New rhetorical devices


“We” as applied by members of a couple where it is not strictly speaking possible, for example “We’re pregnant”

Homeric epithet

use of references to The Simpsons to delineate character eg “that guy who looks like Mr Burns”


“So what I’m saying is… if you don’t have anything on… I’d like to… you know… could we… do you think…”

“Go out for dinner?”

“I thought you’d never ask.”


2 responses to “New rhetorical devices

  1. Peter J Casey

    I’m curious to know if it’s a variation on symbiosis – as it’s not possible for me to answer – when the maître d’ greets me and my wife with “Ah, and how are we?”

  2. Hmm, strictly speaking symbiosis, like the “royal we”, is inclusive, ie one of the couple must be speaking.

    The food-service “we” is, closely related to diagnosis or the nurse/doctor-to-patient “we”, viz. “And how are we feeling this morning?”

    There could be some potential for confusion with the royal “we” in the case of a doctor attending on Her Majesty. Especially if a urine sample is involved.

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