Homer Simpson’s Figures of Speech

At the Bristol Summer School a number of us agonised over rehetorical devices in Cicero – and just as much over where we might find Homer Simpson’s guide to figures of speech!  I was next to useless, having never seen a single episode, but I resolved to find the definitive guide. I’m still not sure if this is it, but it will do to be getting on with….

Homer Simpson’s Figures of Speech

Tripping Over Tropes With Springfield’s Master Rhetorician

By Richard Nordquist, About.com

In this article, we consider some of the ways in which Homeric rhetoric has traveled from The Odyssey to The Idiocy by way of America’s favorite cartoon character. Let’s journey to Springfield to review 20 classic figures of speech.

“English? Who needs that? I’m never going to England!”

 Woo-hoo! The immortal words of Mr. Homer Simpson–beer-guzzling, donut-popping patriarch, nuclear-power-plant safety inspector, and Springfield’s resident rhetorician. Indeed, Homer has contributed far more to the English language than just the popular interjection “D’oh.” Let’s take a look at some of those rich contributions–and along the way review several rhetorical terms.    

Homer’s Rhetorical Questions

Consider this exchange from a Simpson family symposium:

Mother Simpson: [singing] How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?
Homer: Seven.
Lisa: No, dad, it’s a rhetorical question.
Homer: OK, eight.
Lisa: Dad, do you even know what “rhetorical” means?
Homer: Do I know what “rhetorical” means?

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