Rhetorical Devices 5 By: Anneka Lewis

Poisoning the Well: a fallacy where irrelevant information about a person or character is presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the person or character is about to say. Ex. "Oh, you are seeing Dr. Thomas? He really gives me the creeps, so just watch out."
Premise: A proposition upon which an argument is based or from which a conclusion is drawn. Ex. Since carrots are full of vitamins, your body will benefit from them if you eat them.
Red Herring: Something, especially a clue, that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting. Ex. “I know i was cheating on my test, but think of my parents. They will kill me.”
Straw Man: When a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. Ex. "Senator Jones says that we should not fund the attack submarine program. I disagree entirely. I can't understand why he wants to leave us defenseless like that."
Slippery Slope (Domino Theory): a relatively small first step leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant (usually negative) effect. Ex. “If same-sex marriages are allowed, then people will be allowed to marry turtles, dolphins, cats, or iPads.”
Rhetorical Shift: a change in a speaker's or writer's style or tone and is often accompanied by a shift in focus. Ex. Betty appears to be very nice and sweet to strangers, but is rude and mean to her family and friends.
Syntax: The arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language. Ex. People who text on their phone while watching a movie are very annoying.
Synthesis: Combining ideas from multiple sources in order to create a new idea. Ex. Jenna says to Annelise, “Jessica, Sophia, Jackie, and many others said the new movie Beauty and the Beast was really good.”
Tricolon: consists of three parallel clauses, phrases or words, that are similar in length, which happen to come in quick succession without any interruption. Ex. “When the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, when our best-laid plans seem beyond our reach..”
Zeugma: a figure of speech in which a word, usually a verb or an adjective, applies to more than one noun, blending together grammatically and logically different ideas. Ex. “John lost his coat and his temper.”


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