Glossary of Terms

A sententia quotes an adage in effort to epitomize a general truth

St. John Bosco, of the above example, was a nineteenth century Italian Catholic Priest who served to better disadvantaged youth and childhood delinquents through the teachings of love, rather than punishment.

A hyperbole emphasizes a point through intentional exaggeration.

The quantity-implying words, “Every single,” are a deliberate exaggeration of the amount of @rdarkknight’s heart’s strings that intensely miss “u [sic].”


 Personification is used to assign human characteristics, attributes, or traits to an inanimate object or animal.

Don’t worry @IMDJDUMMY and @laddiebugg34, @kashunabgto‘s pants can’t actually bite.

Words, sentences, and clauses are arranged in order of increasing importance or emphasis in a climax.

Most important? Don’t bite @SattaMurray or he’ll kill you, especially if you’ve previously bitten his cat.

A symploce combines anaphora (repetition of the same word or words at the beginning of consecutive clauses) and epistrophe (repetition of the same words or words at the end of consecutive clauses) by repeating two different words, one at the beginning and the other at the end, of consecutive clauses.

The “bite” at the beginning of the first clause is repeated at the beginning of the second clause.  Similarly, the “shame on u [sic]” at the end of the first clause is repeated at the end of the second clause.

 A simile is the comparison of two different objects, ideas, thoughts, etc.

The way @hipsternerd sucked caramel macchiato from his laptop’s trackpad is comparable to the way he would suck poison from a snake bite.

In a Hypotaxis, two clauses are shown as related by the use of subordination, a grammatical means of combining a primary and a secondary clause.

The fact that @SewYourLipsUpwon’t even relise [sic] a snake” is shown as related to the fact that she’ll “be too tired” by the insertion of the subordinate conjunction, “because.”

                       . . .                                    

Yeah, My Memoir is Six Words.

Few tangible phenomena profess a habitual immunity to confinement equivalent to that of the written word. These dense documentations are manifestations of the obscure results of meticulous synaptic activity involving the release and retrieval of countless, whizzing neurotransmitters between billions of specialized nerve cells which communicate with a complex cortex of an even more-so complex human brain… — they are the un-seizable and extravagant manmade thoughts, emotions, beliefs and ideas – which centuries of incarnations of ink have made palpable behind bars and gated ghettos, through physical sickness and the grips of mania.

With that said, Twitter, you can shove your 140-character limitation. You can incarcerate the artist, but you can’t cage his/her rhetorical art.

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure, edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith, is a compilation of six-word memoirs from well-known distinguished authors to the round cat-lady tenant upstairs. Essentially, it is 225 pages of Tweets – some from before even the creation of Twitter. Hundreds of people, their sizably-wimpy but rhetorically-large memoirs featured in Not Quite What I Was Planning, managed to create flawlessly under the requirements. Theoretically, then, although the book’s memoirs were not composed through Twitter, they could have been, and with the same rhetorically-sophisticated results.

Further, if one were to “publish” his/her very own six-word memoir, that is summing up a fairly large amount of time or the entirety of an experience in just six words, via Twitter, he/she would be allowed 140 characters made up of six words, a single space between each word, amassing a total of five spaces, and at least one mark of punctuation. Taking these guidelines into consideration, my calculations allot a healthy distribution of 23.33 characters to each individual word of a completed six-word memoir. I can’t think of even one word that brims on twenty letters (and even with the help of WebMD, I can’t seem to locate one with fractioned characters). So, in fact, Twitter offers first-class legroom.

It is said that Ernest Hemingway called his notoriously short short story, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn,” one of his best. Together, these six words (the longest of which reaches just five characters) are rhetorically-abundant, embodying a slew of rhetorical devices including understatement, apophasis, hyperbaton, climax, etc. Accordingly, the shortest of sentences, which Twitter does not request however demands, surely maintain the potential for elaborate rhetorical sophistication. Furthermore, because Twitter generously allocates to each budding-memoirist as many words as he/she can concoct within 140 characters, all the merrier – although, recognize, because of the individual written word’s ability to defy mortal-restraints, binge-beading throws of words together is barely an infallible means to additional rhetoric.

In a slew of Tweets, all of which in some way relate to being bitten by a snake, biting a snake, dreaming of being bitten by a snake – nothing more than the conventional snake and his bite — I identified the use of rhetorical devices. Somewhere between sympathizing for master of hyperbole, @rdarkknight, whose “every single string in [his] heart misses u [sic] like a snake bite,” and looking to find out where hypotaxis guru @dinihaziqah hangs out, because whatever she’s doing, it’s going to be so wild that @SewYourLipsUp “won’t even realise [sic] a snake because [she’ll] be too tired,” it occurred to me that the virtue of rhetoric lies within its uninvited presence. When @recession_proof sat before his computer on September 17th and tweeted, “[S]nake bite u [sic] once..shame on it..bite you again..shame on u [sic]!” I can comfortably suggest that he did not intentionally create a symploce, or at least know that that would be the result of his astute teaching. Whether or not @kashunabgto knew that she was personifying her inanimate snake pants by warning @IMDJDUMMY and @laddiebugg34 that they “mite [sic] bite,” she did so, and with rhetorical suave.

Contemporary writing in one of its briefest forms, the Tweet, holds the potential to cultivate as much rhetorical sophistication as novels like Infinite Jest that gorge on words like Joey Chestnut does hot dogs. Centuries ago, Don Quixote split the holds of the prison cell where Miguel de Cervantes exhumed it un-restrainable. Likewise, rhetoric, present in the every written word, intentionally or not, bounds beyond Twitter’s 140 character-limit with grace. Just ask @zealouszeal0 who tweeted, “Fly from bad companions as from the bite of a poisonous snake. –St. John Bosco.” Rhetorical sophistication? She’d scoff at my suggesting otherwise. I mean, check out that effortless username alliteration.


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