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Rhetorical Figures


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Anaphora
a kind of super alliteration, in which the same word or phrase is repeated at the beginning of a series of phrases
Conversio
a kind of super assonance, in which the same word or phrase is repeated at the end of a series of phrases
Asyndenton
the omission of conjunction(s) which would normally be expected in a phrase, list, or sentence.
Polysyndenton
the unnecessary use of connective word(s), emphasizing each and every element of a series
Adjunctio
the use of several words or phrases with only one verb, when more than one verb would be normal
Disjunctio
the use of the same verb with every member of a clause, when in normal practice the verb would be used only once.
Complexio
Anaphora and Conversio done at the same time in the same clause.
Conduplicatio
the repetition of a word or phrase, for emotional effect
Paronomasia:
a word play (pun) by way of two (or more) words of similar sound but different meaning.
Antithesis:
the juxtaposition of words, phrases or ideas which are apparently (or really) strongly contrasting:
Metaphor:
an implied comparison, in which a characteristic of one object is transferred to another, the purpose being to suggest a similarity between the two.
Personification:
treating inanimate objects as though real human persons or endowed with human personality traits
Allegory:
an extended and systematic metaphor
Metonymy:
(Hypallage): transfers the name of one object to another object, from which it is really distinct, but to which it is connected by some external relationship
Synecdoche:
a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa
Irony:
the use of language in such a way that the opposite meaning is intended to what the words actually say
Hyperbole:
deliberate exaggeration of the truth for rhetorical (often hostile) effect
Leitotes:
(exadversio): a kind of understatement (an inverse of hyperbole), depending upon a double negative for its effect
Meiosis:
deliberate belittling (thus the inverse of hyperbole), sometimes by way of metaphor
Oxymoron:
an apparent (but not actual) contradiction in terms
Aposiopesis:
a deliberate breaking off of the flow of the grammatical thought, leaving the clause unfinished
Apostophe:
addressing absent persons as though they were present, or addressing inanimate objects as though they were alive (personification)
Occupatio:
forestalling an objection to one's point by raising the objection before someone else does:
Praeteritio:
announcing that one will not discuss a particular topic (in the process of which the topic is in fact brought up)
Obtestatio:
the calling to witness (as in an oath) god(s), heaven, earth, heroes, etc
Hendiadys
('one through two') using two nouns, or a noun and its adjective, or a noun and its genitive, connected by a conjunction, to refer to one single complex thing or idea: