Sententia (sen-TEN-chee-uh): Figure of argument in which a wise, witty, or pithy maxim or aphorism is used to sum up the preceding material.

 

 

Examples  

"We are now well into our fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident purpose of putting an end to slavery agitation. However, under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

-- Abraham Lincoln, A House Divided (Re-enactment delivered by Fritz Klein)

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"So, I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. 'Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.'"

-- Martin Luther King, Jr., I've Been to the Mountaintop

Note: From the famous Battle Hymn of the Republic penned by Julia Ward Howe

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"I think that if women aspired higher, took on the problems involved, that they might find surprising support from men. 'Time marches on.'"

-- Betty Friedan, Do we dare not Discriminate?

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"There has been this tendency to set aside some of the women, and if they were willing, either to set themselves aside in a religious service, or in some dedicated activity where they didn't act as wives and mothers. Society was willing, then, to accord them quite a few of the privileges that were accorded to men, as if it was being said, implicitly -- but of course...sometimes explicitly: 'You can't have everything.'"

-- Margaret Mead

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"The lesson we have to learn is that our dislike for certain persons does not give us any right to injure our fellow creatures. The social rule must be: 'Live and let live.'"

-- George Bernard Shaw

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"In this time of nuclear weaponry, we cannot afford to wait for the fight to come to us. You need to understand that. This political correctness stuff is a bunch of crap. This generation is so goddamned spoiled and lazy they wouldn't know a real threat to their freedom until it interrupted the power source to their Xbox and killed a half a million people. The complacency of fools will destroy them."

-- Mike Kaminski as George C. Scott's Patton

"I am not a perfect servant. I am a public servant doing my best against the odds. As I develop and serve, be patient: God is not finished with me yet."

-- Jesse Jackson, 1984 Democratic National Convention Address

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"We're not computers, Sabastian, we're physical. I think, Sabastian, therefore, I am."

-- delivered by Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah (from the movie Blade Runner)

Note: Historical reference to famous French Mathematician Rene Descartes' foundational premise concerning his personal existence

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"Loose ball foul and it's called on -- . Oh, my! [The referee] from 50 feet away from the play called it on Fred Roberts....And now they call "illegal defense" against Boston. So, they are [the referees] playing the game of 'I only have eyes for you' dear, and it's all against Boston

-- Boston Celtic announcer, Johnny Most

Note: From the popular ballad "I Only Have Eyes for You"

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American Rhetoric.
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