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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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    The Intellectual’s Incentive Program

    Carrot-n-stick.jpgQuote:  “All right, give me your address and I’ll send you a copy.  Plus five bucks.  No, forget the five…forget the free copy.”  Jay Heinrichs, in the “Buy the Book” portion of thankyouforarguing.com (hi-res version).

    Figure of Speech:  epergesis (eh-per-GEE-sis), the self-correcting figure.  From the Greek, meaning “explanation.”

    Figaro will find shame in another day or two.  Meanwhile, allow him to steer you to his new website, where users learn to persuade a tough customer named Mike.  This fellow Heinrichs’ argument collapses in a heap and he ends up begging the user to buy his book.  Truly pathetic.

    Nice figure of speech, though.  First, Heinrichs offers a free copy and five bucks.  Then he takes them back in an epergesis, a figure in which you edit yourself out loud.  Correcting yourself can also make your audience believe you have a passion for fairness and accuracy even while you pile on the accusations.  Look at these two ways of abusing a lover.

    Without the epergesis:  I’ve never been so embarrassed as I was watching you at the party last night.
    With the epergesis: I never was so embarrassed as I was last night.  Actually, I have been that embarrassed — the last time we went a party together.

    Judging by his website, Heinrichs clearly knows a thing or two about embarrassment.

    Snappy Answer:  “How about I pay you not to send me a copy?”

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    Reader Comments (2)

    epergesis comes from Greek, not Latin. Aside from that. Love your site. Feel free to delete this comment when you fix it.
    March 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjcasey
    Well, geez, Figaro knows better than that. It must have been the salsa playing in the background. He gets high on Latin. Thanks for the tip and the kind words.
    March 7, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro

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