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Figaro rips the innards out of things people say and reveals the rhetorical tricks and pratfalls. For terms and definitions, click here.
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    We Sincerely Hope This Offends You

    altared_reality.jpg You might enjoy this exchange from Ask Figaro:

    Dear Figaro,
    I ran into an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in a few weeks and asked him how he enjoyed the holidays. He got red in the face and growled, “You mean CHRISTMAS? All this politically correct crap is ruining this country.”
    Leaving aside that “the holidays” originally meant “holy days,” does “political correctness” represent some figure of speech?
    Correctly Yours,

    Dear ‘Rotica,

    These days, people get easily offended by how easily offended people get these days.  This amuses Figaro greatly. But your choleric acquaintance did indeed use a figure.  “Politically correct” constitutes a PARADOX — a pair of conflicting truths.  (The term comes from the Greek, meaning “against common belief or opinion.”) 

    The words “political” and “correct” are like snake oil and water.  To enforce a “correct” way of thinking smacks of George Orwell and Stalin.  Of course, people who insist on “Christmas” instead of “holidays” are themselves enforcing a correct way of political thinking.  Which makes the Christmasists paragons of political correctness.

    Figaro, on the other hand, hopes that everyone had a Merry Holiday.


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    Reader Comments (3)

    ...seems like Figaro had a Merry Chiasmus , to whom I'm sure everyone wishes a Happy New Catachresis! Is there a figure for this sort of lame-ness (other than political correctness itself), I wonder...anyway, Happy New Year!
    January 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPermanent Parabasis
    Indeed, you commit a PARANOMASIA, the near-pun. And hypophora New Year to you.

    January 16, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    I love figures of speech. As an independent Bible scholar, I work with them in great detail daily( there are more than 50,000 figurative usages in the Bible). I loved your entry on ploce. I have never studyed this one, and like most figures, it is so, so common. I tryed to see how many I could think of, off the top of my head, and here's what I came up with:
    all in all, all and all, this is this, that is that, what's mine is mine, you are what you are, first things first, face to face, back to back, word for word, an eye for an eye, line by line, blow by blow, play by play, again and again, by and by, more and more, right is right, night by night, day by day, day to day, day after day, time is time, time after time, from time to time, page by page, note by note, note for note, door to door, person to person, enough is enough, and, enough is never enough.
    January 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSt.Davey

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