Question about writing with rhetorical figures

Read a good book lately? Want to discuss it with others? Share what you're reading and find out what should be on your bookshelf.
Private E-1
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:51 am

Question about writing with rhetorical figures

Postby Maio002 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:08 am

Hello. I’ve read Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth ( It’s about rhetorical figures. It was a great read. I was fascinated by the fact that how many writers use these “tricks” to make their work memorable. Also I identify many rhetorical figures used by politicians all the time now.

I’ve googled many times but could not find what I was looking for. Could you help me, please?

This book was about defining and giving examples for each rhetorical figure discussed in the book(for example: alliteration, antithesis, merism and etc.) but I wonder if there is any book that teaches techniques on how to write using rhetorical figures?

If there are none, do you know any online course that teaches it?

P.S I am not sure if I am posting in the right forum. If you think that it is an inappropriate question for this forum, could you please recommend where should I post this kind of question?

English is not my native language, sorry for any mistakes

User avatar
Dreams of Tanelorn
Private E-2
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:13 pm

Re: Question about writing with rhetorical figures

Postby Dreams of Tanelorn » Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:17 am

Hi Maio002 welcome to the forum. :)

Why don't you just use the Wikipedia online encyclopedia?

It has what you are looking for.

Another name for "rhetorical figure" is "figure of speech" and Wikipedia has a rather large article on the subject and each type of rhetorical figure is clickable and has it's own article. And there are some examples given.

I hope that helps. :)

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask them. :)
Formerly known as Dreaming Imrryr.

Private E-1
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:51 am

Re: Question about writing with rhetorical figures

Postby Maio002 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:54 pm

Thanks for replying Dreams of Tanelorn. I appreciate your help very much!

Private First Class
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:08 am

Re: Question about writing with rhetorical figures

Postby RobTheThird » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:24 am

Rhetorical figures, figures of speech, are things even writers frequently get wrong. There's so many reasons that they fail that it's hard to fit into an online post.

Figures of speech need to be socially aware. If it's too out of touch with society, then the meaning either is lost, or the impact is lost. It's got to fit into the story. And it's got to be language appropriate. And that's not all.

Language appropriate: Way back in the late 1980's/early 1990's, an arcade game called Zero Wing was turned into a game to run on personal computers. Originally, the game was written in Japanese (I think it was), but someone tried to translate it to English. It's resulted in one of the most ridiculed opening scenes in video game history. There's an animation to start the game, a cut scene. The cut scene ends with English text:

> All your base are belong to us!

It's turned into a meme of its own, and is a joke about poor English translation even through today. In one sense, that's a success, right? A turn of phrase long remembered. But... the game from which it came is all but forgotten. I had to look it up.

You're taking on quite a challenge. I wish you luck.

Return to Book Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest