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Rhetorical Figures in Sound is a compendium of  200+ brief audio (mp3) clips illustrating 40 different figures of speech. Most of these figures were constructed, identified, and classified by Greek and Roman teachers of rhetoric in the Classical period. For each rhetorical device, definitions and examples, written and audio, are provided. Audio examples are taken from public speeches and sermons, movies, songs, lectures, oral interpretations of literature, and other media events. Some artifacts have been edited further to make the devices easier to detect. In the interest of diversity, I have included a range of voices and perspectives.

A webliography below indicates source material for the terms and their definitions.

Material in audio and streaming video formats requires a digital-audio player.

Primary Sources: Terms & Definitions

Bullinger, E.W. (1968). Figures of speech used in the Bible. Baker Books: Grand Rapids, MI.

Corbett, E.P. & Connors, R.J. (1999). Classical rhetoric for the modern student (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Harris, R. (2003). A handbook of rhetorical devices. Retrieved April 16 2003, from

Lanham, R.A. (1991). A handlist of rhetorical terms (2nd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press.

Young, G. (2003). Silva rhetoricae. Retrieved April 16 2003, from Brigham Young University website:


Audio References



Rhetorical Figure of the Moment

Anadiplosis: Figure of repetition that occurs when the last word or terms in one sentence, clause, or phrase is/are repeated at or very near the beginning of the next sentence, clause, or phrase.

"When your cable company keeps you on hold, you get angry. When you get angry, you go blow off steam. When you go blow off steam, accidents happen. When accidents happen, you get an eye patch. When you get an eye patch, people think you're tough. When people think you're tough, people want to see how tough. And when people want to see how tough, you wake up in a roadside ditch. Don't wake up in a roadside ditch: Get rid of cable and upgrade to DIRECTV"

-- DIRECTV Ad, 2012


Flash Figures in Sound 

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