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Dysphemism a dysphemism is a phrase or name that puts a negative spin on something. For example, The oil spill off the coast of Crete exterminated thousands of sea gulls. Hyperbole


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EUPHEMISM

A euphemism is a phrase or name that puts a positive spin on something. For example,


Could you repeat what you just said, please? I’m having a senior moment.
My father passed on ten years ago.
DYSPHEMISM

A dysphemism is a phrase or name that puts a negative spin on something. For example,


The oil spill off the coast of Crete exterminated thousands of sea gulls.
HYPERBOLE

A description is hyperbolic if it exaggerates.


My dad is a total Hitler. He never lets me stay out past 10 on week nights.
PERSUASIVE DEFINITION

A persuasive definition defines something in such a way as to cause to you take a certain perspective regarding the thing defined.


This war (the Civil War) is the birth of a nation.

PERSUASIVE COMPARISON

A persuasive comparison makes a comparison between two things in order to cause to you take a certain perspective regarding the thing compared.


The people who fought the Soviet-backed government in Nicaragua were freedom fighters just as George Washington was in our country.

INNUENDO

We use innuendo whenever we communicate something not by saying it, but by implying it. For example,


Sue: What do you think of the new Republican presidential candidate?

Sam: He has great handwriting, I suppose.

LOADED QUESTION

A loaded question is simply innuendo that has the form of a question. That is, speakers use loaded questions to communicate a certain message without actually saying it.


Has Henry stopped beating his wife?
Who is to blame for this lackluster political campaign?

STEREOTYPE

We use stereotypes whenever we make groups based on a single feature, and then expect the group members to all be the same.


The mind of a political liberal is full of holes and their soul is without moral fibre.
PROOF SURROGATE
Rush Limbaugh is obviously at least one head above all the other radio commentators.
Most people approve of Arnold’s decisions so far, according to the polls.
WEASLER

Weaslers are rhetorical devices that you add to a claim to weaken it such that you seem to be making a strong claim, but you are not. This allows you to exaggerate the qualities of something (a truck, for example), without actually lying.


It would appear, if you think about it in the right way, that the party was not a success.
DOWNPLAYER

A downplayer is a rhetorical device that “downplays” an event or fact, making it seem less important. For example,


Henry had a little trouble in calculus but will make a great math teacher. (F in calculus)
The euphemism “little trouble in calculus” makes the “F” seem less important
RIDICULE/SARCASM

In sarcasm the words used may be polite, but the tone of voice and the use of stereotypes portrays a negative attitude towards the thought expressed.


I just love itty bitty Chihuahua puppies that yip non stop.
REWRITE WITH A POSITIVE SPIN
The mayor got very drunk at the party and flirted outrageously with the advisors.


The oil from the “Sonnets” leak in Montego Bay has painfully slaughtered thousands of gulls and seals.


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