Quote: "Political panda-ring." Andrew Rice in Slate’s "Today’s Papers" column.
Figure of Speech: paronomasia (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.