How to instantly appear clever when speaking

5101 2018-12-08 20:02

The Greeks uses those persuasive tricks (schemes)

You are already familiar with many of the tricks:

  1. Analogy (my love is like a cherry)
  2. Oxymoron (pretty ugly)
  3. Rhetorical question (do I have to explain this one?)
  4. Hyperbole (the most amazingly great figure of all)
  5. Coyness (Dad gifts me a new iWatch … but I say “oh, you shouldn’t have”)
  6. Dialogue (teenagers are especially fond of this: Alice said what and then I sad what and then Charlie said what)
  7. Speak-round (“He Who Must Not Be Named”)

The secrets lie in figures of speech

Figures of speech - Making words presented differently by repetition, substitution, sound, and wordplay. Making words sound differently by skipping, swapping, etc.

  1. Repeated first word: use a lot of “and” to start the sentence while thinking what to say.

    1. e.g., And God said, let there be light: and there was light. 2., e.g. Political figures substitute “um” or “you know” with “and” when thinking what to say.
  2. Multiple yoking

    1. e.g., he gets it past two defenders, shoots … misses… shoots again… goal!
  3. Idiom

  4. Self-answering question

    1. e.g., “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”
  5. Tropes: swapping

    1. Metaphor
    2. Irony
    3. Synecdoche: White House
    4. Metonymy

Twist a cliche

Win the intelligent audience by twisting the expression. For example, adding a surprising end. e.g.

  • Friend: it’s excellent book for killing time.
  • You: sure, if you like it better than dead.

The Yoda technique of switching

The mighty ABBA sentences (chiasmus), e.g.

  1. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
  2. Let’s not settle for swimming with the sharks. Let’s make the sharks want to swim with us.

Or even more, inserting a pun into a chiasmus. e.g.

  • a birthday card for a friend who turns 40. Front: “what kind of party suits bob’s birthday?” Back with a photo of naked two-year-old bob: “the kind where he wears his birthday suit.”

How Churchill Got Rhythm?

Dialysis: Either… or… e.g., George W Bush: you’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists.

Antithesis: Not… but… e.g., The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity.

Say yes and no at the same time

  • Edit yourself loud, which makes the narrative sound more fair and accurate. (Correction figure)
  • No-yes sentence. (Also dialysis)
    • e.g.
      • friend: he seems like a real straight shooter
      • you: straight, no. shooter, yes.
    • e.g.
      • lover: you seem a little put out with me this morning.
      • you: put out, no. furious, yes.

We are not unamused

  • litotes 緩叙法 *, e.g. OJ Simpson’s appearance at a horror comic book convention: I’m not doing this for my health.
  • climax *, e.g. A little neglect may breed great mischief…for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost.

For fun: Invent new words

Inventing new words is dangerous in high school or a government agency. However, it is impactful so we would better use it wisely.

examples of inventing

  1. Verging. Turn a noun into a verb or vice versa. (e.g., Google it!)
  2. *-like figure. (e.g., God-like!)
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