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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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    Use Emotion

    Mood-changing figures, calming figures, humor, and special effects.

     These are the figures of Pathos, or argument by emotion.  You’ll also find figures of Logos (argument by logic) and Ethos (argument by character).

    adynata (a-dyn-AH-ta)
    The last-person-on-earth figure. It links a series of impossibilities as a form of hyperbole.

    amphidiorthosis (am-phi-die-or-THO-sis)
    The watered-down charge. You cool off an angry statement, either before or after.

    anadiplosis (ann-ah-die-PLO-sis)
    The last-word first-word repetition.

    anthropopatheia (AN-thro-po-pa-THEE-a)
    The God is my co-pilot figure.

    apodioxis (a-po-dee-OX-is
    The figure of banishment.

    aporia (a-POR-ia)
    The I-don’t-know-how-to-say-this figure; an expression of doubt, real or feigned.

    autophasia (auto-FAY-sia)
    The rule that eats itself.

    The unintentionally hilarious emotional appeal.

    The physical description of a lover.

    boehner (BO-ner)
    The figure of unintentional irony.

    Alternative spelling of boehner; a figure of unintentional irony.

    Mangled political syntax.

    cataplexis (cat-a-PLEEX-is)
    The jeremiad.

    An act that can only be performed by its contrary.

    conduplicatio (con-doo-plih-COT-io)
    Repeating words in different clauses to make a point.

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

    diasyrmus (die-ah-SIR-mus)
    The silly comparison.

    dirimens copulatio (dear-ih-mens cop-u-LAT-ee-oh)
    The but-wait-there’s-more figure.
    Also see this.

    enargia (en-AR-gia)
    The special effects of figures: vivid description that makes an audience believe it’s taking place before their very eyes.
    Also see this.

    epiphonema (eh-pih-fo-NEE-ma)
    The memorable summary.

    eucharistia (eu-ka-RIS-tia)
    The thanksgiving figure.

    exuscitatio (ex-us-ih-TA-io)
    The feel-what-I’m-feeling appeal.

    The storytelling example.

    hyperbaton (hie-PER-ba-ton)
    The interrupter.

    inopinatum (in-op-in-OT-um)
    The figure of disbelief.

    jeremiad (jer-e MI-ad)
    Prophecy of doom; also called cataplexis.

    optatio (op-TOT-io)
    An exclamation of desire.

    palilogia (pa-lih-LO- ja)
    The repeater.
    Also see this.

    parabola (puh-RA-bo-la)
    The parable.

    paraenesis (pah-RAY-neh-sis)
    The Chicken Little figure. It warns of impending doom.

    paraprosdokian (pa-ra-proze-DOKE-ian)
    The unexpected ending.

    pareuresis (pa-ROOR-eh-sis)
    The overwhelming excuse.
    Also see this.

    paronomasia (pa-ro-no-MAY-sia)
    A pun that plays on words that sound or mean the same, but aren’t identical.
    Also see this.

    perclusio (per-CLOO-sio)
    The threat.

    synonymia (sin-oh-NIM-ia)
    The use of synonyms to elaborate.

    tasis (TAY-sis)
    The delectable figure.
    The figure of wondering.

    topothesia (to-po-THEE-sia)
    Description of an imaginary place.

    yogiism (YOGEE-ism)
    The idiot savant figure, named after the immortal Yogi Berra. (Also spelled yogism.)