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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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    Cheat and Manipulate

    Distractions and other intentional fouls.

     You have a Constitutional right to carry concealed rhetorical weapons, but please use them responsibly.  Besides, the best defense is knowing what’s offensive.

    circumlocution (cir-cum-lo-CUE-tion)
    The rhetorical end run.

    The language mask.

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

    false analogy
    The fallacy of strange bedfellows.

    heterogenium (het-er-oh-GEE-nee-um)
    The figure of distraction.

    The technique of planting negative ideas in the audience’s head.

    leptologia (lep-to-LO-ia)
    Also see this.

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

    metastasis (met-AH-stah-sis)
    Skipping over an awkward matter.

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

    pysma (PISS-mah)
    The figure of multiple questions.

    Using careful language to obfuscate. The rhetorical term is leptologia.

    red herring
    The fallacy of distraction.

    reductio ad absurdum
    Taking an opponent’s argument to its illogical conclusion.

    skotison (SKO-tih-son)
    The figure of ultimate darkness.

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

    straw man fallacy
    Instead of dealing with the actual issue, attack a weaker version of the argument.  (Also see this.)

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