November 20, 2011

A hand-list of Rhetorical Terms by Richard A. Lanham.

A hand-list of Rhetorical Terms by Richard A. Lanham.

[I only picked topics & sentences that are interested to me; meaning this is not review of the book. This is a very good reference book for anyone who opt for public debate]

One of four levels or senses of interpretation common in medieval and Renaissance exegesis.
a. literal, b. allegorical, c. moral ,d. spiritual.

The letter teaches the deed, the allegory what you believe, the moral what you should do, the spiritual what you strive for.

(the western political satires, quasiphilosphical anatomies, personal attacks in epigrammatic form, pastorals of all sorts, apocalyptic visions, encyclopedia epics... naturalistic much-raking novels whose aim is to propagandize social change, imaginary voyages, detective stories fairy tales debate poems...

Yea, to such freshness, fairness, fulness, fitness, freeness
yea, to such surging, swaying, sighing, swelling, shrinking

Consonance & assonance
Guard and guide

For your bro and my sis no sooner met but they looked; no sooner looked but they loved; no sooner loved but they sighed; no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy; and in these degrees have they made a pair of stairs to marriage.

Goods of life rather than the good life.

The passion is all that man can know of God: his conflicts, duly faced are all that he can know of himself. The last judgment is the always present self-judgment (Erickson)

Positive statement made in a negative forum

I wasted time and now doth time waste me...

I ask you of cheese, you answer me of chalk
He was a modest man, with much to be modest about..

A proposition is true if it has not been proved false

tiny, timid, tentative tardy

I am gonna squeeze your lemon baby, till the good juice comes...

Logicians distinguish four:
material (e.g. the metal which is a card is made),
formal (design of car)
efficient (assembling of the car)
final (purpose of the car - transportation)

if you stay in Beverly hills too long, you become a Mercedes... (Robert Redford)

Anyone who thinks he has ha solution does not comprehend the problem and anyone who comprehends the problem does not have a solution -

The Q is not whether Grape Nuts are good enough for you, it's whether you are good enough for Grape Nuts

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going..

Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is nor original and the part that is original is not good...

pregnant sentence or maxim, often illustrated by an anecdote.

this wine may be verified that merry induction, that good wine makes good blood, good blood causeth good humors, good humors cause good thoughts, good thoughts bring forth good works, good works carry a man to heaven, ergo good wine carry a man to heaven.

A crocodile having seized a woman's son, said that he would restore him, if she would the truth. She replied, you will not restore him. Was it the crocodile's duty to give him up?
(The barber shaves only those men in town who do not shave themselves.
All this seems perfectly logical, until we pose the paradoxical question:
Who shaves the barber?)
Careless she is with artful care,
Affecting to seem unaffected." _Congreve

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.

As far as Urdu is concerned Mirza Asad ullah Khan Ghalib appears to be the greatest exponent of paradoxical language. Some of his gems are given below. Only first part of the verse is given in the interest of brevity.
1. Mushkilain itni parein kay asaan ho gaien.
So many troubles I got that they become my comfort!
2. Aadmi ko bhe mayyassar nahin Insan hona
Even a man is not able to become human!
3. Tangiay dil ka gila kiya yeh woh kafir dil hai
Why complain about heartlessness, the heart is heathen
4. Jatay hoiy kehto ho qiamat ko mialaingay
kiya khoob qiamat ka hai goya koi din aur
To part saying that will meet again on dooms day,
Well that is enough to make it a dooms day,
6. Qata keejiay na tallauq hum say
kuch nahin to adawat hee sahee
Do not sever all relationship with us
If nothing else let there be acrimony

Emphasizing a strong point by repeating it several times in different words
(e.g. expelled, thrust out, banished and cast away from the city..)

Repetition of a word or words in succeeding clauses
1. for amplification or emphasize are promoting riots, Garica, yes, civil and internal riots

2. to express emotion
e.g. you were not moved when his mother embraced your knees? you were not moved?

Repetition of a word with one or a few words in between , used to express strong emotion
e.g. My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed..

Use of different verbs to express similar ideas in successive clauses
e.g. By the roman people, Numantia was destroyed, Carthage razed, Corinth demolished, Fregellae overthrown...

To muse in mind how faire, how wise, how good
how brave, how free, how courteous, and how true
MY lady is doth but inflame my blood

Fallacy two types – formal & informal

A. Fallacies of relevance
Argumentum ad baculum – appeal to force
Argumentum ad hominen – disparage character of the speaker, instead of attacking his arguments
Argumentum ad ignorantiam – argue that a proposition is true because it has never been proved false
Argumentum ad misericordiam – appeal to pity
Argumentum ad populum – play on the feelings of the audience
Argumentum ad verecundiam – appeal to traditional values
Converse accident – fallacious generalization on the basis of unrepresentative sample
Post hoc, propter hoc (because A occurs before B, A is the cause of B: confusion of temporal and causal sequence
Petitio principia – assuming as a premise the conclusion to be proved – begging the question
Rigged question – the terms of the question require admission as part of any answer: Have you stopped beating your wife (indirectly says he beats his wife)
Ignoratio elenchi – an argument which proves a conclusion different from the one intended

B. Fallacies of ambiguity
Equivocation – deliberate confusion of two or more meanings of a word
Amphiboly – argument from grammatically ambiguous premise
Accent – change of stress or emphasis to change meaning
Composition – taking a part for the whole
Division – taking the whole for a part

The Laws of Thought
1. Principle of Identity - if a statement is true, it is true
2. Principle of contradiction - no statement can be both true and false
3. Principle of excluded middle - any statement must be either true or false

Metaphor - changing a word from its literal meaning to one not properly applicable but analogous to it.
We are naturally find it agreeable to get hold of new ideas easily: words express ideas and therefore those words are the most agreeable that enables us to get hold of new ideas. Now strange words simply puzzle us; ordinary words convey only what we know already; it is from metaphor that we can best get hold of something fresh - Aristotle.

Occultatio - emphasizing something by pointedly seeming to pass over it as in introducing a guest speaker one says, " I will not dwell here on the 20 book she has written nor his 40 years as dean nor his many illustrious pupils, but only say that last year he did xyz.."

Subtle speaking, quibbling.
e.g. I rise to commit an irregularity. The intervention I make is without precedent and the reason for that intervention is also without precedent and the fact that the reason for my intervention is without precedent is the reason why I must ask for a precedent for my intervention" - Churchill.


Three branches of Rhetoric - Deliberate, Judicial & Ceremonial
Five parts - Invention, Arrangement, Style, Memory & Delivery

Invention - two kinds of proof - In-artificial & Artificial
Artificial has three types - Ethos, Pathos & Logos

Two types of logical proof
Deductive - Syllogism & Enthymeme
Inductive -

Two kinds of topic
1. Topics useful in a special area of knowledge only
2. Topics useful in arguments of all kinds
a. What can and cannot happen
b. What has and has not happened
c. What will or will not happen
d. Size

28 valid topics
1. Restate your contention in an opposite way (e.g. instead of saying 'excess is bad' say moderation is good. If the opposite statement holds, so will the original one
2. Redefine a key term slightly to support your contention or suggest a synonym that seems better to support it
3. Use a correlative idea. You want to prove B justly punished so prove A just in punishing him
4. Argue a fortiori. Prove A has acted in a cruel way at one time by showing that at another he acted still more cruelly
5. Argue from circumstances of past time. What has been promised at one time must be performed at another, even though times and circumstances may have changed
6. Turn an accusation against accuser. The implied moral superiority of the accuser is this attacked
7. Define your terms so as to place the argument in a favorable light
8. Play upon various senses of a word
9. Divide your argument into its logical parts
10. Argue from plain induction (parallel cases)
11. Argue from authority or previous verdict
12. Argue your contention part by part
13. Argue from consequences, good or bad
14. When an action may have good or bad consequences, invert your opponent's arguments. Aristotle example: Don't take up oratory. If you say truth, men will hate you; if you lie, the Gods will hate you. Take up oratory. If you lie, men will love you; if you say the truth, the Gods will love you.
15. Oppose an argument by seeming to allow it and then maintaining that things are not what they seem. If the opponent maintains thus, argue things are what they seem.
16. Argue from logical consequences. If a man is old enough to fight for his country, he is old enough to vote. Are we then to say that those too sick to fight should not vote?
17. Argue that if two results are the same, their causes must be the same
18. Apply an opponent's earlier decision to later case, to his disadvantage
19. Take the possible motive for the one actually prevailing
20. In arguing individual motive, point to general motives or prohibitions (for or against, depending on which side you have taken)
21. Make people believe an improbability by pointing to an even greater one that is yer true.
22. Catch your opponent out on inaccuracies and self-contradictions
23. Refute slander by showing that it was evoked by a mistaken view of the facts
24. Prove effect by showing the presence of its cause or vice-versa
25. Show that a client or a cause had better argument and failed to use it. Only trustful innocence would make such a mistake
26. Disprove an action by showing it inconsistent with previous actions
27. Use previous mistakes as a defense (or explanation) for present ones
28. Support an argument by playing upon the meaning of names (Mr. Stern is a harsh man)

Ten invalid topics or fallacies of arguments
1. Conclude an argument, as if at the end of a reasoning process, without having gone, through the process
2. Play on illogical, fortuitous similarity of words (A sauce pan must be noble for so was the great god Pan)
3. Make statement about the whole that is true only of individual parts or vice versa
4. Use indignant language
5. Use a single, unrepresentative example
6. Take the accidental as essential
7. Argue from consequence
8. Argue post hoc, ergo propter hoc
9. Ignore crucial circumstances
10. Suggest, from fraudulent confusion of general and particular that the improbable is probable and vice versa

Thesis & Hypotheses

Thesis- a general argument, one that does not deal with particular case

Hypothesis - argument about a particular case and there are two divisions
1. Question of fact or justice
2. Question of law

Hypothesis has seven elements
1. Actor
2. Action
3. Time
4. Place
6. Manner
7. Starting point

Arrangement: The parts of an Oration

To avoid the unnecessary confusion of overlapping classifications, there are six basic steps according to the well known discussion in Rhetoric ad Herennum

1. Exordium - catches the audience attention
2. Narration - sets forth the facts
3. Division - sets forth points stipulated and points to be contested
4. Proof - sets forth the arguments that support one's case
5. Refutation - refutes opponent arguments
6. Peroration - sums up arguments and stirs audience.

Aristotle saw two essential elements - the statement of the issue (narration) and the arguments for & against it. At most he thought, an introduction and conclusion framing the two essential parts would make a total of four. a. ingratiating introduction, b. state your case, c. prove your case, d.sum up in an ingratiating way.

If there is any characteristic form to be found among the various schemes for the parts, it would seem to be a strategy of alternating emotional and evidential appeals, first cultivating the good will of hearers and then setting forth the facts of the case.

Simplest structure - states your case, and proves it
First complication: Encapsulate this statement with emotional appeals fore and aft
Second complication: Interrupt the factual statement with one or more emotional appeals
Third complication: Divide your argumentation into subsections
Da Capo: More interpolated emotional appeals and argumentative subdivisions


Three types
1. The low or plain style (unornamented - brief style)
2. The middle style (somewhere between 1 &3)
3. The grand style (ornamented style - full style)

The Greek Demetrius offers four divisions
Plan, Grand, Elegant & Forceful

There are two types - natural & artificial. Artificial memory is trained using one of the 'memory-theater.

Two parts - voice and gesture and these were variously and greatly subdivided.
Read the following for Delivery
Non-verbal communication by Robert A Hinde
Elizabethan Acting by L. Joseph
Chirologia or the natural language of the hands by John Bulwer (1644)1
Chironomia by Gilbert Austin (1806)
Essay on elocution and pronunciation by John Mason (1748)
Practical illustration of Rhetorical gesture and action by Henry Siddons
Below are copied from the above site

You can save money by spending it.

"I can resist anything but temptation."-Oscar Wilde
"I must be cruel to be kind."
We must go to war to make peace.
Extreme rationalism, by 'seeing through' all 'rational' motives, leaves us creatures of wholly irrational behavior. – C. S. Lewis
Each new power won by man (over nature) is a power over man as well. Each advance leaves him weaker as well as stronger. – C. S. Lewis
To believe with certainty we must begin with doubting. – King Stanislaw II
Freedom is not doing what you want, freedom is wanting to do what you have to do…this kind of freedom is always rooted in practiced habit. – Northrop Frye

`Nobody asked your opinion,' said Alice.
`Who's making personal remarks now?' the Hatter asked triumphantly.

'You won't marry me because I'm crazy, and you say I'm crazy because I want to marry you? Is that right?'

"War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength."

"Men work together whether they work together or apart." - The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." - Animal Farm by George Orwell

Alliteration Examples in Advertising Slogans:
"Don't dream it. Drive it."
- Jaguar
"Dream. Dare. Do."
- Girl Guides

"Functional... Fashionable... Formidable..."
- Fila

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