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    Black and White and Red All Over

    pandamao.jpgQuote:  "Political panda-ring." Andrew Rice in Slate’s "Today’s Papers" column.

    Figure of Speechparonomasia (pa-ro-no-MAY-sia), the pun.

    We’re taught to groan at a pun, but it can be cute and doubly meaningful — the rhetorical equivalent of a pair of pandas. 

    Andrew Rice’s pun, or paronomasia ("rename alongside") sums up a particularly hairy international situation.  Having tired of lobbing an occasional missile at Taiwan, mainland China is now using an even more nefarious psychological weapon: adorable wildlife.  Beijing has offered a pair of pandas to Taiwan, and 80 percent of the Taiwanese can’t wait to get them.

    But their government is balking.  "The pandas are a trick, just like the Trojan horse," fumes one politician.  He accuses Beijing of attempting to "destroy Taiwan’s psychological defenses." Exactly.

    Snappy Answer:  "China sure has them bamboozled."

    Other figures that let you say two things at once.

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    Reader Comments (5)


    This is completely unrelated, but as a political commentator, I thought you might find the following interesting. http://www.tuckermax.com/archives/entries/nowlets_talk_about_the_lawsuit.phtml

    Whatever you do, just get the word out.

    March 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNeo Lombardi
    It's not relevant, but Tucker Max is an interesting study in rhetorical Ethos, or appeal by character. He has marketed himself as the quintessential male jerk, having generated huge traffic for his website by graphically describing sex with his ex-girlfriend. And his book, "I Hope They Sell Beer in Hell," is on the New York Times Bestseller list. (If there's any justice, Hell will disappoint him.)

    Strangely enough, his discussion board sends a lot of traffic our way.

    March 22, 2006 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    Heh. This has been one of my favorite posts, Figaro. I usually just snicker at puns, but your "bamboozled" one actually made me chuckle my soda up into my nose.

    I thank you anyway.
    March 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStacia
    Cicero said that the purpose of rhetoric is to "teach, delight, and move." That pun seems to have accomplished two out of three.

    March 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFig
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