Wording Speeches Rhetorical devices, wording techniques, figures of speech, and phrasing methods
Alliterationrepetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words or accented syllables "She sells sea shells by the sea shore" "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers" slithering snake patently preposterous policy
Assonancethe repetition of similar vowel sounds ...the broad circumference Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose Orb Through Optic Glass the Tuscan Artist views At evning from the top of Fesole...In this case, the assonance involves the sound u and o.
Similecomparison of two things using "like" or "as” And his eyes were like holes poked in a snowbank. My love is like a red, red rose. His hair was as smooth as a birds breast. Her hair was like gravy, running brown off her head and clumping up on her shoulders.
Metaphorcomparisons of two things that dont use like or as…trick is to watch out for cliches Metaphors: Love: old flame, ring of fire Metaphorical Cliches: the calm before the storm he’s the apple of her eye
Analogyexplicit comparison is made between two things (events, ideas, people, etc) to further a line of reasoning or drawing an inference Withdrawal of U.S. troops will become like salted peanuts to the American public; the more U.S. troops come home, the more will be demanded. I dont think theres anything certainly more unseemly than the sight of a rock star in academic robes. Its a bit like when people put their King Charles spaniels in little tartan sweats and hats. Its not natural, and it doesnt make the dog any smarter. (-- Bono, 2004 Commencement Address of the University of Pennsylvania) Remember this, ladies and gentlemen. Its an old phrase, basically anonymous. Politicians are a lot like diapers: You should change them frequently and for the same reason. Keep that in mind next time you vote. Good night.
Onomatopoeiaformation or use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to hiss; murmur; smack Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear… Ding dong! the bells are gonna chime… Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!
Oxymoronfigure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by side O miserable abundance, O beggarly riches! act naturally, found missing, alone together, peace force, terribly pleased, ill health, jumbo shrimp, alone together, small crowd, and clearly misunderstood the sounds of silence
Paradoxstatement that appears to contradict itself War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. I do not love you except because I love you; I go from loving to not loving you, From waiting to not waiting for you My heart moves from cold to fire.
Personificationfigure of speech in which an inanimate object or abstraction is endowed with human qualities or abilities Because I could not stop for Death-- He kindly stopped for me An optimist is the human personification of spring. Fear knocked on the door. Faith answered. There was no one there.
Understatementfigure of speech in which a writer or a speaker deliberately makes a situation seem less important or serious than it is The graves a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace. I have to have this operation…It isnt very serious. I have this tiny little tumor on the brain.“ (Holden Caulfield in The Catcher In The Rye, by J. D. Salinger) "Its just a flesh wound.“ (Black Knight, after having both of his arms cut off, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
Punplay on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words What food these morsels be! It is better to be looked over than to be overlooked. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead possums. The flight attendant looks at him and says, "Im sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."
Comparisonhow something compares and contrasts with other similar/dissimilar items Administrative work is like juggling a chain saw: once in a while you pull it off and really wow people. Health is a greater good than justice, because while people can be content with the mere reputation for being just, they prefer being healthy to only seeming healthy.
Parallelismsimilarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses parallelism of words: She tried to make her pastry fluffy, sweet, and delicate. parallelism of phrases: Singing a song or writing a poem is joyous. parallelism of clauses: Perch are inexpensive; cod are cheap; trout are abundant; but salmon are best.
Imagerywords or phrases that appeal to one or more of the five senses Touch: gripped their chilled drinks; showered with freezing cold Gatorade Hear: cried in excitement Taste: it tastes sweet yet spicy at once, with a tinge of orange taste Smell: the air smells like going to the countryside-- fresh and green--no smell of smoke but the fresh waters and the leaves Sight: the rose is bright red; yellow and black bees buzzing
Rhetorical Questiona question whose answer is obvious or implied Can anyone look at the record of this administration and say, "Well done"? Can anyone compare the state of our economy when the Carter administration took office with where we are today and say, "Keep up the good work"? Can anyone look at our reduced standing in the world today and say, "Lets have four more years of this"? (Ronald Reagan, 1980 Republican National Convention Acceptance Address)
Epistrophe/Antistropherepetition that occurs when the last word or set of words in one sentence, clause, or phrase is repeated one or more times at the end of successive sentences, clauses, or phrases ...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth The minister who has been called by God, ordained by God, appointed by God, and anointed by God, is assumed guilty until proven innocent.
Antithesiscontrasting of opposing ideas in adjacent phrases, clauses, or sentences I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. Thats one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind."
Hyperboleintentional and deliberate exaggeration of a person, thing, quality, event to emphasize a point external to the object of exaggeration So first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. The only place where democracy comes before work is in the dictionary.
Enumeratiofigure of amplification in which a subject is divided into constituent parts or details, and may include a listing of causes, effects, problems, solutions, conditions, and consequences It is true that this international union is a strong, militant organization. This international union is comprised of 17 trade divisions, an executive board of 15 individuals, 13 Vice Presidents...." Kramer: "Whos gonna turn down a Junior Mint? Its chocolate; its peppermint; its delicious…its very refreshing!”
Web Sites & Examples http://www.americanrhetoric.com/rhetori caldevicesinsound.htm http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/silva. htm