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    Roswell, We Have a Problem

    ET%20video.jpgQuote:   “Entertaining, thrilling, completely addictive, and a little scary.” Barzolff814 in the Los Angeles Times.

    Figure of Speech:  synonymia (sin-o-NIM-ia), the word pile-on.  From the Greek, meaning “similar name.”

    Barzolff814 is the pseudonym of a 35-year-old French animator who made two videos showing UFOs hovering over Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He posted them onYouTube, resulting in millions of hits and a gratifying amount of hysteria. 

    The hoax was a bit of research for a feature film about a couple guys who do a fake UFO video that gets out of control.  Barzoff created his videos entirely by computer, using a suite of software that Figaro sorely wants for his birthday.  But now many people don’t believe him when he says his work is fake. 

    Barzolff reacts to the brouhaha with a solid synonymia, a figure of speech that describes a single concept or state with a string of similar words.  It’s a form of amplification — a way of turning up the rhetorical volume.  The level of suckerdom out there in videoland isn’t just amazing.  It’s entertaining, thrilling, addictive (for some reason), and scary (for obvious reasons).

    You can understand why the man used a pseudonym.

    Snappy Answer:   “Whoa, did you see that? Made you look!”

    For more on amplification, see page 5 of Figaro’s book.

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    Reader Comments (7)

    The war on drugs metaphor/figure of speech has transformed the U. S. into the
    most incarcerated nation in the history of human civilization. About one of every
    four prisoners in the world is locked in an American jail or prison.

    What metaphor/figure of speech can counter the war on drugs metaphor/figure of speech?
    August 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKirk Muse
    I may just be tired, but I don't get it. Where is the he using synonymia? And I don't see it in your book either.
    August 26, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjohn p
    There's a sucker, dupe, patsy, moron, born every minute.
    August 26, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbrianbackman
    John, entertaining and thrilling are synonyms, no? And thrilling and a little scary are synonyms, right? And completely addictive overlaps with both entertaining and a little scary, see. Hence the synonymia. It's not a figure of repetition; hence, the synonyms don't have to be exact matches.

    August 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    A clever use of synonymia was Yogi Bear's in the cartoons. But instead of reaching a rhetorical climax, he'd drop down on the last one. Example: "That's wonderful, terrific, stupendpus, good, even."
    August 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob
    Excellent! That figure qualifies as a YOGIISM, of course; and also an ANESIS--the deflating figure, which creates an anticlimax to deflate the original point.

    August 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    Hey, Kirk, see my answer on Ask Figaro!
    August 26, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro

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