Expletive: Figure of emphasis in which a single word or short phrase, usually interrupting normal speech, is used to lend emphasis to the words on either side of the expletive. Typical examples include: in fact, of course, to be sure, indeed, I suppose, I hope, , I think, you know, you see, clearly, in any event, in effect, certainly, remarkably.

Ex: "The strength of America's response, please understand, flows from the principles upon which we stand."

-- Rudy Giuliani, 9/11 Speech to the United Nations General Assembly

Further Examples

"It would be fitting and good, I think, if, on each inaugural day in future years, it should be declared a day of prayer."

-- Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

   Click for Audio

"James Baldwin has never been too far ahead of the times. He's always been ahead of his times but never so far that the lines of communication with people have been severed. And therein, I think, lies the greatness of James Baldwin."

-- Angela Davis, Introduction to UC Berkeley lecture by James Baldwin

   Click for Audio

"I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey."

-- from the movie Rocky Horror Picture Show

   Click for Audio

"The minimum wage, I might add, today is far less than it was in 1960 and 1970 in terms of purchasing power."

-- Ralph Nader, 2000 NAACP Address

   Click for Audio

"I believe that I have learned the most important thing that has happened in Britain during the last six years. It was not, I think, the demonstration of physical courage."

-- Edward R. Murrow

   Click for Audio

"We do indeed and have discriminated against women...."

Betty Friedan, Women -- Do we dare not discriminate?

   Click for Audio

Rhetorical Figures in Sound

Online Speech Bank

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