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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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    This Shows the Sound We Want Our Phone to Make

    markwarnerphone.jpgQuote:  "Anytime you’re around me, please don't turn off your cell phone. You hear an annoying sound. I hear ka-ching! ka-ching!"  Virginia governor and telecom jillionaire Mark Warner, quoted in Time.

    Figure of Speech:  onomatopoeia (onna motta PEE ah), the noisemaker.

    Warner is sniffing a run for President, but to prove he's just a regular guy, he uses an onomatopoeia -- Greek for "the making of words."  The figure takes a sound and turns it into a word.  Although it's one of the hardest figures to pronounce, it's also one of the best known.  Figaro  employs it in an argument a fortiori whenever somebody whines about how hard figures are to learn.

    We only wish that flipping the bird made a sound.  Then we could offer Mr. Warner another onomatopoeia.

    Snappy Answer:  "My favorite onomatopoeia is 'Pow!'  Come here and listen..."

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