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    Whose God?

    job.jpgQuote:  “Are we children of a lesser God?  Is an Israeli teardrop worth more than a drop of Lebanese blood?”  Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

    Figure of Speechepiplexis (eh-pih-PLEX-is), the emotional rhetorical question.

    Prime Minister Siniora is watching the destruction of his country while diplomats dither.  He pleads for help with an epiplexis, a kind of rhetorical question that arouses guilt in an audience. The word comes from the Greek for “to strike upon,” presumably because the orator would smack his chest in a gesture of grief.

    Siniora’s comparison of a drop of Lebanese blood with an Israeli teardrop sounds poetic, if a little bizarre.  (He fails to mention Hezbollah’s — what — drop of sweat?)  The analogy recalls Cicero’s warning against using too much pathos in a speech. “Nothing,” the great Roman said, “dries more quickly than a tear.”

    And when tears dry, anger often follows.

    Snappy Answer:  “Don’t worry.  The war in Iraq will bring peace to your region.”

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