Rhetorical Analysis Vocabulary list 9 • Rhetorical Tools—words to help analyze rhetoric
Litotes • A type of understatement where a statement is made by negating its opposite. • EX: • “Not bad!” = Good • “He’s not as handsome as he once was.” = He doesn’t look good now.
Asyndenton • The omission of conjunctions (F,A,N,B,O,Y,S) between phrases. • EX: • “Vini, Vidi, Vici” – Julius Caesar = “I came, and I saw, and I conquered.” • It often has the effect of hurrying the rhythm and adding force to the text.
Polysyndenton • Employing many (more than are grammatically needed) conjunctions (F,A,N,B,O,Y,S) in a list of phrases. • Ex: “In years gone by, there were in every community men and women who spoke the language of duty and morality and loyalty and obligation” – William Buckley. • Has the effect of slowing down the rhythm, creating a “sing-song” effect, and giving equal weight to the parts of the list.
Anadiplosis • The repetition of the last word or words from the previous line, sentence, or phrase at the beginning of the next. • EX: "Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” • “I am Sam. Sam I am.” – Dr. Seuss
Epistrophe • Ending a series of lines, phrases, sentences, or clauses with the same word or words. • EX: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny compared to what lies within us.” – Emerson.
Syllogism • The format of a formal argument that consists of major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. • EX: • A: Laws that degrade the human spirit are unjust. • B: The segregation laws in Alabama degrade the human spirit. • C: Therefore, the segregation laws in Alabama are unjust.
Colloquial Language • The use of slang in writing, often to create local color and to provide an informal tone.
Dialect • The recreation in writing of regional spoken language, with its sounds and rhythms.
Antecedent • The word, phrase, or clause to which a pronoun refers.