Distinctio: Figure of explication in which an introductory reference to a word's meaning is made (e.g., "by x I mean", "which is to say that", "that is") followed by a further elaboration of that word's meaning; explicit definition of or elaboration upon the meaning or meanings of a particular word or set of words.

 

 

Examples  
"Let me walk you through the five procedural errors that occurred in conjunction with that mission [the flying of 12 cruise missiles back to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana] that facilitated this serious and unprecedented incident. As you see here -- if we'll bring up slide 1, please -- on the morning of August 29th, a team of Minot airmen was dispatched to the base Weapons Storage Area to pick up and transport two pylons to a Barksdale B-52 aircraft. For those of you unfamiliar with the term "pylon," for our purposes today, a pylon is a self-contained package of six cruise missiles that can be quickly mounted to the wing of a B-52."

-- U.S. Department of Defense briefing on B-52 munitions and the "Bent Spear" incident, delivered 20 October 2007 by Major General Richard Y. Newton III, USAF

"I've been in football all my life, really, and I want to say this -- that it's a great game, and it's a Spartan type of game. I mean by that it takes Spartan qualities in order to be a part of it, to play it. And I speak of the Spartan qualities of sacrifice and self-denial rather than that other Spartan quality of leaving the weak to die."

-- Vince Lombardi

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"'Demoralization.' I distinguished in that book two senses of demoralization: the familiar one of the loss of morale, of contentment, and good spirit -- and the more serious one of the loss of morality, of moral bearings and convictions."

-- Gertrude Himmelfarb, John M. Ashbrook Memorial Dinner Address

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"Solid security arrangements on the ground are necessary not only to protect the peace; they’re necessary to protect Israel in case the peace unravels, because in our unstable region, no one can guarantee that our peace partners today will be there tomorrow. And my friends, when I say tomorrow, I don’t mean some distant time in the future; I mean tomorrow."

-- Benjamin Netanyahu, 2011 Address to Congress
 

 

"The great, large achievement of liberalism in the 20th century is the welfare State. And that achievement, today, makes additional liberalism virtually impossible. By 'additional liberalism' I mean more of the same -- energetic, high-spending, and high tax, redistributionist egalitarian government."

-- George F. Will, John M. Ashbrook Memorial Dinner Address

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"There are evolving terrorist threats -- they don't go away. We're now dealing with the emerging cybersecurity threat, and when I say 'emerging' -- it really is here -- we have huge responsibilities under that now which are somewhat new."

- Janet Napolitano, Press briefing on the impacts of sequestration on DHS, 2013

"Now, first I should define my terms: 'man' and 'God.' By man, of course, I mean society -- social man...."

-- Timothy Leary, LSD: Methods of Control

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"We must address ourselves to the fact that if we dare end discrimination against women, which means if we dare finally take women seriously as people...."

-- Betty Friedan, Dare We Not Discriminate?

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"It was the best of times, it was the -- I say -- worst of times -- and by worse I'm talkin' as bad -- I say -- as bad as my aunt Jenny's corn puddin'. That stuff will sink you like a stone."

-- delivered by Foghorn Leghorn for GEICO

Rhetorical Figures in Sound

Online Speech Bank

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American Rhetoric.
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