The Bdelygmia

7 Mar

Another very interesting word…

Andy's Writing Tips


A bdelygmia (the ‘b’ is silent) is a list of negative qualities about a person, thing or place. It is a form hyperbole – over the top, exaggerating, usually just a little tongue in cheek. It’s a rant, more or less, one that the speaker or author is glad to get off his or her chest; moreover one he or she is positively enjoying.

For students required to produce persuasive or rhetorical writing, practicing a bdelygmia is a useful exercise. Be wary, however: a bdelgmia may look like a spontaneous outpouring of the writer’s thoughts, but you can be sure that the writer is structuring his or her sentences very carefully indeed; if anything, this kind of writing will be more carefully structured than most others.

Parting Shots is full of examples of carefully tailored rants – this is a book, you’ll remember, written by ambassadors at the point at…

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