It’s on social media, newsfeeds, TV, radio, pop-up ads that you can’t close fast enough. Although I’m not particularly interested in politics, I am intrigued by the ways candidates use rhetorical devices in their messages.
Many of us are familiar with the more common rhetorical devices, such as hyperbole, allusion and analogy; others are more obscure. Next time you hear a political message, see if you detect any of these rhetorical devices.
1. Allusion— an indirect or casual reference to a historical or literary figure, event or object.
Example: I guess we’re all waiting for a Mr. Darcy to come along.
2. Antiphrasis— the use of a word opposite to its proper meaning; irony.
Example: Sheila quietly yelled at Scott for not telling her about the system outage.
3. Apophasis— accentuating something by denying that it will be mentioned.