As one of my final exercises for my Advanced Composition college course, I need to type out examples of various rhetorical devices. True to form, I didn’t budget much time to do this one, but I ended up happy with the results. I picked a theme to make the job easier: Emmett, the character in a series of short stories I’ve written and am publishing as a series of dramatized podcasts in December. For now, you can have a snapshot of Emmett’s personality, in the form of a series of rhetorical examples. Enjoy.
Parallelism: Emmett was unconventional. His geometry was non-Euclidian, his liquids non-Newtonian, and his attitude about the whole thing disturbingly nonchalant.
Antithesis: Emmett was scientifically smart but social stupid.
Anastrophe: Finesse. Finesse was what Emmett lacked.
Parenthesis: Emmett jogged – his memory, as well as his body – but could never bring himself to work out with weights.
Apposition: Emmett Barclay, the college’s resident mad scientist, surveyed his domain.
Ellipsis: His geometry was non-Euclidian, his liquids non-Newtonian.
Asyndeton: Emmett keeps long hours in the science lab, he creates the eighth wonder of the world, he uses me as a guinea pig, something goes wrong, it all works out fine. That was the way of the world.
Alliteration: The momentous Coke-and-Mentos explosion of ’09 had many morbid moments.
Assonance: Emmett’s Ill-gotten gall and additional attributes couldn’t stop lime liniment.
Anaphora: Never let Emmett invent things. Never let Emmett control small children. And never let Emmett invent a giant catapult specifically for small children.
Epistrophe: I was hard-hearted. He was soft-hearted. Together, we were half-hearted.
Epanalepsis: Relationships only work out with smart girls, and if you were smart, you’d know we wouldn’t work out.
Anadiplosis: Invention led to triumph, triumph led to quirky mishaps, mishaps led to failure, failure led to the status quo, and the status quo, for Emmett, was invention.
Climax: Emmett ignored state, federal, and scientific laws whenever possible.
Antimetabole: For someone with a mind that makes up everything, you can’t seem to make up your mind.
Chiasmus: I enjoyed Emmett; Emmett was hated by many.
Polyptoton: Innovating inventions innovates everything.
Metaphor: Emmett was a bulldog. He latched on to every idea that came his way, hanging on until he’d reduced it to a conclusion.
Simile: Emmett’s hair was like crab-grass. Especially after he accidentally dyed it green during a chemical experiment.
Metonymy: We all offered services: I lent a hand and Emmett lent a potato cannon.
Puns: The only table manners Emmett honored were the periodical ones.
Paronomasia: Emmett gave a peony to his pony peon.
Syllepsis: Emmett pulled a muscle trying to pull my foot.
Anathimera: Emmett Googled the solution.
Periphrasis: He was no Stephan Hawking, but he knew his way around a psychosomatic schematic.
Personification: The tumor glared balefully at me.
Hyperbole: Chemical explosions imprinted on Emmett, and constantly followed him around.
Litotes: I wasn’t very pleased when my left hand tried to kill me.
Irony: Irony is sooo very different from sarcasm.
Onomatopeia: Emmett squeaked, scrabbling for the sky scraper model’s remote.
Oxymoron: Emmett owned one dull sharpie.
Paradox: Only those willing to sound stupid can become smart.