Thank You For Arguing

accismus
the figure of coyness (“Oh, you shouldn’t have.”)

ad hominem
The character attack. Logicians and the argument-averse consider it a bad thing.

adianoeta
the figure of hidden meaning

a fortiori
the Mikey-likes-it! argument. If something less likely is true, then something more likely is bound to be true.

anadiplosis
figure that builds one thought on top of another by taking the last word of a clause and using it to begin the next sentence

anaphora
a figure that repeats the first word in a succeding phrases or clauses. It works best in an emotional address before a crowd.

anthropomorphism
a logical fallacy-it attributes human traits to a non-human creature or object

begging the question
The fallacy of circular argument

bushism
Mangled political syntax.

circumlocution (cir-cum-lo-CUE-tion)
The rhetorical end run.

concessio (con-SESS-io)
The jiu-jitsu figure.

converse accident fallacy
A logical foul that uses a bad example to make a generalization.

deliberative rhetoric
One of three types of rhetoric (the other two are legal and demonstrative). Deliberative rhetoric deals with argument about choices. It concerns itself with matters that affect thefuture. Without deliberative rhetoric, we wouldn’t have democracy.

demonstrative rhetoric
Also called epideictic, the speech of sermons, funeral orations and national anthems. It uses the present tense and its chief topic is values. Aristotle named it one of the three kinds of rhetoric, the other two being forensic (legal) and deliberative (political).

dialect
the purely logical debate of philosophers

dialogismus (die-ah-log-IS mus)
The one-person conversation.

dialysis (die-AL-ih-sis)
The either/or figure.

diazeugma (die-ah-ZOOG-ma)
the play-by-play figure.

disinterest
freedom from special interests

dubitatio
feigned doubt about your ability to speak well

enargia (en-AR-gia)
The special effects of figures: vivid description that makes an audience believe it’s taking place before their very eyes.

enthymeme (EN-thih-meem)
Rhetoric’s version of the syllogism. The enthymeme stakes a claim and then bases it on commonly accepted opinion. A little packet of logic, it can provide protein to an argument filled with emotion.

epergesis (eh-per-GEE-sis)
The clarifier.

epideictic (ep-ih-dee-IC-tic)
Demonstrative rhetoric, the speech of sermons, funeral orations and national anthems. It uses the present tense and its chief topic is values. Aristotle named it one of the three kinds of rhetoric, the other two being forensic (legal) and deliberative (political).

equivocation (e-quiv-o-KAY-shon)
The language mask.

erotesis (eh-roe-TEE-sis)
The rhetorical question.

ethos
Argument by character. It’s one of the three kinds of argument; the other two are pathos (argument by emotion) and logos (argument by logic).

eunoia
Aristotle’s word for disinterest, one of three characteristics of ethos.

example
Exempluml; An example that backs up an argument.

forensic rhetoric
argument that determines guilt or innocence

homerism
unbashed use of illogic

hypophora (hie-PAH-for-uh)
A figure that answers your own question. (What’s the secret to comedy? Timing!)

idiom (ID-ee-om)
The figure of inseparable words.

ignoratio elenchi (ig-no-ROT-io eh-LEN-chee)
The fallacy of proving the wrong conclusion.

innuendo
The technique of planting negative ideas in the audience’s head.

jeremiad (jer-e MI-ad)
Prophecy of doom; also called cataplexis.

kairos (KIE-ros)
The rhetorical art of seizing the moment.

leptologia (lep-to-LO-gia)
Quibbling.

litotes (lie TOE tees)
The figure of ironic understatement, usually negative.

Logos
Argument by logic. One of the three forms of argument; the other two are argument by emotion (pathos) and argument by character (ethos).

metanoia (met-ah-NOY-a)
The self-correcting figure.

metastasis (met-AH-stah-sis)
Skipping over an awkward matter

metonymy (meh-TON-ih-mee)
The figure of swap.

neologism (NEE-oh-loh-gism)
The newly minted word.

non sequitur (non SEH-quit-tur)
The figure of irrelevance.

onomatopoeia (onna-motta-PEE-ah)
The noisemaker.

paradigm (PAR-ah-dime)
Argument from example.

paradox
The contrary figure.

paraprosdokian (pa-ra-proze-DOKE-ian)
The unexpected ending.

pathos
Argument by emotion. One of the three forms of argument; the other two are argument by logic (logos), and argument by character (ethos).

periphrasis (per-IF-ra-sis)
The figure that swaps a descriptive phrase for a proper name, or vice versa.

petitio principii (pe-TIH-tio prin-CIH-pee)
Begging the question; the fallacy of circular argument.

phronesis (fro-NEE-sis)
Practical wisdom; street savvy.

polysyndeton (polly-SIN-deh-ton)
The conjunction connector.

post hoc ergo propter hoc
The chanticleer fallacy.

prolepsis
a figure of thought that anticipates an opponent’s or audiences objections

prosopopoeia (pro-so-po-PEE-uh)
The figure of personification.

quibbling
Using careful language to obfuscate. The rhetorical term is leptologia

red herring
The fallacy of distraction.

reductio ad absurdum
Taking an opponent’s argument to its illogical conclusio

significatio
a benign form of innuendo that implies more than it says

slippery slope fallacy
The fallacy of dire consequences. It assumes that one choice will necessarily lead to a cascading series of bad choices.

solecism (SOL-eh-sizm)
The figure of ignorance.

straw man fallacy
Instead of dealing with the actual issue, attack a weaker version of the argument.

syncrisis (SIN-crih-sis)
The not-that-but-this figure.

synecdoche (sin-ECK-doe-kee)
The scale-changing figure.

tautology (taw-TAH-lo-gee)
The redundant figure.

yogiism (YOGEE-ism)
The idiot savant figure, named after the immortal Yogi Berra.