Glossary of Terms

December 7th, 2011

Alliteration is the recurrence of initial consonant sounds.

Aporia expresses doubt about an idea or conclusion.

Epanalepsis repeats the beginning word of a clause or sentence at the end.

Hyperbole, the counterpart of understatement, deliberately exaggerates conditions for emphasis or effect.

Parataxis: writing successive independent clauses, with coordinating conjunctions, or no conjunctions.

Pleonasm: using more words than required to express an idea; being redundant.

Simile : is a  comparison between two different things that resemble each other in at least one way.

Tweets That Contain Rhetorical Devices

@womenonthefence Time Management tips: Following through with commitments on limited time. TWRT.ME/xdnlp1 (Epanalepsis)

@hatchedit I was eating mine with greek yoghurt cheese. I had to put it away before I become a pig.  (Hyperbole)

@momfluential My son’s new fish tank sounds like gently trickling water. Me thinks I shoulda installed in the bathroom! (Simile)

@thebabyplanners bibbity boppity boo! (Alliteration)

@momfluential Ooooo…. will today be the day? Approaching a magical number of followers. 5 fives! How shall I celebrate? (please say chocolate) (Aporia)

@missbritt oh I love our weather! I dont deal well with humidity ;-)(Parataxis)

@peevedmichelle Enjoy it while it lasts! My gig is up now that I have a teen. Also my 3yo steals everything from me. Even seaweed snacks. (pleonasm)

Short Explanation Of How Rhetorical Device Is Used

  • Epanalepsis- She starts the sentence with Time Management and ends the sentence with the word time.
  • Hyperbole- She exaggerates by saying that if she keeps eating she will become a pig.
  • Simile- She compared the sounds of her son’s fish tank to gently trickling water.
  • Alliteration- The first letters of each word is the same as she says bibbity boppity boo.
  • Aporia- She expresses doubt when she is not sure if today will be the day.
  • Parataxis- She writes two independent clauses that are both associated with weather.
  • Pleonasm- She uses an excess of words to describe her 2 children.

Essay on Rhetorical Sophistication

In reading the tweets I was very impressed with the Rhetorical Sophistication of many of the posts that were related to family.  It was very interesting to read the comments made by the different Tweeters about their families, the family structure and their personal relationships with and about members of their families.  I believe that many of the Tweeters were using Rhetorical Sophistication without being aware that they were being used.  Their use of rhetorical devices made the readings interesting, well written and extremely descriptive.


Since Twitter only allows 140 characters in a message, people are limited to how much they can write.  As a result of the limited space, people use rhetorical devices to describe their feelings and thoughts on an issue.  Sometimes this usage is done intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. In either situation their use of words, phrases and sentence structure that are  used to describe their feelings and actions become Rhetorically Sophisticated and interesting to read.


In the Tweets concerning family many of the blogs described family relationships where similes were used.  Many of the writers compared their families or the action of family members to different things or situations; some Tweets used alliteration by using the same letter at the beginning of several words; others used parataxis by using independent clauses that are both related to the same topic and many used hyperbole by using exaggeration to describe their feelings.  These are just a few of the Rhetorical Sophistication devices that were used in Twitter conversations describing family and the relationship between its members.  With the use of Rhetorical Sophistication they were able to describe their position in the family, their happiness or unhappiness in their family network, their past experiences and memories, the hard work they do to keep their family intact and easily describe arguments and pleasant occasions shared with their family.  In the short space allotted to Tweets all of this is accomplished with the use of Rhetorical Sophistication.  In The Eldest by Edna Ferber the story tells how Rose, the eldest of three children, has sacrificed many years of her life caring for her sick mother and keeping her family comfortable.  This story delivers a powerful message about what we do for people we love and the sacrifices we make for family.


With new technology and the use of Twitter people can now send messages all around the world.  People today with personal computers and the many websites that are offered, they are now afforded the opportunity to send messages concerning anything about their lives.  Since Twitter messages limits the amount of characters one can use the messages are short, concise and less “wordy” than a formal essay.  This can be quite advantageous because the sender of the message will tend to use rhetorical devices more frequently to convey their message.


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  1. October 4th, 2011 at 12:16 | #1

    Hi Morgan,

    You found some good tweets that used rhetorical devices. I know you said you though that some of the rhetoric was used unintentionally, but I wonder if you would say that’s more often the case than not? That seems to have a lot to do with the space constraints. For example, it’s not surprising that authors would use something like parataxis to save some letters. But also using something like pleonasm seems weird–since that actually makes tweets longer! Maybe there are just more of the first (short) kind than the second (long) kind?

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