Rhetorical Devices By Shana and Luisa

Poisoning the well- o prime the audience with adverse information about the opponent from the start, in an attempt to make your claim more acceptable, or discount the credibility of your opponent’s claim. Example: Tim: Boss, you heard my side of the story why I think Bill should be fired and not me. Now, I am sure Bill is going to come to you with some pathetic attempt to weasel out of this lie that he has created.

Premise- something previously stated or assumed as the basis of further argument Example: Claims

Red Herring-Attempting to redirect the argument to another issue that to which the person doing the redirecting can better respond. A deliberate diversion of attention with the intention of trying to abandon the original argument. Example: Billy: How could the universe be 6000 years old when we know the speed of light, the distance of astronomical objects (13+ billion light years away), and the fact that the light has reached us[1]?Marty: 6000 years is not a firm number. The universe can be as old as about 10,000 years. Billy: How do you figure that?...

Straw Man- Substituting a person’s actual position or argument with a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of the position of the argument. Example: Zebedee: What is your view on the Christian God?Mike: I don’t believe in any gods, including the Christian one. Zebedee: So you think that we are here by accident, and all this design in nature is pure chance, and the universe just created itself? Mike: You got all that from me stating that I just don’t believe in any gods?

Slippery Slope- When a relatively insignificant first event is suggested to lead to a more significant event, which in turn leads to a more significant event, and so on, until some ultimate, significant event is reached, where the connection of each event is not only unwarranted, but with each step it becomes more and more improbable. Example: If A, then B, then C, ... then ultimately Z!

Rhetorical Shift- a change in linguistic tone that can be signaled by a transition word like "but," "however," or "then." Example: The weather outside was very pleasant, however Jennifer was feeling very depressed.

Syntax-a set of rules in a language. It dictates how words from different parts of speech are put together in order to convey a complete thought. Example: “What light from yonder window breaks?” instead of using a common expression “What light breaks from yonder window?” Pronunciation: Sin-tax

Synthesis-the composition or combination of parts or elements so as to form a whole. Example: when you read several books and use all of the information to come up with a thesis on the subject.

Tricolon- A rhetorical term that consists of three parallel clauses, phrases or words, which happen to come in quick succession without any interruption. Example: when the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, when our best-laid plans seem beyond our reach

Zeugma- Employs the technique of using a single verb for more than one part in a sentence but where that single verb applies grammatically and logically to only one. Example: “And all the people saw the thundering, and the lightning, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.”


Created with images by ewan traveler - "Easter Candy Corn" • Luci Correia - "Candy." • roolrool - "More Candy" • Muffet - "candy corn squircle"

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