A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Argumentum ad vultum

Dr. Boli makes the following observation:
In debating his opponents, Mr. Trump uses a particular style of argument that is enormously effective on the third-grade demographic:
OPPONENT. I believe you are mistaken in your inference.
TRUMP. You’re ugly.
OPPONENT. What I mean is that there is overwhelming scientific evidence to support my assertion that vaccines do not cause autism.
TRUMP. I mean, seriously, who puts a face like that on network TV?
Because it is not usually encountered outside the playground, this rhetorical figure does not have a common name. Dr. Boli will therefore give it one, and call it the argumentum ad vultum, the argument against the face or countenance. 
 Some years ago, when the Incomparable Marge took our daughter to see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center, she found herself two rows directly behind the Donald and his then-wife. They spent the performance in serious smooching, ignoring the dancing on-stage, and chowing on snacks. An altogether cringe-worthy performance.


  1. I vote we refer to Trump supporters as "Tommies", because they think Trumpy can do magic things.

  2. He's just saying what we're all thinking--if we are all thinking, "Oink."


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