Thank You For Arguing

accismus (as-SIS-mus)

the figure of coyness ("Oh, you shouldn't have.")

ad hominem

a fallacy that attacks the person rather than dealing with the real issue in dispute

adianoeta (ah-dee-ah-noh-EE-tah)

The figure of hidden meaning. ("I'm sure you wanted to do this in the worst way.")


if something less likely is true then something more likely is bound to be true. If you accomplished a difficult thing, you can likely accomplish an easier thing.


repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause


the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses


the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object.


Direct opposite


Expression of doubt (often feigned) by which a speaker appears uncertain as to what he should think, say, or do.

begging the question

A fallacy in which a claim is based on evidence or support that is in doubt.


A statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country)


talking in circles to avoid getting to the point


Concession, the jujitsu figure. You seem to agree with your opponent's point, only to use it to your advantage.

converse accident fallacy

A logical foul that uses a bad example to make a generalization.

deliberative rhetoric

argument about choices, matters that affect the future, what's best for the audience, fam, company, etc

demonstrative rhetoric

Persuasion that deals with values that bring a group together. It usually focuses on matters in the present, and its chief topic is right versus wrong. Most sermons- and too many political speeches- are demonstrative. (The other two forms of rhetoric are deliberative and forensic.)


logical argument


The dialogue figure. You quote a conversation as an example.


The this-not-that figure. "Don't buy the shoes. Buy the colors." People take your wisdom more seriously if you put it cryptically; it's the idiot savant approach.


The play-by-play figure. It uses a single subject to govern a succession of verbs.