Epitheton: Very common figure that uses adjacent adjective-noun or adjectival phrase forms to characterize and/or amplify (positively or negatively) a person, thing, attribute, or quality; the use of a qualifying word or phrase to further describe something (e.g., "fun ride,"  "bad omen," "cheerful giver," "harsh mistress").

 

Examples  

"For if this book is a joke, it is a joke against me. It recounts my elephantine adventures in pursuit of the obvious."

-- G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

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"Now, ordinarily -- ordinarily, I would not take time out from the important work at hand to answer Murrow. However, in this case I feel justified in doing so because Murrow is a symbol, a leader, and the cleverest of the jackal pack which is always found at the throat of anyone who dares to expose individual Communists and traitors."

-- Joseph McCarthy, CBS television prosecution of E.R. Murrow

"I accept this award on behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice."

-- Martin Luther King, Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance

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"Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what few coins she has to send that child to school -- because she believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child's dreams."

-- Barack Obama, Nobel Prize for Peace Lecture

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"And that's the foreign policy I want -- an America outside all these entangling alliances...."

-- Pat Buchanan, Interview with Rush Limbaugh

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"Now, in this anxious autumn from those heroic men, there comes back an answering appeal."

-- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952 Stump Speech

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"Western European nations show their determination to resist aggression. All could acquire an unbreakable strength if bundled together."

--  Bernard Baruch, On the Cold War

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"We stand today on one of the strange promontories of human history."

-- Thomas E. Dewey, 1944 Eve of Election Address

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"As you know, my grandfather visited Washington often during his long career, though perhaps most notably as a guest of President Franklin Roosevelt during the Second World War. On December the 26th, 1941, just days after the appalling atrocity at Pearl Harbor, he came across the Atlantic and was invited to address a joint session of Congress just yards away from where this moving ceremony is being held today."

-- Nicholas Soames, Churchill Bust Dedication Ceremony Address

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"I will give the people a vision of Rome and they'll love me for it. And they'll soon forget the tedious sermonizing of a few dry old men."

-- delivered by Joaquin Phoenix (from the movie Gladiator)

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Rhetorical Figures in Sound

Online Speech Bank

Copyright 2001-Present. 
American Rhetoric.
Created by Michael E. Eidenmuller.
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