Puns and chiasmus as rhetorical devices for arousing emotions

by JoeCarillo ( | | | | | | )

October 7, 2014


Dear Fellow Writer,


Way back in 2003, I wrote a series of essays in The Manila Times on the figures of speech, or the surprisingly felicitous ways of arranging words and of presenting ideas to arouse the emotion of the listener or reader. For this week’s edition of the Forum, I decided to repost for the benefit of new Forum members my two-part essay on wordplay, particularly on punning and on chiasmus. Punning is, of course, the usually humorous way of using a word to suggest two or more of its meanings or the meaning of another word that’s similar in sound, while chiasmus is the unexpected reversal of the order of words in two parallel phrases to heighten the drama of the statement or utterance. Go to the Forum now and let the two essays speak once again for and about themselves.


THIS WEEK IN THE FORUM (October 5 – 11, 2014):

·       Essays by Jose Carillo: Puns and Chiasmus as Rhetorical Devices for Arousing Emotions (The power of wordplay and of the felicitous reversal of the order of words)

·       Readings on Language: An Exemplar in Horror Fiction Shares His Thoughts on Writing (Stephen King on teaching English and on his love affair with the language)

·       You Asked Me This Question: When is the Verb “Were” in the Indicative or Subjunctive Mood? (“Were” is subjunctive when used in an “if”-clause even when the doer of the assumed action is singular or plural)

·       News and Commentary: Tips to International Students on Improving English Writing Skills (One is to know the most common gaffes when writing academic essays)

·       Time Out from English Grammar: The High Cost of Granting Computers Dominion Over Our Work and Leisure (Because they ask so little of us, intelligent devices weaken the bond between tool and user)

·       Getting To Know English: An Extensive Review of the Types and Workings of Relative Clauses (They are the most extensively discussed grammar topic in the Forum)

·       Advice and Dissent: Agnostic English Philosopher Bashes Richard Dawkins’ Brand of Atheism (Calls it “old-fashioned” and “a monument to unthinking certitude”)

·       Use and Misuse: Is It Correct To Say That Indirect Speech is a Kind of “That”-Clause? (No, but indirect speech may use or take the form of a “that”-clause)

·       The Finest in Language Humor: 45 Pieces of Wise Advice Offered by a 90-Year-Old (Sampler: “The most important sex organ is the brain”)

·       Advocacies: Plain English for Government Transparency and Accessibility (The goal: writing that makes users find what they need, understand what they read, and thus fulfill that need)

·       Badly Written, Badly Spoken: Which Phrasing is Correct: “With Regard To” or “With Regards To”? (The second, with “s,” is nonstandard and unacceptable usage)

·       The Lounge: The Frugal Scot (There was once a painter who was very keen on making a penny where he could...)

·       How Good is Your English?: Debatable Answer Choices in English Practice Test (They can confuse when too arithmetical, too arbitrary, and too culture-bound!)


See you at the Forum! 


Sincerely yours,

Joe Carillo


Click this link to go the website now: http://josecarilloforum.com