Quote: "Is his modest paean to the Flamingo a simple reflection of his hair-dyeing, gold-leaf-loving, frightful vanity? Or has he decided to beat the 'occupiers' from within their own system? Take it over, or mock it?" Washington Post fashion article on Saddam Hussein's courtroom attire.
Figure of Speech: dialysis, (die AL ih sis), the either/or figure.
Saddam has been showing up for his trial in natty suits, no tie, and a pocket square, bemusing Post fashion reporter Robin Givhan. "Here was a man accused of ordering the execution of 148 people, accessorizing in the manner of a lounge act," she writes.
In asking whether Saddam is making a political statement or a fashion statement, Givhan uses a dialysis -- a figure that offers a series of contrasting alternatives.
The medical profession has been swiping figures for centuries. Besides dialysis, doctors have plagiarized metastasis (a cancer leaping to other parts of the body), antistasis (something to do with veins), diaphora (a species of sucking lice), epitasis (easy bruising), metalepsis (one muscle causing another to fire), palilogia (obsessively repeating a word the patient has heard), and tasis (stretching?). Got any more? Add a comment to this entry.
Snappy Answer: "It sends a message to the terrorists! Like Nancy Pelosi!"