Monthly Archives: September 2011

Litotes is a figure of speech in which the description of something is achieved by negating its opposite. Ever wonder what the opposite of hyperbole is? Me neither! I was always too easily distracted by, well, the hyperbole. But, as long as we’re here, let’s, go ahead and put a finer point on it. Litotes, the opposite of hyperbole, occurs by negating the opposite of its meaning. If hyperbole is overstating something by a ton (heh!) then litotes shine by tarnishing the opposite. (I know, the ‘S’ is confusing, but it belongs there, and not in a plural way) Example: the comment “not bad” … Continue reading


Portmanteau: a blend of two or more words into one word which combines both the sounds and the meaning of both words. I know Wikipedia is scorned as an academic source, but in this case, it’s completely appropriate to cite them for the figure of speech known as portmanteau. This is because wikipedia IS a portmanteau. (Wiki + encyclopedia.)  Get it?! For something with such an obscure name (I never heard of portmanteau before, have you?) this little literary, multi-faceted blege (blade + edge) on the writer’s Swiss Army Knife of tropes, is quite a handy tool. If you think about … Continue reading

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Figure of speech: aporia is an expression of doubt for rhetorical effect. I’m supposed to be writing so instead I’m blogging. I haven’t blogged all year. But today, when I really need to be writing I’m blogging. I could say I don’t know why I’m not writing, but that wouldn’t be true. This is either work avoidance or thinking while looking productive. I want to use a trope, or figure of speech, in my next section. An aporia might be what I’m looking for. Here’s my example. It’ll be hard walking into the lab, knowing that Miss Petrie won’t be … Continue reading

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