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It cannot be expected that the patrons of science or virtue should be solicitous to discover excellencies which they who possess them shade and disguise.
Few have abilities so much needed by the rest of the world as to be caressed on their own terms; and he that will not condescend to recommend himself by external embellishments must submit to the fate of just sentiments meanly expressed, and be ridiculed and forgotten before he is understood.
This book contains definitions and examples of more than sixty traditional rhetorical devices, (including rhetorical tropes and rhetorical figures) all of which can still be useful today to improve the effectiveness, clarity, and enjoyment of your writing.
Note: This book was written in 1980, with some changes since.
Common examples include metaphors, similes, allusions, hyperbole, and symbols.
Throughout “A Modest Proposal,” Swift uses animalistic language to metaphorically refer to the “breeding,” “butchering,” and “eating” of children.
--Samuel Johnson Whereas, if after some preparatory grounds of speech by their certain forms got into memory, they were led to the praxis thereof in some chosen short book lessoned thoroughly to them, they might then forthwith proceed to learn the substance of good things, and arts in due order, which would bring the whole language quickly into their power.
--John Milton Good writing depends upon more than making a collection of statements worthy of belief, because writing is intended to be read by others, with minds different from your own.