Tag Archive | rhetorician

COGNITIVE BIAS #122: Attentional Bias

When we reach a decision or conclusion without considering all of the contributing factors and possible outcomes, attentional bias has been allowed to influence our deliberations. A simple example of this bias (as well as a tool for avoiding it) is demonstrated with the use of a matrix to enumerate all the possibilities of a […]

RHETORICAL SCHEME #57: Perissologia

Strictly speaking, perissologia (from the Greek περισσολογία) is not a tool of expression or persuasion; it is the fault of excessive wordiness, of prolixity, garrulousness, verbosity, of superfluity or redundancy in speech or writing, of belaboring a point or beating a dead horse. It’s also a fault of indirection, of circumlocution, evasiveness, of beating around […]

COGNITIVE BIAS #1: Introspection Illusion

Carved into the stones of the temple of Apollo at Delphi were three proverbs. These include “Μηδέν άγαν” or “Nothing in excess” and ”Ἑγγύα πάρα δ’ἄτη” or “Make a pledge and mischief follows.” But the most well-known is “Γνῶθι σεαυτόν” or “Know thyself.” Which is easier said than done, according to psychologists. As it turns […]


The creation of new words – AKA, neologisms – is all but a daily activity in our culture. In fact, awareness of neologisms and their meanings can be considered a measure of the degree to which one is up-to-date with a rapidly changing world. At the same time, such awareness can also be a mark […]

Rhetorical Trope #48 – The Parable

First, because they are so easily and so often confused, let’s differentiate between a parable and a fable. While both are brief stories meant to illustrate an abstract or moral point, a parable only involves people while a fable can assign speaking roles to players not usually considered sentient such as animals, minerals and botanicals. […]

Rhetorical Scheme #40 – The Homophone

Eye no watt “homophone” miens. Dew ewe? Which is fun but it can get tiring after the first few sentences. When used in moderation – after all, they are dangerously close to being puns – as the “keystone” of a much larger message, homophones can be very effective. They make memorable slogans as in the […]

Decision-Making And Behavioral Bias #39 – Unit Bias

You’ve had enough to eat but since there’s still a slice of pizza (half a bagel, a quarter of a muffin) left on your plate you figure you might as well finish it off. When summer eventually sizzles up you discover that your favorite bathing suit appears to have shrunk. The technical term for what’s […]