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    Indiana Jones and the Figure of Doom

    indy_aristotle.jpgQuote: “Fly, yes. Land, no.” Indian Jones and the Last Crusade.

    Figure of Speech:  dialysis (die-AL-y-sis), the yes-no figure. From the Greek, meaning “break loose.”

    George Lucas announced that he’s making a fourth Indiana Jones movie, with a gray-haired Harrison Ford as the star.  Figaro is a big fan of the Indy movies; they do wondrous things with Ford’s permanently pained expression.

    We especially like Last Crusade, which stars Sean Connery as Indy’s father.  The two of them have just escaped from a Nazi blimp by stealing one of the blimp’s removable biplanes.

    “I didn’t know you could fly,” Dad shouts.

    Indy replies with a dialysis, a figure that instantly redefines an issue. It usually repeats the opponent’s term with “no” after it, replacing it with a more accurate or persuasive term:

    Lover:  You seem a little put out with me this morning.
    You:  Put out, no.  Furious, yes.

    The no-yes sentence offers you wonderful opportunities for irony.  Change one word and your audience will think you have an endless supply of catty wit:

    Co-worker:  She says they’re using a new system.
    You:  New, yes. Systematic, no.

    Funny, no.  Witty, yes, especially if it comes out spontaneously. Remember, things sound much more clever when you say them aloud than when people read them.

    Snappy Answer:  “Well, first things first.”

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