About This Site

Figaro rips the innards out of things people say and reveals the rhetorical tricks and pratfalls. For terms and definitions, click here.
(What are figures of speech?)
Ask Figaro a question!

This form does not yet contain any fields.

    « Our All-Time Favorite Defense Secretary. | Main | Tweedle Dee Versus Tweedle Stupid. »

    A Gadfly Flew Into His Mouth.

    Casey_gadfly.jpgQuote:  “Casey’s campaign style was sleep apnea — periods of breathless gasping interrupted by occasional incoherent snorts.”  Time’s Joe Klein on Bob Casey beating Rick Santorum for the U.S. Senate.

    Figure of Speech:  metaphor (MET-a-phor), the image swap.  From the Greek, meaning “carry beyond.”

    Congratulations, Democrats, but don’t let it go to your heads.  You didn’t win it; the Republicans lost it.  Columnist Joe Klein imposes a hilarious metaphor on one such lucky candidate, creating a vivid picture of a snoring politician — a rhetorical special effect that rhetoric calls enargeia.  (The “snort” is another figure, the onomatopoeia. )

    Metaphor is king of tropes — figures that swap one thing for another.  (The other three major tropes, according to the great rhetorician Kenneth Burke, are metonymy, synecdoche, and irony.)  Aristotle said that the metaphor combines two perspectives to “take hold of something fresh.”  Even apes seem to coin it; an orangutan named Chantek uses American Sign Language to call ketchup “tomato toothpaste.”

    If the Democrats use their win arrogantly, Figaro offers a jeremiad:  Their goose, as we say metaphorically and idiomatically, will be cooked.

    Snappy Answer:  “Then again, political reality seems like a nightmare.”

    PrintView Printer Friendly Version

    EmailEmail Article to Friend

    Reader Comments (2)

    > You didn’t win it; the Republicans lost it.

    Besides making no practical difference, this literally isn't true. Fortunately, I rely on you for great figures but Glenn Greenwald for great political analysis:

    "Virtually every Democratic winner, from the most conservative to the most liberal, in the reddest and bluest states, have that in common. They all ran on a platform of putting a stop to the radicalism, deceit and corruption that drives the so-called "conservative" political movement."


    Long live the bloggers!
    November 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
    lol so that's what a gadfly does lol
    November 20, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterashling

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.