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Figaro rips the innards out of things people say and reveals the rhetorical tricks and pratfalls. For terms and definitions, click here.
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    Avoid Mistakes

    Fallacies and figures of stupidity.

     Knowing a bit of logic gives you a powerful source of rebuttals.  But in rhetorical argument, some fouls in pure logic — such as ad hominem — fall in bounds.  In fact, the only real intentional fouls in rhetoric comprise any argument that stops an argument, through fighting or distraction.  Then there are the unintentional fouls, for which the proper Homer Simpson term is, "D’oh!"

    acyrologia (a-KEER-o-LO-gia)
    The fortunate mix-up, or malapropism.

    The worn-out label.

    anoiconometon (ah-noi-coh-noh-MEE-ton)
    The jumbled-up figure, in which the words are grotesquely out of order.

    antirrhesis (an-ter-REE-sis)
    The “Oh, yeah?” argument.

    apodixis (a-po-DIX-is)
    The everybody-knows-it-or-does-it figure.

    autophasia (auto-FAY-sia)
    The rule that eats itself.

    barbarismus (bar-bar-IS-muss)
    An accidental figure that mispronounces a word.
    (Democrats call this figure a "Bushism.")

    The unintentionally hilarious emotional appeal.

    begging the question
    The fallacy of circular argument.

    boehner (BO-ner)
    The figure of unintentional irony.

    bomphiologia (bom-phi-o-LO-gia)
    The chest-beating figure.

    Alternative spelling of boehner; a figure of unintentional irony.

    Mangled political syntax.

    cacemphaton (cak-EM-pha-ton)
    Foul language.

    (cak-o- ZEEL-ee-ah)
    Using foreign words and other ways to display your erudition—only to look like an idiot.

    catachresis (cat-a-KREE-sis)
    The Metaphor Gone Wild.
    Also see this. And this.

    converse accident fallacy
    A logical foul that uses a bad example to make a generalization.

    diasyrmus (die-ah-SIR-mus)
    The silly comparison.

    eristic (er-ISS-tick)
    A competitive argument for the sake of argument.

    false analogy
    The fallacy of strange bedfellows.

    ignoratio elenchi (ig-no-ROT-io eh-LEN-chee)
    The fallacy of proving the wrong conclusion.

    A humorously misapplied word; a hypallage.

    metalepsis (met-ah-LEP-sis)
    The figure of remote cause.

    non sequitur (non SEH-quit-tor)
    The figure of irrelevance.

    periergia (per-ee-ER-gia)
    The figure of over-figuring.

    petitio principii (pe-TIH-tio prin-CIH-pee)
    Begging the question; the fallacy of circular argument.

    post hoc ergo propter hoc
    The chanticleer fallacy.
    Also see this.

    slippery slope fallacy
    The fallacy of dire consequences. It assumes that one choice will necessarily lead to a cascading series of bad choices.

    solecism (SOL-eh-sizm)
    The figure of ignorance.

    tapinosis (tap-in-OH-is)
    The figure of dumb nicknames.  Usually it involves goofy, ineffective language.

    tautology (taw-TAH-lo-gee)
    The redundant figure.

    unintentional irony
    The joke’s-on-me figure.  Figaro calls it a boehner.