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21 Jul 2018

Rhetorical terms always prove popular here on HH, and this week we served up a particularly good one:

But as is often the case with terms like these, enantiosis isn’t quite as straightforward as it might appear. 

As we defined it on Twitter, in its basic sense it refers to “a figure of speech in which...

29 Sep 2017

On Wednesday, HH tweeted that dropping foreign words into everyday conversation so as to appear sophisticated is called cacozelia:

...and it ended the week among the most popular HH facts.

Cacozelia is an example of a rhetorical vice—a turn of phrase or similar linguistic phenomenon recognized in the...

13 Feb 2017

 “I think I’ve left the iron on...” (Public domain/Wikimedia Commons) 

A few days ago, this frankly terrifying fact cropped up on the HH Twitter feed:

This is an example of a chronogram, an intricate bit of wordplay defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “a phrase, sentence, or inscription,...

26 Apr 2016

Rhetorical terms and words for different figures of speech crop up every now and then on our Twitter feed, and are without exception brilliant, brilliant words:

But with our YouTube channel now in full swing—incredibly, this is already video number 16—we thought it might be good to dedicate an entire...

4 Jun 2015

When it came to being amazed, those Victorians really knew how to respond:

If ever an old fashioned phrase needed bringing back into circulation, it was this one. But where does a saying as bizarre as this one come from?

The earliest record we have of this beats my grandmother! dates back to 1833, whe...

30 Apr 2015

Earlier this month, UK Labour Party leader Ed Miliband made headlines (as well as a new Labour Party slogan) by exclaiming that “Hell, yes!” he was tough enough to be the next Prime Minister. Then, earlier this week, David Cameron likewise made headlines when he admitted to feeling “bloody live...

13 Mar 2015

 You probably already know what an oxymoron is—a terribly good figure of speech in which two contradictory words or ideas are juxtaposed for rhetorical effect. Like Shakespeare’s “witty fool”, Chaucer’s “hateful good”, Tennyson’s “falsely true”, Hemingway’s “scalding coolness”, Milton...

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