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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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    And Get Off That Lawn I Paid For

    Newt Gingrich is making a play for the Grumpy Old Man vote. He uses a crowd-pleasing word repeater, the epistrophe, to make fun of those darn longhairs who keep squatting on—um, occupying—Wall Sreet. They “start with the premise that we all owe them everything,” Gingrich told a crowd in Iowa. Then he put the epistrophic hammer down.

    They take over a public park they didn’t pay for, to go nearby to use bathrooms they didn’t pay for, to beg for food from places they they don’t want to pay for.

    Newt Gingrich

    epistrophe (ee-PIS-tro-fee), the last-word repeater. From the Greek, meaning “turning back upon.”

    The epistrophe is a great way to get an audience to complete your sentences for you, making them feel like true particpants in your witty monologue. “Didn’t pay for” makes an excellent ending phrase of its own, because it points to all those slacker Americans—almost 50 percent—who don’t pay income taxes. Of course, they pay sales taxes, fees, and other government revenue streams, but those don’t count. Um, we’re not sure why.

    Not only do those occupiers fail to pay income tax, they apparently don’t bathe with the frequency that Gingrich would prefer. His message: “Take a bath” and “get a job.”

    Figaro, would grew up during the sixties, finds Gingrich very comforting. Gingrich reminds Figaro of his parents.

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