About This Site

Figaro rips the innards out of things people say and reveals the rhetorical tricks and pratfalls. For terms and definitions, click here.
(What are figures of speech?)
Ask Figaro a question!

This form does not yet contain any fields.

    « Here on Hatch's Isle | Main | The Sleepy Modifier That Could Save Us »

    Folk Wisdom Teeth

    Michele Bachmann brags about her Iowa roots in a burg where mass murderer John Wayne Gacy learned his hearty, small-town values. Christopher Hitchens in Slate pulls off a great near-pun in defining American policitians’ mania for folksy, small-town John Wayne-ness.

    All politics
    is yokel.

    Figure of Speech:  paronomasia (pa ra no MAY sia), the near-pun.

    Slate’s conservative cynic-in-chief, an extremely urban cynic, wonders why Americans still think it’s a good idea to elect people for the sake of a myth. His paronomasia (Greek for “play on like-sounding words”) plays on Tip O’Neil’s old wisdom about all politics being local.

    Actually, there are good reasons for yokelized campaigning. Politicians campaign on values emphasized by nostalgia: Roman candidates did exactly the same thing a couple thousand years ago.

    One hopes they had a better sense of geography than Michele Bachmann. 

    PrintView Printer Friendly Version

    EmailEmail Article to Friend

    Reader Comments

    There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.