An argumentative statement in which the writer or the speaker omits one of the fundamental or minor premises, does no longer really pronounce it, or maintains this premise implied, is called an “enthymeme.” However, the overlooked premise in an enthymeme stays understandable even if isn't definitely expressed. For instance, inside the sentence, “Where there's smoke, there's fire,” the hidden premise is: fire reasons smoke.
Enthymeme is a rhetorical device like syllogism, and is referred to as truncated or rhetoric syllogism. Its motive is to persuade the target market, and allow them to make inferences. Such inferences can be effortlessly recognized, as these statements comes after “because.”
Enthymeme vs. Syllogism
Enthymeme is like syllogism, and but different. The distinction is that a syllogism is a deductive good judgment that contains 3 parts, and wherein both premises have legitimate end such as:
All reptiles are cold-blooded animals. (Major premise)
A lizard is a cold-blooded animal. (Minor premise)
Therefore, a lizard is a reptile. (Conclusion)
Whereas in enthymeme, writers preserve one premise implied, which means that both premises do no longer have legitimate conclusions. It is an incomplete argument such as:
He could not have devoted this heinous crime. (Major premise)
I have acknowledged him on account that he was a child. (Minor premise)
The hidden premise: He is innocent by means of nature and, consequently, could by no means be a criminal.
Popular Examples of Enthymeme
“Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy changed into a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.” – Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle in U.S. Vice-Presidential debate in 1988. (The hidden premise: Jack Kennedy turned into a amazing man, however you are now not.)
He is a U.S. Citizen, so he is entitled to due process. (The hidden premise: All citizens of the U.S. Are entitled to due process.)
With a call like Bonanza, it must be good. (The hidden premise: Bonanza is a prestigious company, consequently it is good.)
Examples of Enthymeme in Literature
Example #1: Julius Caesar (By William Shakespeare)
Plebian: “Mark’d ye his words? He would no longer take the crown. Therefore ’tis certain he become not bold.”
From the above line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, it is clean that Brutus is an ambitious and honorable man. Thus, a major hidden premise is that each one honorable and respectable guys are bold.
Example #2: New York Times Interview, May 2, 2003 (By George Bush)
“The war of Iraq is one victory in a conflict on terror that commenced on September the 11th, 2001, and still goes on … With the ones attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war at the United States. And war is what they got.”
This is an example of traditional enthymematic argumentative speech through U.S. President Bush. He said that the purpose the U.S. Declared warfare against Iraq turned into because the U.S. was attacked on Sept 11, 2001. However, the lacking piece on this argument is — Saddam Hussein become the culprit, and involved inside the Sept. 11 attacks.
Example #3: Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self (By Alice Walker)
“[M]y parents decide to buy my brothers guns. These are not ‘real’ guns. They shoot ‘BBs,’ copper pellets my brothers say will kill birds. Because I am a girl, I do no longer get a gun.“
In this instance, the speaker omits the principal premise that her parents have no longer given her a gun. However, she directly shall we the readers recognize the purpose why she does not have the gun.
Example #4: Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student (By Edward P. J. Corbett and Robert J. Connors)
“The gun has the defendant’s fingerprints at the trigger. He is without a doubt guilty!”
In this instance, the hidden premise is that fingerprints on an object display who has used it, therefore the defendant’s fingerprints at the gun proves he is guilty.
Function of Enthymeme
The usage of enthymeme is very not unusual in advertisements, political speeches, and literature. It makes the audience workout their own conclusions, and nudges them to read further to get a clearer image of the basis or an idea. By forcing the target market to take a final step, it strengthens the argument of the author. Often enthymemes help to cover the underlying idea upon which a chief argument relies. In addition, the cause of using an enthymeme is to influence the audience by means of using implied arguments.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw