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Circular reasoning fallacy it directly presumes the conclusion which is at question in the first place. This can also be known as a "Circular Argument" - because the conclusion essentially appears both at the beginning and the end of the argument,

Claim: An arguable statement, which may be a claim of fact, value, or policy.

Classification a means of organizing and analyzing a topic by grouping items into categories according to their similarities

Clause: group of words that contains a subject and a predicate.

Cliché a worn-out idea or overused expression

Climax: (Climactic order) Mounting by degrees through words or sentences of increasing weight and in parallel construction with an emphasis on the high point or culmination of a series of events; arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in an order of ascending power. Often the last emphatic word in one phrase or clause is repeated as the first emphatic word of the next.

*One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. Tennyson, Ulysses

Coherence: the quality of effective relations between all parts of a written work. When writing is coherent, there is a logical and expressive connection recognizable between sentences, paragraphs, and parts of a work. Cohesive writing presents a subject consistently, through a clear sequence of ideas.

Colloquial: (adj) [kə ‘ləʊ kwɪ əl]Characteristic of writing that seeks the effect of informal spoken language as distinct from formal or literary English.

Colloquialism: (n) An informal expression that is more often used in casual conversation than in formal speech or writing.

Comparison: (Compare and contrast) A rhetorical strategy in which a writer examines similarities and/or differences between two people, places, ideas, or objects.

Complement: A word or word group that completes the predicate in a sentence.

Composition/Division fallacy is a result of reasoning from the properties of the parts of the whole to the properties of the whole itself--it is an inductive error. /opposite: what is true of the whole must be true of individual parts.

Concession: An argumentative strategy by which a speaker or writer acknowledges the validity of an opponent's point.
Concrete: identifies things perceived through the senses (touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste), such as soft, stench, red, loud, or bitter.

Confirmation: The main part of a text in which logical arguments in support of a position are elaborated.

Connotation: The emotional implications and associations that a word may carry.

Controlling Or Structural Metaphor: A form of comparison in which key resemblances between the principal subject and a subsidiary subject or image are used to organize a composition.

Coordination: The grammatical connection of two or more ideas to give them equal emphasis and importance. Contrast with subordination.

Cumulative sentence/Loose sentence a sentence in which the main independent clause is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases (main clause is at the beginning)

Deduction: A method of reasoning in which a conclusion follows necessarily from the stated premises.

Definition: an explanation of the meaning of a term accomplished in one of the following ways:

Lexical definition, a dictionary definition of accepted usage.

Stipulative definition, an announced description of the limits of a term’s meaning that either extends or limits the lexical definition.

Extended definition, an expanded discussion of the meaning of a word.

Denotation: The direct or dictionary meaning of a word, in contrast to its figurative or associated meanings.

Description: a detailed verbal picture of a person, place, object, or state of mind.

Objective description is primarily factual and excludes mention of the writer’s personal evaluation or response.

Subjective description includes attention to both the subject described and the writer’s response to it. Dialect: A regional or social variety of a language distinguished by pronunciation, grammar, and/or vocabulary. Diction:

(1) the choice of words. Good diction is the result of choosing the most appropriate words for the purpose. Words are

chosen from various levels of usage: slang, colloquial, technical, informal, and formal. Drawing words from one of these levels more frequently than from the others determines the level of diction in a piece of writing. The way the chosen

words are combined is, however, a matter of style and not of diction.

(2) A way of speaking, usually assessed in terms of prevailing standards of pronunciation and elocution.

Didactic: [dɪ ˈdæk tɪk]Intended or inclined to teach or instruct, often excessively.

Digression: a turning aside from the main subject to interrupt the development of an idea with unrelated or vaguely related

material. In an informal essay an interesting digression is not a fault. In a work with a strong plot or in a formal essay, a digression is usually considered a flaw.

Either/or fallacy: false dilemma,false dichotomy,where two alternative statements are held to be the only possible options, when in reality there are more.

Elegy/elegiac [‘ɛl ɪ dʒɪ ] [‘ɛl ɪ ˈdʒaɪ ək]A poem or prose selection that laments or meditates on the passing or death of someone or something of value. Mournful over what has passed or been lost; often used to describe tone. The adjective describing an elegy is elegaic.

Ellipsis: omission of a word or short phrase easily understood in context.

Emphasis: stress or attention given to particular words or ideas. Emphasis ought to be controlled so that the most important and least important points in an essay are given respectively the most and least emphasis. Repetition emphasizes a point, as does placing it at the end of a sentence, paragraph, or essay. There are also mechanical devices which add emphasis: italics (underlining), exclamation points, capital letters. Because mechanical devices are too often used in attempts to compensate a lack of real significance, readers tend to dismiss such ploys to get their attention. Making what must be remembered most memorable is best done through repetition, proportion, and position.

Encomium: [ɛn ‘kəʊ mɪ əm]A tribute or eulogy in prose or verse glorifying people, objects, ideas, or events.

Enigma: [ɪ ˈnɪg mə]Obscuring one’s meaning by presenting it within a riddle or by means of metaphors that purposefully challenge the reader or hearer to understand.

Enthymeme: [‘ɛn θɪ ˌmi:m] the rhetorical equivalent of the syllogism. An enthymeme states one premise, implies another, and contains a conclusion derived from both. A syllogism leads to a logically necessary conclusion; an enthymeme leads to a tentative conclusion. the formal syllogism is constructed of universally valid propositions, whereas the enthymeme is built upon probable premises; for example, “That car will fail inspection because its brakes are worn out.” A conclusion is stated:

“That car will fail inspection.” And one premise is implied: “Any car with worn-out brakes will fail inspection.”

Epanodos: A figure of speech in which the parts of a sentence or clause are repeated in inverse order

O more exceeding love, or law more just? Just law, indeed, but more exceeding love!

- Milton.

Epimone: persistent repetition of the same plea in much the same words.

Epistrophe: [ɪ ˈpɪs trə fɪ] The repetition of a word or phrase at the end of several clauses. (Also known as. epiphora or


Epithet: a. term used to characterize a person or thing, such as rosy-fingered in rosy-fingered dawn or the Great in Catherine the Great. b. A term used as a descriptive substitute for the name or title of a person, such as The Great Emancipator for Abraham Lincoln. Strictly speaking, an epithet need not be derogatory, but the term is commonly used as a simple synonym for term of abuse or slur, as in There is no place for racial epithets in a police officer's vocabulary.


(1) A short inscription in prose or verse on a tombstone or monument.

(2) A statement or speech commemorating someone who has died: a funeral oration.

Epitasis: [ɪ ‘pɪt ə sɪs]The addition of a concluding sentence that merely emphasizes what has already been stated. A kind of amplification.

Equivocation fallacy allows a key word or term in an argument to shift its meaning during the course of the argument. The result is that the conclusion of the argument is not concerned with the same thing as the premise(s).

Erotema: [ɛ ʊ ˈti: mə], rhetorical question. To affirm or deny a point strongly by asking it as a question

Ethos: A persuasive appeal based on the projected character of the speaker or narrator.

Eulogy: A formal expression of praise for someone who has recently died.

Euphemism: substitution of an agreeable or at least non-offensive expression for one whose plainer meaning might be harsh or unpleasant. “Passed away” ”Visit the powder room”

Exposition: A statement or type of composition intended to give information about (or an explanation of) an issue, subject, method, or idea.

Extended Metaphor: A comparison between two unlike things that continues throughout a series of sentences in a paragraph or lines in a poem.

Fable a brief story that leads to a moral, often using animals as characters

Fallacy: An error in reasoning that renders an argument invalid.

False Dilemma: A fallacy of oversimplification that offers a limited number of options (usually two) when in fact more options are available.

Faulty analogy assumes that because two things, events, or situations are alike in some known respects, that they are alike in other unknown respects. invalid comparison – apples to oranges

Faulty assumption: basic idea on which the argument is based is wrong.

Faulty causality Refers to the (sometimes unintentional) setting up of a cause-and-effect relationship when none exists. One event can happen after another without the first necessarily being the direct cause of the second. "Violent crime among adolescents has risen in the past decade, and that is the result of increased sales of violent video games."

Figurative Language: Language in which figures of speech (such as metaphors, similes, and hyperbole) freely occur. Figures of Speech: The various uses of language that depart from customary construction, order, or significance. Flashback: A shift in a narrative to an earlier event that interrupts the normal chronological development of a story. Genre: A category of artistic composition, as in film or literature, marked by a distinctive style, form, or content.

Glittering generalities fallacy This is an important-sounding but unspecific claim. It cannot be proved true or false because it really says little or nothing. Vague words that embody ideals that evoke feelings such as patriotism or enthusiasm – often make a speech sound good but in practice have little meaning – freedom, justice, love, respect

Guilt or glory by association fallacy the attempt to discredit an idea based upon disfavored people or groups associated with it, or the reverse, association with favored people

Hasty generalization fallacy Jumping to Conclusions: draws a broad conclusion on the basis of insufficient evidence. A

fallacy in which a conclusion is not logically justified by sufficient or unbiased evidence.

Hendiadys: [hɛn ‘daɪ ə dɪs]use of two words connected by a conjunction, instead of subordinating one to the other, to express a single complex idea.

*It sure is nice and cool today! (for "pleasantly cool")

*I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Psalms 116

Homily: A sermon, or an inspirational saying or platitude (aphorism).
Hyperbaton: [haɪ ˈpɜr bə ,tɒn]separation of words which belong together, often to emphasize the first of the separated words or to create a certain image.

"And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made" (W. B. Yeats, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" "Sorry I be but go you must."(Yoda in Star Wars)

Hyperbole: A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect; an extravagant statement.

*My vegetable love should grow

Vaster than empires, and more slow; An hundred years should got to praise Thine eyes and on thine forehead gaze; Two hundred to adore each breast,

But thirty thousand to the rest. Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress"

Hypostatization fallacy: [hĭ ‘pos tə tī ‘zā sh ən] Instead of using one word and changing its meaning through the argument, it takes a word with a normal usage and gives it an invalid usage. Specifically, it involves ascribing substance or real existence to mental constructs or concepts.

* The government has a hand in everybody's business and another in every person's pocket. By limiting such governmental pickpocketing, we can limit its incursions on our freedom.

* I can't believe that the universe would allow humans and human achievement just to fade away, therefore there must be a God and an afterlife where all will be preserved.

*In both of these arguments, we can see use of reification in two different ways. In the first, the concept of "government" is

assumed to have attributes like desire which more properly belong to volitional creatures, like people. There is an unstated premise that it is wrong for a person to put their hands in your pocket and it is concluded that it is also immoral for the government to do the same.

Hypothesis: an unproved theory that is tentatively accepted as true in order to provide a basis for further investigation or argument. In an essay we often first state our idea bout a subject as a hypothesis, and then examine, develop, support, and restate it as a conclusion.

Hysteron Proteron: ‘hɪs tə ,rɒn ‘prɒ tə rɒn] ("later-earlier") inversion of the natural sequence of events, often meant to stress the event which, though later in time, is considered the more important.

*"I like the island Manhattan. Smoke on your pipe and put that in." -- from the song "America," West Side Story lyric by

Stephen Sondheim (submitted per litteram by guest rhetorician Anthony Scelba)

*Put on your shoes and socks!”

Illustration: a process in which writers select specific examples ot represent, clarify, and support either general or abstract statements and principles.

Image: An image can be a verbal representation of any type (not just visual) of sensory experience. The creation of images is one of the ways writing, particularly poetry, is made more immediate and effective. In an essay, and appropriate image can do much to communicate the depth of one’s idea about a subject.

Imagery: Vivid descriptive language that appeals to one or more of the senses.

Induction: A method of reasoning by which a rhetor [rhetorician] collects a number of instances and forms a generalization that is meant to apply to all instances.; the process of reasoning by which we move from evidence about some members of a particular class to a proposition about all members of that class. The conclusions reached by induction are never logically conclusive.

Inference: a statement about what is still uncertain made on the basis of what is certain.

Invective; Denunciatory or abusive language; discourse that casts blame on somebody or something.

Inversion: a reversal of normal word order, especially the placement of a verb ahead of the subject

"Not in the legions

Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned

In ills to top Macbeth." (William Shakespeare, Macbeth)

Irony: The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. A statement or situation where the meaning is directly contradicted by the appearance or presentation of the idea. The success of verbal irony depends upon the audience’s ability to detect a difference between expression and intention.

*Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;

And Brutus is an honourable man. (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar)

Isocolon: A succession of phrases of approximately equal length and corresponding structure.

Jargon: The specialized language of a professional, occupational, or other group, often meaningless to outsiders.

Juxtaposition: the purposeful placement of two things in proximity to emphasize the contrasting characteristics.
Literal: limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text

Litotes: [‘laɪ təʊ ˌtiz]A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite. (Sometimes used synonymously with meiosis.)

*A few unannounced quizzes are not inconceivable.

*Not bad.

*War is not healthy for children and other living things.

*One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day. (meiosis)

Loaded question complex question fallacy a question with a false or questionable presupposition, and it is "loaded" with that presumption. The question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" presupposes that you have beaten your wife prior to its asking, as well as that you have a wife. If you are unmarried, or have never beaten your wife, then the question is loaded.

Logos: appeal to logical argument

Loose Sentence/cumulative sentence: A sentence structure in which a main clause is followed by subordinate phrases and clauses. Contrast with periodic sentence.

Major premise the first premise of a syllogism, the main assumption on which the argument rests, a broad general statement
Malapropism: [‘mæ lə prɒp ‘ɪz əm] the substitution of a word for a word with a similar sound, in which the resulting phrase makes no sense but often creates a comic effect. heterophemism

• The doctor felt the man's purse and said there was no hope.

• The chief is inclined to believe that a crossed wife might be the cause of the fire. - Leo Rosten

• "Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child." (Dan Quayle)

Meiosis [maɪ ˈəʊsɪs]

1. To belittle, use a degrading epithet or nickname, often through a trope of one word. A concise form of invective..

2. A kind of humorous understatement that dismisses or belittles, especially by using terms that make something seem less significant than it really is or ought to be. See also: litotes.

Plural meioses; adjectival form, meiotic.

• "The unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable." (Oscar Wilde on fox hunting)

• "rhymester" for poet

• "grease monkey" for mechanic

• "shrink" for psychiatrist

• King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft excalibur from the bosom of the water.

Peasant: Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Power derives from the masses not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

King Arthur: Be quiet!

Peasant: You can't expect to wield supreme power because some watery tart threw a sword at you. King Arthur: Shut up!

Peasant: If I went around saying I was an emperor because some moistened bink had lobbed a scimitar at me . . .."

(Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 1975)

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