Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rhetorical Exuberance

A mechanic cut his hand. Several days later it became infected, 
so he went to the doctor. 

The doctor explained what had happened in highfalutin medical technology, treated the cut, and charged him a hundred and fifty dollars. 

The next week, the mechanic's assistant told him that the doctor's car was outside and had a flat tire. 

The mechanic said, "Diagnose it as an absence of flatulence of the perimeter caused by the penetration of a foreign object resulting in the dissipation of the compressed atmospheric contents and charge him accordingly." 

Rhetorical exuberance is a humor technique that derives its power from its extravagance, from our sense of the difference between what is said and how it is said. 

The note of pretentiousness on the part of the doctor is returned when he gets a taste of his own medicine. 

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