercise was used in ancient Rome, where i ... Read »


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    • Conversion narrative

    • Broadly speaking, a conversion narrative is a narrative that relates the operation of conversion, usually religious. As a specific aspect of American literary and religious history, the conversion narrative was an important facet of Puritan sacred and secular society in New England during a period stretching roughly fr ... Read »


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    • Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style

    • Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style (Latin: De Utraque Verborum ac Rerum Copia) is a rhetoric textbook written by Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus, and first published in 1512. It was a best-seller widely used for teaching how to rewrite pre-existing texts, and how to incorporate them in a new composition. Erasmu ... Read »


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    • Corps Altsachsen Dresden

    • Corps Altsachsen Dresden

      The Corps Altsachsen is a fraternity (Studentenverbindung) in Dresden, Germany, founded on October 31, 1861. It is one of 162 German Student Corps in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Latvia and Hungary today. The Corps is a member of the Weinheimer Senioren-Convent (WSC), the second oldest federation of classica ... Read »


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    • Covariational conditional

    • Covariational Conditional refers to the most commonly used 'the Xer the Yer' structure in English, for example: The more you think about it the less you understand. The sooner the better. The structure is composed of two variables, an independent variable ('the Xer') and a dependent variable ('the Yer). It has also bee ... Read »


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    • Cultureme

    • A cultureme is any portion of cultural behavior apprehended in signs of symbolic value that can be broken down into smaller units or amalgamated into larger ones. Their usage can be seen in cultural expressions, phraseologisms, jokes, slogans, literature, religion, folklore, sociology, anthropology, etc. The notion o ... Read »


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    • Declamation

    • Declamation or declamatio (Latin for "declaration") was a genre of ancient rhetoric and a mainstay of the Roman higher education system. It was separated into two component subgenres, the controversia, speeches of defense or prosecution in fictitious court cases, and the suasoria, in which the speaker advised a histori ... Read »


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    • Decorum

    • Decorum (from the Latin: "right, proper") was a principle of classical rhetoric, poetry and theatrical theory that was about the fitness or otherwise of a style to a theatrical subject. The concept of decorum is also applied to prescribed limits of appropriate social behavior within set situations. In classical rh ... Read »


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    • Deliberative rhetoric

    • Deliberative rhetoric (sometimes called legislative oratory) is a rhetorical device that juxtaposes potential future outcomes to communicate support or opposition for a given action or policy. In deliberative rhetoric, an argument is made using examples from the past to predict future outcomes in order to illustrate th ... Read »


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    • Diacope

    • Diacope English pronunciation: /daɪˈækəʊpiː/ is a rhetorical term meaning repetition of a word or phrase with one or two intervening words. It derives from a Greek word meaning "cut in two". The first line in the poem not to deploy diacope is the one about death being "a pause." ... Read »


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    • Dialectic

    • Dialectic or dialectics (Greek: διαλεκτική, dialektikḗ), also known as the dialectical method, is a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments. The term dialectic is not synonymou ... Read »


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    • Dialogue

    • Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in U.S. English) is a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people, and a literary and theatrical form that depicts such an exchange. As a narrative, philosophical or didactic device, it is chiefly associated in the West with the Socratic dialogue as developed ... Read »


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    • A Dialogue Concerning Oratorical Partitions

    • A Dialogue Concerning Oratorical Partitions (also called De Partitione Oratoria Dialogus, Partitiones Oratoriae, or De Partitionbus Oratoriae, translated to be "On the subdivisions of oratory") is a rhetorical treatise, written by Cicero. According to the method of the Middle Academy, the treatise is sometimes describe ... Read »


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    • Dialogus de oratoribus

    • The Dialogus de oratoribus is a short work attributed to Tacitus, in dialogue form, on the art of rhetoric. Its date of composition is unknown, though its dedication to Lucius Fabius Iustus () places its publication around 102 AD. The dialogue itself, set in the 70s AD, follows the tradition of Cicero's speeches on ... Read »


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    • Dilemma

    • A dilemma (Greek: δίλημμα "double proposition") is a problem offering two possibilities, neither of which is unambiguously acceptable or preferable. One in this position has been traditionally described as "", neither horn being comfortable. This is sometimes more colorfully described as "Finding o ... Read »


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    • Dioscorus of Aphrodito

    • Dioscorus of Aphrodito

      Flavius Dioscorus (Greek: Φλαύϊος Διόσκορος Flauios Dioskoros) lived during the 6th century A.D. in the village of Aphrodito, Egypt, and therefore is called by modern scholars Dioscorus of Aphrodito. Although he was an Egyptian, he composed poetry in Greek, the cultural l ... Read »


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    • Dispositio

    • Dispositio is the system used for the organization of arguments in Western classical rhetoric. The word is Latin, and can be translated as "organization" or "arrangement." It is the second of five canons of classical rhetoric (the first being inventio, and the remaining being elocutio, memoria, and pronuntiatio) that ... Read »


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    • Dramatistic pentad

    • The dramatistic pentad forms the core structure of dramatism, a method for examining motivations that the renowned literary critic Kenneth Burke developed. Dramatism recommends the use of a metalinguistic approach to stories about human action that investigates the roles and uses of five rhetorical elements common to a ... Read »


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    • Ecphonesis

    • Ecphonesis (Greek: ἐκφώνησις) is an emotional, exclamatory phrase () used in poetry, drama, or song. It is a rhetorical device that originated in ancient literature. A Latin example is "O tempora! O mores!" ("Oh, the times! Oh, the morals!"). A modern example is "Young man!" from the song ... Read »


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    • Egalitarian dialogue

    • Egalitarian dialogue is a dialogue in which contributions are considered according to the validity of their reasoning, instead of according to the status or position of power of those who make them. Although previously used widely in the social sciences and in reference to the Bakhtinian philosophy of dialogue, it was ... Read »


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    • Elocutio

    • Elocutio is the term for the mastery of stylistic elements in Western classical rhetoric and comes from the Latin loqui, "to speak". Although the word elocution is now associated more with eloquent speaking, it connoted "style" for the classical rhetorican. It is the third of the five canons of classical rhetoric (the ... Read »


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    • Elocution

    • Elocution is the study of formal speaking in pronunciation, grammar, style, and tone. In Western classical rhetoric, elocution was one of the five core disciplines of pronunciation, which was the art of delivering speeches. Orators were trained not only on proper diction, but on the proper use of gestures, stance, ... Read »


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    • Enantiosis

    • Enantiosis, synoeciosis or discordia concors is a rhetorical device in which opposites are juxtaposed so that the contrast between them is striking. Examples include the famous maxim of Augustus, festina lente (hasten slowly), and the following passage from Paul's second letter to the Corinthians: Dr. Johnson in his L ... Read »


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    • Enthymeme

    • An enthymeme (Greek: ἐνθύμημα, enthumēma) is a rhetorical syllogism (a three-part deductive argument) used in oratorical practice. Originally theorized by Aristotle, there are four types of enthymeme, at least two of which are described in Aristotle's work. Aristotle referred to the enthym ... Read »


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    • Epanalepsis

    • The epanalepsis is a figure of speech defined by the repetition of the initial word (or words) of a clause or sentence at the end of that same clause or sentence. The beginning and the end are the two positions of stronger emphasis in a sentence; so, by having the same phrase in both places, the speaker calls special a ... Read »


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    • Epideictic

    • The epideictic oratory, also called ceremonial oratory, or praise-and-blame rhetoric, is one of the three branches, or "species" (eidē), of rhetoric as outlined in Aristotle's Rhetoric, to be used to praise or blame during ceremonies. The term's root has to do with display or show (deixis). It is a literary or ... Read »


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    • Eristic

    • In philosophy and rhetoric, eristic (from Eris, the ancient Greek goddess of chaos, strife, and discord) refers to argument that aims to successfully dispute another's argument, rather than searching for truth. According to T.H. Irwin, "It is characteristic of the eristic to think of some arguments as way of defeating ... Read »


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    • Essentially contested concept

    • In a paper delivered to the Aristotelian Society on 12 March 1956,Walter Bryce Gallie (1912–1998) introduced the term essentially contested concept to facilitate an understanding of the different applications or interpretations of the sorts of abstract, qualitative, and evaluative notions—such as "art" and "s ... Read »


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    • Ethos

    • Ethos (/ˈiːθɒs/ or US /ˈiːθoʊs/) is a Greek word meaning "character" that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. The Greeks also used this word to refer to the power of music to influence emotions, behaviours, and even morals. Early ... Read »


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    • Eunoia

    • In rhetoric, eunoia is the goodwill a speaker cultivates between himself/herself and his/her audience, a condition of receptivity. It comes from the Greek word εὔνοια, meaning "well mind" or "beautiful thinking". In book eight of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle uses the term to refer to the kind and b ... Read »


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    • Euphuism

    • Euphuism is a peculiar mannered style of English prose. It takes its name from a prose romance by John Lyly. It consists of a preciously ornate and sophisticated style, employing in deliberate excess a wide range of literary devices such as antitheses, alliterations, repetitions and rhetorical questions. Classical lear ... Read »


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    • Exigence (rhetoric)

    • The rhetorical situation is the context of a rhetorical event that consists of an issue, an audience, and a set of constraints. Three leading views of the rhetorical situation exist today. One argues that a situation determines and brings about rhetoric, another proposes that rhetoric creates “situations” by ... Read »


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    • Exophora

    • In linguistic pragmatics, exophora is reference to something extralinguistic, i.e. not in the same text, and contrasts with endophora. Exophora can be deictic, in which special words or grammatical markings are used to make reference to something in the context of the utterance or speaker. For example, pronouns are oft ... Read »


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    • Facilitas

    • Facilitas /facilitas/ is facility in devising appropriate language to fit any speaking or writing situation. The art of facilitas was most notably taught by Quintilian, the Roman rhetorician, in the latter part of the first century A.D. (c. 35 – c. 100). In Quintilian's Institutio Oratoria, Quintilian summarizes ... Read »


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    • Fallacy

    • A fallacy is the use of invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning, or "wrong moves" in the construction of an argument. A fallacious argument may be deceptive by appearing to be better than it really is. Some fallacies are committed intentionally to manipulate or persuade by deception, while others are committed unintentio ... Read »


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    • Falsism

    • A falsism is a claim that is clearly and self-evidently wrong. A falsism is usually used merely as a reminder or as a rhetorical or literary device. An example is "pigs can fly". It is the opposite of a truism. A falsism is similar to, though not the same as, a fallacy. ... Read »


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    • Fiction-writing mode

    • A fiction-writing mode is a manner of writing with its own set of conventions regarding how, when, and where it should be used. Fiction is a form of narrative, one of the four rhetorical modes of discourse. Fiction-writing also has distinct forms of expression, or modes, each with its own purposes and conventions. Cur ... Read »


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    • Figure of speech

    • A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is figurative language in the form of a single word or phrase. It can be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, fr ... Read »


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    • Figure of thought

    • A figure of thought (Latin: figurae sententiarum, Greek: schemata dianoias) is a rhetorical device sometimes distinguished from figure of speech. In another sense the term has been used in the study of diagrams and drawings. It may be difficult to draw the distinction between figures of speech and figures of thought, ... Read »


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    • First-year composition

    • First-year composition (sometimes known as freshman composition or freshman writing) is an introductory core curriculum writing course in American colleges. This course focuses on improving students' abilities to write in a university setting and introduces students to writing practices in the disciplines and professio ... Read »


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    • Flip-flop (politics)

    • A "flip-flop" (used mostly in the United States), U-turn (used in the United Kingdom, Ireland), or backflip (used in Australia and New Zealand) is a sudden real or apparent change of policy or opinion by a public official, sometimes while trying to claim that both positions are consistent with each other. Often it will ... Read »


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    • For All Practical Purposes

    • For All Practical Purposes (FAPP) is a approach towards the problem of incompleteness of every scientific theory and the usage of asymptotical approximations. When a physicist makes an approximation - which can't be justified on rigorous grounds - he or she to justifies it by saying the results obtained are good for ... Read »


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    • Foregrounding

    • Foregrounding is the practice of making something stand out from the surrounding words or images. It is "the 'throwing into relief' of the linguistic sign against the background of the norms of ordinary language." The term was first associated with Paul Garvin in the 1960s, who used it as a translation of the Czech akt ... Read »


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    • Forensic rhetoric

    • Forensic rhetoric, as coined in Aristotle's On Rhetoric, encompasses any discussion of past action including legal discourse—the primary setting for the emergence of rhetoric as a discipline and theory. This contrasts with deliberative rhetoric and epideictic rhetoric, which are reserved for discussions concerning ... Read »


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    • Marc Fumaroli

    • Marc Fumaroli (born 10 June 1932 in Marseille), is a French historian and essayist. Fumaroli was elected to the Académie française on 2 March 1995 and became its Director. He is also a member of the Académie des Inscriptions, the sister academy devoted to high erudition. Following his appointment to a chair in ... Read »


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    • Funeral oration (ancient Greece)

    • A funeral oration or epitaphios logos (Greek: ἐπιτάφιος λόγος) is a formal speech delivered on the ceremonial occasion of a funeral. Funerary customs comprise the practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from the funeral itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rit ... Read »


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    • Theodorus of Gadara

    • Theodorus of Gadara (Greek: Θεόδωρος ὁ Γαδαρεύς) was a Greek rhetorician of the 1st century BC who founded a rhetorical school in Gadara (present-day Um Qais, Jordan), where he taught future Roman emperor Tiberius the art of rhetoric. It was written of Tiberius that: ... Read »


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    • A General Rhetoric

    • A General Rhetoric is a 1970 book by the Belgian semioticians known as Groupe µ. The first part of the book reformulates classical rhetoric within semiotics, while the second part discusses the new concept of a general rhetoric, which introduces rhetorical figures for storytelling, called figures of narration. It b ... Read »


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    • Genre criticism

    • Genre criticism is a method within rhetorical criticism for analyzing texts in terms of their genre: the set of generic expectations, conventions, and constraints that guide their production and interpretation. In rhetoric, the theory of genre provides a means to classify and compare artifacts in terms of their formal, ... Read »


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    • Gnome (rhetoric)

    • A gnome (Greek: γνώμη gnome, from γιγνώσκειν gignoskein "to know") is a type of saying, especially an aphorism or a maxim designed to provide instruction in a compact form (usually in the form of hexameter). The term gnome was introduced by Klaus Berger in the Formgeschicht ... Read »


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    • Gutmensch

    • Gutmensch (German cultural term similar to "do-gooder"; literally good human) is an ironic, sarcastic disparaging term for a person or a group. Those who use the term believe that Gutmenschen have an overwhelming wish to be good and overeagerly seek approval. This comes along with moralising and proselytising behaviour ... Read »


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    • Hand-waving

    • Hand-waving (with various spellings) is a pejorative label for attempting to be seen as effective – in word, reasoning, or deed – while actually doing nothing effective or substantial. It is most often applied to debate techniques that involve fallacies, misdirection and the glossing over of details. It is al ... Read »


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    • Heracles' Bow


    • Hypsos

    • Hypsos is a Greek philosophical concept considered comparable to the modern concept of the sublime, or a moment that brings oral speech to an astonishing and monumental pause. Its root hypso- literally means "aloft", "height", or "on high". However, a distinguishing feature of hypsos in rhetorical studies is that it â ... Read »


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    • Identification in Burkean rhetoric

    • Identification is a key term for the discussion of rhetoric in Kenneth Burke′s A Rhetoric of Motives. He uses it to evaluate the traditional perception of rhetoric as persuasion. Burke suggests that whenever someone attempts to persuade someone else, identification occurs, because for persuasion to occur, one part ... Read »


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    • Identification in rhetoric

    • Contemporary Rhetoric focuses on cultural contexts and general structures of rhetoric structures. Kenneth Burke is one of the most notable contemporary U.S. rhetoricians who made major contributions to the rhetoric of identification. One of his most foundational ideas is as follows, “rhetoric makes human unity pos ... Read »


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    • Ideograph (rhetoric)

    • An ideograph or virtue word is a word frequently used in political discourse that uses an abstract concept to develop support for political positions. Such words are usually terms that do not have a clear definition but are used to give the impression of a clear meaning. An ideograph in rhetoric often exists as a build ... Read »


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    • Ideological criticism

    • Ideological criticism is a form of rhetorical criticism concerned with critiquing rhetorical artifacts for the dominant ideology they express while silencing opposing or contrary ideologies. According to Sonja Foss, “the primary goal of the ideological critic is to discover and make visible the dominant ideology o ... Read »


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    • Indignation (word)

    • The word indignation is used to describe strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting or unrighteous. The term was coined in France during the 12th Century. It comes from the Latin word indignationem, meaning displeasure. In nominative form, indignationem is indignatio. Indignation is a ... Read »


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    • Intellectual cover

    • Intellectual cover is a usually negative term for sophisticated arguments provided by members of the intelligentsia to bolster a particular viewpoint, and thereby help it gain respectability. Usually the viewpoint is one that a supporter (e.g. a politician) leaned toward anyway, but needed arguments to help him justify ... Read »


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    • Invective

    • Invective (noun), from Middle English invectif, or Old French and Late Latin invectus, is an abusive, reproachful or venomous language used to express blame or censure; also, a rude expression or discourse intended to offend or hurt. , or deeply seated ill will, vitriol. Also note: Latin invectivus (adj.), 'scolding.' ... Read »


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    • Inventio

    • Inventio, one of the five canons of rhetoric, is the method used for the discovery of arguments in Western rhetoric and comes from the Latin word, meaning "invention" or "discovery". Inventio is the central, indispensable canon of rhetoric, and traditionally means a systematic search for arguments. A speaker uses In ... Read »


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    • Jeremiad

    • A jeremiad is a long literary work, usually in prose, but sometimes in verse, in which the author bitterly laments the state of society and its morals in a serious tone of sustained invective, and always contains a prophecy of society's imminent downfall. The word is an eponym, named after the Biblical prophet Jeremia ... Read »


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    • Judicial activism

    • Judicial activism refers to judicial rulings suspected of being based on personal or political considerations rather than on existing law. It is sometimes used as an antonym of judicial restraint. The definition of judicial activism, and which specific decisions are activist, is a controversial political issue, particu ... Read »


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    • Jugend debattiert international

    • Jugend debattiert international is a German-language debating competition for students based on the national German pupils' contest Jugend debattiert. It is held in ten countries of Central and Eastern Europe: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia (Moscow and St. Petersburg), Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Uk ... Read »


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    • Kairos

    • Kairos () is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the 'supreme moment'). The ancient Greeks had two words for time: Greek: χρόνος (chronos) and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a period or season, a moment of indeterminat ... Read »


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    • Katabasis

    • Katabasis or catabasis (Ancient Greek: κατάβασις, from κατὰ "down" and βαίνω "go") is a descent of some type, such as moving downhill, the sinking of the winds or sun, a military retreat, a trip to the underworld, or a trip from the interior of a country down t ... Read »


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    • Keyword (rhetoric)

    • Keywords are the words that academics use to reveal the internal structure of an author's reasoning. While they are used primarily for rhetoric, they are also used in a strictly grammatical sense for structural composition, reasoning, and comprehension. Indeed, they are an essential part of any language. There are man ... Read »


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    • Jean-Marie Klinkenberg

    • Jean-Marie Klinkenberg (born 8 October 1944) is a Belgian linguist and semiotician, professor at the State University of Liège, born in Verviers (Belgium) in 1944. Member of the interdisciplinary Groupe µ. President of the International Association for visual Semiotics. Jean-Marie Klinkenberg, born in 1944 in Ve ... Read »


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    • Laconic phrase

    • A laconic phrase or laconism is a concise or statement, especially a and elliptical rejoinder. It is named after Laconia, the region of Greece including the city of Sparta, whose ancient inhabitants had a reputation for verbal austerity and were famous for their blunt and often remarks. A laconic phrase may be ... Read »


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    • Language As Symbolic Action

    • Language As Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature and Method is a book by Kenneth Burke, published in 1966 by the University of California Press. As indicated by the title, the book, Burke's 16th published work, consists of “many of Burke's essays which have appeared in widely diverse periodicals” and h ... Read »


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    • Lapalissade

    • A lapalissade is an obvious truth—i.e. a truism or tautology—which produces a comical effect. It is derived from the name Jacques de la Palice, and the word is used in several languages. La Palice's epitaph reads These words were misread (accidentally or intentionally) as "...il Å¿erait [serait] encore en ... Read »


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    • List of buzzwords

    • This is a list of common buzzwords which form part of the jargon of corporate, academic, government, and everyday work and social environments, as well as by writers and public speakers. ... Read »


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    • List of fallacies

    • A fallacy is an incorrect argument in logic and rhetoric which undermines an argument's logical validity or more generally an argument's logical soundness. Fallacies are either formal fallacies or informal fallacies. These are commonly used styles of argument in convincing people, where the focus is on communication a ... Read »


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    • List of female rhetoricians

    • Within the field of rhetoric, the contributions of female rhetoricians have often been overlooked. Anthologies comprising the history of rhetoric or rhetoricians often leave the impression there were none. Throughout history, however, there have been a significant number of women rhetoricians. Re∙Vision—the ... Read »


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    • Literary topos

    • Topos (from Ancient Greek: τόπος 'place' abbreviated from Ancient Greek: τόπος κοινός tópos koinós, 'common place'; pl. topoi), in Latin locus (from locus communis), referred in the context of classical Greek rhetoric to a standardised method of constructing o ... Read »


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    • Logographer (legal)

    • The title of logographer (from the Ancient Greek λογογράφος, logographos, a compound of λόγος, logos, 'word', and γράφω, grapho, 'write') was applied to professional authors of judicial discourse in Ancient Greece. The modern term speechwriter is roughly equiv ... Read »


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    • Logos

    • Logos (UK /ˈloʊɡɒs, ˈlɒɡɒs/, US /ˈloʊɡoʊs/; Ancient Greek: , from lego "I say") is a term in western philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, and religion derived from a Greek word meaning "ground", "plea", "opinion", "expectation", "word", "speech", "account", "reason", "discourse", but i ... Read »


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    • Loose sentence

    • A loose sentence (also called a cumulative sentence) is a type of sentence in which the main idea (independent clause) is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases. It adds modifying elements after the subject, complement, and verb. Loose sentences may make a work seem informal, relaxe ... Read »


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    • Loosely associated statements

    • A loosely associated statement is a type of simple non-inferential passage wherein statements about a general subject are juxtaposed but make no inferential claim. As a rhetorical device, loosely associated statements may be intended by the speaker to infer a claim or conclusion, but because they lack a coherent logica ... Read »


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    • Magnanimity

    • Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magna, great, and animus, mind) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Magnanimity is a latinization of the Greek word μΠ... Read »


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    • Main contention

    • In both formal and informal logic, a main contention or conclusion is a thought which can be either true or false and is usually the most controversial proposition being argued for. In reasoning, a main contention is represented by the top of an argument map, with all supporting and objecting premises which bear upon i ... Read »


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    • Master suppression techniques

    • The Master suppression techniques is a framework articulated in 1945 by the Norwegian psychologist and philosopher Ingjald Nissen. These techniques identified by Nissen are ways to indirectly suppress and humiliate opponents. In the late 1970s the framework was popularized by Norwegian social psychologist Berit Ås, ... Read »


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    • Memoria

    • Memoria was the term for aspects involving memory in Western classical rhetoric. The word is Latin, and can be translated as "memory". It was one of five canons in classical rhetoric (the others being inventio, dispositio, elocutio, and pronuntiatio) concerned with the crafting and delivery of speeches and prose. The ... Read »


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    • Merism

    • In law, a merism is a figure of speech by which a single thing is referred to by a conventional phrase that enumerates several of its parts, or which lists several synonyms for the same thing. In rhetoric a merism is the combination of two contrasting words, to refer to an entirety. For example, when we mean to say th ... Read »


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    • Metanoia (rhetoric)

    • Metanoia (from the Greek μετάνοια, metanoia, changing one's mind) in the context of rhetoric is a device used to retract a statement just made, and then state it in a better way. As such, metanoia is similar to correction. Metanoia is used in recalling a statement in two ways—-to weaken the ... Read »


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    • Metaphoric criticism

    • Metaphoric criticism is one school of rhetorical analysis used in English and speech communication studies. Scholars employing metaphoric criticism analyze texts by locating metaphors within texts and evaluating those metaphors in an effort to better understand ways in which authors appeal to their audiences. The ... Read »


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    • Method of loci

    • The method of loci (loci being Latin for "places") is a method of memory enhancement which uses visualizations with the use of spatial memory, familiar information about one's environment, to quickly and efficiently recall information. The method of loci is also known as the memory journey, memory palace, or mind palac ... Read »


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    • Mimesis criticism

    • Mimesis criticism is a method of interpreting texts in relation to their literary or cultural models. Mimesis, or imitation (imitatio), was a widely used rhetorical tool in antiquity up until the 18th century's romantic emphasis on originality. Mimesis criticism looks to identify intertextual relationships between two ... Read »


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    • Modern rhetoric

    • Modern rhetoric has gone through many changes since the age of ancient Rome and Greece to fit the societal demands of the time. Kenneth Burke, who is largely credited for defining the notion of modern rhetoric, described modern rhetoric as, "Rooted in an essential function of language itself, a function that is wholly ... Read »


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    • Description

    • Description is the pattern of development that presents a word picture of a thing, a person, a situation, or a series of events. It is one of four rhetorical modes (also known as modes of discourse), along with exposition, argumentation, and narration. Each of the rhetorical modes is present in a variety of forms and e ... Read »


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    • Rhetorical modes

    • Rhetorical modes (also known as modes of discourse) describe the variety, conventions, and purposes of the major kinds of language-based communication, particularly writing and speaking. Four of the most common rhetorical modes and their purpose are narration, description, exposition, and argumentation. The purpos ... Read »


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    • Mudsill theory

    • Mudsill theory is a sociological term indicating the proposition that there must be, and always has been, a lower class for the upper classes to rest upon. The term derives from a mudsill, the lowest threshold that supports the foundation for a building. The theory was first used by South Carolina Senator/Governor Jam ... Read »


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    • Narrative criticism

    • Narrative criticism focuses on the stories a speaker or a writer tells to understand how they help us make meaning out of our daily human experiences. Narrative theory is a means by which we can comprehend how we impose order on our experiences and actions by giving them a narrative form. According to Walter Fisher, na ... Read »


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    • Nasreddin

    • Nasreddin or Nasreddin Hodja (/næsˈrɛdáµ»n/) was a Seljuq satirical Sufi, born in Hortu Village in Sivrihisar, Eskişehir Province, present-day Turkey and died in 13th century in Akşehir, near Konya, a capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, in today's Turkey. He is considered a populist philosopher an ... Read »


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    • Native American rhetoric

    • A HISTORY OF NATIVE AMERICAN RHETORICS 1823 - Johnson v. McIntosh 1830s - William Appess 1827 and 1839 - Cherokee constitutions1879 - Thomas Tibbles 1879 - Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins 1881 - Constitution of the Osage Nation 1881 – Helen Hunt Jackson, A Century of Dishonor 1928 – Meriam Report 1946 - Indi ... Read »


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    • Neo-Aristotelianism (rhetorical criticism)

    • Neo-Aristotelianism is a view of literature and rhetorical criticism propagated by the Chicago School — Ronald S. Crane, Elder Olson, Richard McKeon, Wayne Booth, and others — which means. "A view of literature and criticism which takes a pluralistic attitude toward the history of literature and seeks to vi ... Read »


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    • New rhetorics

    • New rhetorics is an interdisciplinary field approaching for the broadening of classical rhetorical canon. The New Rhetoric is a result of various efforts of bringing back rhetorics from the marginal status it attained by its image and 'negative connotations' of "political lies, corporate spin, long list of Greek and ... Read »


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    • The New Science

    • The New Science (1725, Principi di Scienza Nuova d’intorno alla Comune Natura delle Nazioni) is the major work of Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico that greatly influenced the development of the fields of the philosophy of history, of sociology, and of anthropology, because the conceptualizations of methodolog ... Read »


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    • Non sequitur (logic)

    • A non sequitur (Latin for "it does not follow"), in formal logic, is an invalid argument. In a non sequitur, the conclusion could be either true or false (because there is a disconnect between the premises and the conclusion), but the argument nonetheless asserts the conclusion to be true and is thus fallacious. While ... Read »


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    • Oracy

    • The term oracy was coined by Andrew Wilkinson, a British researcher and educator, in the 1960s. This word is formed by analogy from literacy and numeracy. The purpose is to draw attention to the neglect of oral skills in education. ... Read »


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    • Orator (Cicero)

    • Orator was written by Marcus Tullius Cicero in the latter part of the year 46 B.C. It is his last work on rhetoric, three years before his death. Describing rhetoric, Cicero addresses previous comments on the five canons of rhetoric: Inventio, Dispositio, Elocutio, Memoria, and Pronuntiatio. In this text, Cicero attemp ... Read »


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    • Overview (debate)

    • An overview in policy debate is part of a speech which is flagged as not responding to the line-by-line arguments on the flow. An overview may be "global" if presented at the beginning of a speech or "local" if presented at the beginning of a position. Overviews typically list the order a debater's speech will be give ... Read »


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    • Panegyrici Latini

    • XII Panegyrici Latini or Twelve Latin Panegyrics is the conventional title of a collection of twelve ancient Roman and late antique prose panegyric orations written in Latin. The authors of most of the speeches in the collection are anonymous, but appear to have been Gallic in origin. Aside from the first panegyric, co ... Read »


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    • Parable

    • A parable is a succinct, didactic story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. It differs from a fable in that fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature as characters, whereas parables have human characters. A parable is a type of analogy. Some ... Read »


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    • Parachesis

    • In rhetoric, parechesis (παρήχησις) is the repetition of the same sound in several words in close succession. An example of a parechesis is: "He persuades the Pithian (πείθει τὸν Πειθίαν)."Hermogenes of Tarsus discusses parechesis in his work ... Read »


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    • Parade of horribles

    • A parade of horribles is both a literal parade and a rhetorical device. The phrase parade of horribles originally referred to a literal parade of people wearing comic and grotesque costumes, rather like the Philadelphia Mummers Parade. It was a traditional feature of Fourth of July parades in parts of the United S ... Read »


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    • Paradiastole

    • Paradiastole (from Greek παραδιαστολή from παρά para "next to, alongside", and διαστολή diastole "separation, distinction") is the reframing of a vice as a virtue, often with the use of euphemism, for example, "Yes, I know it does not work all the ... Read »


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    • Parallelism (grammar)

    • In grammar, parallelism, also known as parallel structure or parallel construction, is a balance within one or more sentences of similar phrases or clauses that have the same grammatical structure. The application of parallelism improves writing style and readability, and is thought to make sentences easier to process. ... Read »


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    • Parallelism (rhetoric)

    • Parallelism means giving two or more parts of one or more sentences a similar form to create a definite pattern, a concept and method closely related to the grammatical idea of parallel construction or structure, which can also be called parallelism. Parallelism as a rhetorical device is used in many languages and cul ... Read »


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    • Paraphrase

    • A paraphrase /ˈpærəfreɪz/ is a restatement of the meaning of a text or passage using other words. The term itself is derived via Latin paraphrasis from Greek παράφρασις, meaning "additional manner of expression". The act of paraphrasing is also called "paraphrasis". A paraphra ... Read »


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    • Paraprosdokian

    • A paraprosdokian (/pærəprɒsˈdoʊkiən/) is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence, phrase, or larger discourse is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, somet ... Read »


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    • Parenthesis (rhetoric)

    • In rhetoric, a parenthesis (plural: parentheses; from the Greek word παρένθεσις parénthesis, which comes in turn from words meaning "alongside of" and "to place") or parenthetical phrase is an explanatory or qualifying word, clause, or sentence inserted into a passage. The parenthesis c ... Read »


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    • Paromoiosis

    • In rhetoric, paromoiosis is parallelism of sound between the words of two clauses approximately equal in size. The similarity of sound can occur at the beginning of the clauses, at the end (where it is equivalent to homoioteleuton), in the middle or throughout the clauses. For example: "Open to gifts and open to words ... Read »


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    • Parrhesia

    • In rhetoric, parrhesia is a figure of speech described as: "to speak candidly or to ask forgiveness for so speaking". There are three different forms of parrhesia. Parrhesia in its nominal form is translated from Greek to English meaning "free speech". Parrhesiazomai in its verbal form is to use parrhesia, and a parrhe ... Read »


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    • Pars pro toto

    • Pars pro toto, Latin for "a part (taken) for the whole", is a figure of speech where the name of a portion of an object, place, or concept represents its entirety. It is distinct from a merism, which is a reference to a whole by an enumeration of parts; metonymy, where an object, place, or concept is called by somethin ... Read »


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    • Pathos

    • Pathos (/ˈpeɪθɒs/, US /ˈpeɪθoʊs/; plural: pathea; Greek: , for "suffering" or "experience"; adjectival form: 'pathetic' from παθητικός) represents an appeal to the emotions of the audience, and elicits feelings that already reside in them. Pathos is a communication tec ... Read »


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    • Pensée unique


    • Pericope

    • A pericope (/pəˈrɪkəpiː/; Greek περικοπή, "a cutting-out") in rhetoric is a set of verses that forms one coherent unit or thought, suitable for public reading from a text, now usually of sacred scripture. Manuscripts—often illuminated—called pericopes, are normally evan ... Read »


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    • Periodic sentence

    • A periodic sentence is a stylistic device employed at the sentence level, described as one that is not complete grammatically or semantically before the final clause or phrase. The periodic sentence emphasizes its main idea by placing it at the end, following all the subordinate clauses and other modifiers that su ... Read »


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    • Phaedrus (dialogue)

    • The Phaedrus (/ˈfiːdrəs/; Ancient Greek: Φαῖδρος "Phaidros"), written by Plato, is a dialogue between Plato's protagonist, Socrates, and Phaedrus, an interlocutor in several dialogues. The Phaedrus was presumably composed around 370 BC, about the same time as Plato's Republic and S ... Read »


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    • Phraseology

    • In linguistics, phraseology is the study of set or fixed expressions, such as idioms, phrasal verbs, and other types of multi-word lexical units (often collectively referred to as phrasemes), in which the component parts of the expression take on a meaning more specific than or otherwise not predictable from the sum of ... Read »


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    • Platitude

    • A platitude is a trite, meaningless, or prosaic , generally directed at quelling social, emotional, or cognitive unease. Platitudes are geared towards presenting a shallow, unifying wisdom over a difficult topic. However, they are too overused and general to be anything more than undirected statements with ultimately l ... Read »


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    • Pleonasm

    • Pleonasm (/ˈpliːənæzəm/; from Greek (pleonasmós), from (pleon), meaning 'more, too much') is the use of more words or parts of words than are necessary or sufficient for clear expression: examples are black darkness, burning fire. Such redundancy is, by traditional rhetorical criteria, a manifestati ... Read »


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    • Polemic

    • A polemic (/pəˈlɛmɪk/) is contentious rhetoric that is intended to support a specific position. Polemics are mostly seen in arguments about controversial topics. The practice of such argumentation is called polemics. A person who often writes polemics, or who speaks polemically, is called a polemicist. The ... Read »


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    • Politicards

    • Politicards are a deck of playing cards produced each election year in the United States featuring 54 caricatures depicting political candidates and prominent political figures. The first Politicards deck was produced in 1971 for the 1972 election by artist Peter Green, writer Lee Livingston, businessman Mike Killeen ... Read »


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    • Polyptoton

    • Polyptoton /ˌpɒláµ»pˈtoʊtɒn/ is the stylistic scheme in which words derived from the same root are repeated (such as "strong" and "strength"). A related stylistic device is antanaclasis, in which the same word is repeated, but each time with a different sense. Another related term is figura etymologic ... Read »


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    • Polysyndeton

    • Polysyndeton is the use of several conjunctions in close succession, especially where some could otherwise be omitted (as in "he ran and jumped and laughed for joy"). The word comes from the Greek "poly-", meaning "many," and "syndeton", meaning "bound together with". It is a stylistic scheme used to achieve a variety ... Read »


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    • Power of Women

    • The "Power of Women" (Weibermacht in German) is a medieval and Renaissance artistic and literary topos, showing "heroic or wise men dominated by women", presenting "an admonitory and often humorous inversion of the male-dominated sexual hierarchy". It was defined by Susan L. Smith as "the representational practice of b ... Read »


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    • Praegnans constructio

    • In rhetoric, praegnans constructio (or constructio praegnans) is a form of brachylogy in which two clauses or two expressions are condensed into one. ... Read »


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    • Principle of charity

    • In philosophy and rhetoric, the principle of charity requires interpreting a speaker's statements to be rational and, in the case of any argument, considering its best, strongest possible interpretation. In its narrowest sense, the goal of this methodological principle is to avoid attributing irrationality, logical fal ... Read »


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    • Pro-war rhetoric

    • Pro-war rhetoric is rhetoric or propaganda designed to convince its audience that war is necessary. The two main analytical approaches to pro-war rhetoric were founded by Ronald Reid, a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Robert Ivie, a Professor of Rhetoric and Public Co ... Read »


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    • Procatalepsis

    • Procatalepsis, also called prolepsis or prebuttal, is a figure of speech in which the speaker raises an objection to their own argument and then immediately answers it. By doing so, they hope to strengthen their argument by dealing with possible counter-arguments before their audience can raise them. In rhetoric antic ... Read »


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    • Procedural rhetoric

    • Procedural rhetoric or simulation rhetoric is a rhetorical concept that explains how people learn through the authorship of rules and processes. The theory argues that games can make strong claims about how the world works—not simply through words or visuals but through the processes they embody and models they co ... Read »


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    • Progymnasmata

    • Progymnasmata (Greek προγυμνάσματα "fore-exercises"; Latin praeexercitamina) are a series of preliminary rhetorical exercises that began in ancient Greece and distended during the Roman Empire. These exercises were implemented by students of rhetoric, who began their schooling bet ... Read »


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    • Pronuntiatio

    • Pronuntiatio was the discipline of delivering speeches in Western classical rhetoric. It is one of the five canons of classical rhetoric (the others being inventio, dispositio, elocutio, and memoria) that concern the crafting and delivery of speeches. In literature the equivalent of ancient pronuntiatio is the recitati ... Read »


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    • Prosopopoeia

    • A prosopopoeia (Greek: προσωποποιία) is a rhetorical device in which a speaker or writer communicates to the audience by speaking as another person or object. The term literally derives from the Greek roots prósopon "face, person", and poiéin "to make, to do". Prosopopoeiae ar ... Read »


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    • Proving a point

    • Proving a point is an element of debate or argument in which the logical truth of a position is established. In mathematics, when a proof is complete and the point is made, Q.E.D. or a tombstone (∎) may be used as a concluding flourish. ... Read »


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    • Psychobabble

    • Psychobabble (a portmanteau of "psychology" or "psychoanalysis" and "babble") is a form of speech or writing that uses psychological jargon, buzzwords, and language to create an impression of truth or . The term implies that the speaker or writer lacks the experience and understanding necessary for the proper use of p ... Read »


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    • Public rhetoric

    • Public rhetoric refers to discourse both within a group of people and between groups, often centering on the process by which individual or group discourse seeks membership in the larger public discourse. Public rhetoric can also involve rhetoric being used within the general populace to foster social change and encour ... Read »


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  • What Else?

    • Rhetoric

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