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15. Polysyndeton is the use of a conjunction between each word, phrase, or clause, and is thus structurally the opposite of asyndeton. The rhetorical effect of polysyndeton, however, often shares with that of asyndeton a feeling of multiplicity, energetic enumeration, and building up. * They read and studied and wrote and drilled. I laughed and played and talked and flunked. Use polysyndeton to show an attempt to encompass something complex: * The water, like a witch's oils, / Burnt green, and blue, and white. --S. T. Coleridge * [He] pursues his way, / And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies. --John Milton 17. Procatalepsis, by anticipating an objection and answering it, permits an argument to continue moving forward while taking into account points or reasons opposing either the train of thought or its final conclusions. Often the objections are standard ones: * It is usually argued at this point that if the government gets out of the mail delivery business, small towns like Podunk will not have any mail service. The answer to this can be found in the history of the Pony Express . . . . 16. Rhetorical question (erotesis) differs from hypophora in that it is not answered by the writer, because its answer is obvious or obviously desired, and usually just a yes or no. It is used for effect, emphasis, or provocation, or for drawing a conclusionary statement from the facts at hand. * But how can we expect to enjoy the scenery when the scenery consists entirely of garish billboards? * . . . For if we lose the ability to perceive our faults, what is the good of living on? --Marcus Aurelius * Is justice then to be considered merely a word? Or is it whatever results from the bartering between attorneys? 21. Scesis Onomaton emphasizes an idea by expressing it in a string of generally synonymous phrases or statements. While it should be used carefully, this deliberate and obvious restatement can be quite effective: * We succeeded, we...
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