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An Introduction to Diasyrmus

Diasyrmus (etymologically from Greek, literally “a tearing in pieces”), is a rhetorical device by which the argument of the adversary is commended in a disdainful manner.

In other words, using disdain to reject the argument of the adversary; this is usually by means of basic similitudeOpens in new window of some ridiculous example, to which the adversary’s argument is compared, and scornfully ridiculed.

Notable Examples

  1. “Arguing that we can clean up government by better regulating elections is like asking a dog to quit marking his territory by lifting his hind leg.”
  2. “Allowing your kids to roam the streets at night so they can “learn the nitty-gritty of life” is like putting herbicides on your garden to make it grow!”
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