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AWADmail Issue 644

A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Rhetorical devices contest

Nearly 600 readers sent one or more entries in last week's contest inviting original examples of rhetorical devices featured in A.Word.A.Day. The entries were filled with practical advice, philosophy, humor, and more.

It's not easy to pick winners from so many superb entries, but someone has to do it. Winners, in no particular order, are:

Zeugma: He checked out the book and the librarian.
-Vanessa Rasmussen, Vineland, New Jersey (vrasmussen vineland.org)

Antimetabole: Repeated words are not words repeated.
-Cashman Kerr Prince, Norwood, Massachusetts (cprince wellesley.edu)

Synecdoche: In his youth he had been tall and strong, but by the time I met him he was a pair of aching knees.
-Mariejoy San Buenaventura, Salaya, Thailand (mariejoyasb gmail.com)

A special prize goes to the following entry that illustrates all five words of this week in one sentence:

Wall Street lives to work while the absolute and corrupt work to live on Wall Street.
-Joshua Marx, Brooklyn, New York (marx.joshua gmail.com)

Winners will receive their choice of any of these prizes:
 o A copy of the word game One Up!
 o A signed copy of any of my books
 o "AWAD to the wise is sufficient" T-shirt

Thanks to all for participating. Read on for honorable mentions (more in the Extra).


My pet peeve in restaurants is the "Wait to be seated" sign. They never tell the truth, namely, "Wait to be seated, so you may sit to be waited."
-Kwan Tamakanic, Toronto, Canada (quantum.mechanic.1964 gmail.com)

It's better to lose a moment in life than lose your life in a moment. (while waiting for the light to cross the street, etc.)
-Pinny Gold, Brooklyn, New York (pinnygold gmail.com)

Among Jews, I'm a non-Jew; among non-Jews, a Jew. (It's nothing too fancy, but it's fairly true.)
-Nathan Horowitz, Vienna, Austria (toanke gmail.com)

It is easier to develop a round to defeat armor than armor to defeat a round.
-Michael Carpenter, CPT, AR, US Army, honorably discharged, Tucson, Arizona (mccarp dakotacom.net)

Management of Change or Change of Management?
Going to yet another of the seminars on change management that were dreadfully trendy 20 odd years ago, I muttered that the topic was slightly ambiguous and I knew which meaning I would support.
-Diane Campbell, Adelaide, Australia (diane.campbell internode.on.net)

The most important thing in the world is not for a parent to have a good child, but for a child to have a good parent.
-Tom Armstrong, Manchester, UK (thomas.armstrong thinkmoneygroup.com)

Canada has entered an era of decision-based evidence-making instead of evidence-based decision-making.
-John P.M. Court, Brampton, Canada (john.court camh.ca)

The rat race creates a race of rats.
-Matt McNeely, Brooklyn, New York (matt.mcneely gmail.com)

The truth of an assertion will not be determined by an assertion of truth.
-John Goggin, Denver, Colorado (jg60208 gmail.com)

A love of life leads to a life of love.
-Stella Miles, Tucson, Arizona (starkilometers aol.com)

You wrote: Can you come up with an original example of any of the words featured this week?
Is that a sentence about a contest or a contest about a sentence?
-Larry Moss, Bloomington, Indiana (larry.moss gmail.com)


[Many readers mentioned "Have Some Madeira, M'Dear.]

Today I am visiting my dentist. He says, "Open your mouth and your wallet."
-Christopher H. Scholz, Palisades, New York (scholz ldeo.columbia.edu)

Of all the great musicians and their antics, nobody could quite play the fool -- or the piano -- like Mozart.
-Isaac Mayer, Manhattan, New York (isaacandalfie gmail.com)

The gambler sold his wedding ring and his conscience.
-Vivienne Sol, Berkeley, California (vivianjuillet gmail.com)

The poor man lost face and a job so he cried a tear and for help.
-Matthew Van Atta, Wellington, New Zealand (mnvanatta alaska.edu)

Donald Trump often makes dollars and seldom sense.
-Ken Kirste, Sunnyvale, California (kkkirste sbcglobal.net)

The girl was trying different clothes and her boyfriend's patience.
-Ananya S.N., Bangalore, India (ananya.sn07 gmail.com)

A farmer was standing too close to the threshing machine. He lost his footing and a leg.
-Michael Fiedling, Cathedral City, California (mwf851 yahoo.com)

"Meet your deadlines or the pavement," the editor said.
-Darryl Gorman, Whiteley, UK (darryl.gorman gmail.com)

He entered the contest and the winner's circle!
-Michael Har-Even, Jerusalem, Israel (mhareven cisco.com)


In baseball, not one in a thousand bats bats a thousand. (also an antimetabole)
-Stanley Mandell, Bellevue, Washington (sman415 comcast.net)

At the burger joint, the man who just walked in with his girlfriend said to the cashier, "Vegetarian patty for me. Mad cow for her, please."
-Vivienne Sol, Berkeley, California (vivianjuillet gmail.com)

I've always liked the expression "jumping in with both feet" to indicate total commitment. I don't understand how you can jump in with just one foot or why it would be less of a commitment. I guess the opposite saying would be "putting a toe in the water".
-Steven Stine, Highland Park, Illinois (scstine1672 gmail.com)

Pupils were all looking at the teacher.
-Carlton Johnson, Winter Park, Florida (ctj.32803 gmail.com)

It's easier to get a piece of tail if you've got wheels.
-Ilan Solomon, New York, New York (ilanso gmail.com)


Water understands, of all the other elements, for ideas soften and become palatable in water.
-Mariejoy San Buenaventura, Salaya, Thailand (mariejoyasb gmail.com)

The Royals are defeated, long live the Royals!
-Gordon Havens, Kansas City, Missouri (gordonhavens hotmail.com)


This reminds me of the old joke about the inscription on a headstone:
Gosh! I didn't know you can bury two people together!
-Stephen Kubenka, Austin, Texas (skubenka email.com)

The road was yellow and brick.
-Carlton Johnson, Winter Park, Florida (ctj.32803 gmail.com)

Twelve good men and true. (an old term for a jury)
-Steven Biagi, Rockford, Illinois (sbiagi wincoil.us)

Halloween is terrifying and fun.
-Steve Baker, Greenville, South Carolina (qasystems.steve gmail.com)

Read more examples of antimetabole, zeugma, synecdoche, epanalepsis, and hendiadys on our website.

From: Ronnie Raviv (raraviv99 gmail.com)
Subject: Rhetorical story

"It wasn't my fault, Dolores, the SUV came out of nowhere!"
"Charles. Use your head. When one's brain isn't on more, he's a moron."

Charles was an impetuous man, who drove his car aggressively and his wife crazy. Out of the other vehicle emerged a large man in a track suit.

"Aw, man, now I gotta exchange information with Sopranos over there!?"
"Yes. And remember, Charles: a calm demeanor maintains the calm. And an air of confidence is like a breath of fresh air."
"Thanks for your wisdom and sayings, Dolores. Much appreciated, as always," that last part muttered as he stepped from the car.

As Charles walked over to the larger man, already yelling, Dolores thought to herself, and not for the first time, whether he was worth it. She didn't answer her own thought, however, as it was -- mostly -- rhetorical.

Ronnie Raviv, Chicago, Illinois

From: Joan Perrin (perrinjoan aol.com)
Subject: rhetorical devices

It is true about ANTIMETABOLE,
Is a lovely way to console.
"Shalom Aleichem," say I,
"Aleichem Shalom," reply.
A greeting with both heart and soul.

While exercising to Zoomba,
I chanced upon a nice ZEUGMA.
When I tried it a while,
Cramped my leg and my style,
Then I fell, and caused a hoopla.

The thing about SYNECDOCHE,
Is that it comes up constantly.
Asked if I got a haircut?
I said, "No, all of them," but,
I was really being silly.

An EPANALEPSIS, you see,
Was used by Shakespeare constantly,
When Hamlet I read,
Most famously said,
The phrase, "To be or not to be."

HENDIADYS is a very nice,
Use of rhetorical device.
It is rich and clever,
You use it whenever,
Language you want to be precise.

Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York

From: Elinor Lowry (elinorlowry gmail.com)
Subject: rhetorical devices competition

Drop us a line, they say ...
Clever sentences are called for ... but what clever sentences?
To admit that it is difficult is difficult to admit!
On Friday arrives the last email, and inspiration!
I press 'send' and feel a glow ... and satisfaction

Elinor Lowry, Johannesburg, South Africa

All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind. -Kahlil Gibran, poet and artist (1883-1931)

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