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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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    Rhetorical Jiu-Jitsu

    Tools for using an opponent’s argument to your own advantage

    Most public arguments these days are like street fights—after throwing some wild punches, both sides declare victory. The figures below are more like Mohammed Ali’s rope-a-dope style; you let your opponent attack, and then use that very attack to strike him dumb.

    concessio (con-SESS-io)
    The jiu-jitsu figure.  The Greek name is paromologia.

    correctio (cor-REK-tio)
    The correction.

    dialogismus (die-ah-log-IS mus)
    The one-person conversation.
    Also see this.

    dicaeologia (die-key-oh-LOW-gia)
    The figure of excuse.

    epergesis (eh-per-GEE-sis)
    The clarifier.
    Also see this.

    epexegesis (ee-pex-eh-GEE sis)
    Alternative spelling of epergesis.

    epitrope (eh-PIH-tro-pee)
    Appearing to concede a point; actually, though, you’re making fun of it. The epitrope is a form of irony.

    paradiastole (pa-rah-die-ASS-toh-lee)
    The label flip.

    paromologia (pa-ro-mo-LO-gia)
    The jiu jitsu move—strategically conceding a point in order to use it to your own advantage.  The Latin name is concessio.
    Also see this.

    prolepsis (pro-LEP-sis)
    The fight-fire-with-fire tactic. The speaker anticipates the opponent’s points and undercuts them in advance.

    synchoresis (sin-cho-REE-sis)
    Conceding a point to make a stronger one.  Closely related to concessio.

    traductio (trah-DOOK-tio)
    A repetition that modifies a word.