Archive for the ‘praesumptio’ Category

Praesumptio: “Positively 4th Street”

December 10, 2011 1 comment

The song, “Positively 4th Street” was written and performed by the amazing singer/songwriter Bob Dylan in 1965. The lyrics from Dylan’s hit song  help provide description to further explain the rhetorical term praesumptio. In the song  Dylan anticipates how the very vision of the person the song is written about brings bitterness, spite and a whirlwind of emotion. Obviously, having explained only an overview of the song, a substantial amount of negativity comes out of Dylan throughout the lyrics in the song.  

Dylan forsee’s this person treating other’s poorly, as they did him. Dylan foresees this happening when he simply thinks about this particular person. We can understand that Dylan foresee’s this coming from the lyrics “I know the reason that you talk behind my back, I used to be among the crowd you’re in with.”

“You see me on the street, you always act surprised, you say,”how are you, good luck, but you don’t mean it” tells us that Dylan knows the outcome of an encounter with this person. He expects this person to wish him well and talk behind his back. Dylan understands the objectives that come from an encounter with this person and he ultimately dread’s any form of encounter with them.

Bob Dylan- Positively 4th Street Lyrics. 11 August 2011. 9 December 2011 <;.


Praesumptio: “Someone like You”

December 8, 2011 2 comments

Vocalist and songwriter Adele performs her hit song “Someone like You” live at the Bit award show in 2011. The lyrics from Adele’s hit song is a great example to  really help explain the term prasumptio. The song was written by the singer herself and was written due to a heartbreaking end of a long-term relationship.

The singer wrote this song based on where she felt her ex-boyfriend would be within years of their breakup, and how she would react to him moving on and settling down. Adele anticipated an imaginary reconciliation with her long time love, but ultimately she knew that he had moved on and had gotten married. Adele still anticipated seeing him and was in fact compelled to show up where he was living just to see if he too believed that it was not over between them. Praesumptio means foreseeing or weighing objectives and anticipation, which is found strongly within lyrics such as:

 “I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited but I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it. I had hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded that for me….it isn’t over. Nevermind I’ll find someone like you. I wish nothing but the best for you…too. Don’t forget me, I beg, I remember you said- sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.”

From this passage of lyrics, we understand that Adele ultimately realized what would come of showing up at her ex-lover’s door after such a long time had passed-but still she had a bit of hope. Sadly, her hope fell short when she realized a reconciliation beteen the two of them was only imaginary. Still, she held out and even used the word, “beg” in her song, which really displays how vulnerable she felt in this situation. Praesumptio in this song is found within many lyric’s throughout the song, “Someone like You” and really brings the term to life through this emotionally powerful ballad.

You Tube. Adele – Someone like you (OFFICIAL VIDEO LYRICS) HD Live from Brit Awards 2011 . 28 April 2011. 7 December 2011 <;.

Praesumptio: Florida Orange Juice Commercial

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

This popular Florida orange juice commercial  provides a commical effect which helps to enhance the meaning of the rhetrical term presumptio. In this commercial, the young boy is essentially going over all obstacles that he will face thoughout the day. He sits at the table the morning before heading off to school and is told how his day will begin and what will happen to him throughout his day. The young boy listens while anticipating each hurdle he is told about from the series of people sitting at the table.

The commical effect in this commerical is the boy himself.  The young boy does not mind all the obstacles he will face throughout this day- because he is drinking his “Florida Orange Juice.” This advertisement is a great example of praesumptio because the boy anticpates all objectives- but does so in an incredibly peppy way.


You Tube. Florida Orange Juice Commercial with Jake Short . 13 February 2011. 7 December 2011 <;.

Praesumptio: “Penny’s Christmas gift to Sheldon”

December 8, 2011 1 comment

In this particular episode of the “Big Bang Theory”, Penny buys Sheldon a Christmas present. Pay close attention to a question Sheldon asks, he states, “Excuse me miss, if I were to give you this gift basket based on that action alone and no other data,  infer and describe the hypothetical relationship that exists between us, are we friends, colleagues, lovers, are you my grandmother?” As you can tell, Sheldon is excited and anticipating the woman’s answer to his quite complex question.

In the mini episode, Sheldon actually purchases half a dozen gift baskets for Penny- fearful that he may under or over reciprocate his gift. So he decides to open Penny’s gift then excuse himself and look up the price of her gift online and then give her the gift basket that is closest to that value and give her that gift. Sheldon then decides to return all the other gift baskets for a full refund.

This episode is a detailed example of the rhetorical term praesumptio. Sheldon clearly over thinks situations and he weights each objective that may be sprung on him- even a simple Christmas gift from his friend Penny. Sheldon was fearful that he may not have an equally valuing gift so he actually went the extra mile to be sure that he did. Just like the perfectionist he is he anticipates his objectives and expects them.

Praesumptio: “Looking for Alaska”

December 7, 2011 Leave a comment

This excerpt from the novel “Looking for Alaska” by John Green uses the rhetorical term praesumptio by weighing objections and showing anticipation. In this particular situation praesumptio circles the main character Miles.

Miles realized the ball was coming at him and he anticipated it hitting him- but he froze first and hesitated. If Miles would have reacted faster without weighing his objections of the situation at hand he just might have saved himself from being hit by the ball.

In order to better analyze my term praesumptio within this text, I want to show the actions involved. This excerpt allows us to feel Miles anticipation and we can hear him weighing his objections on how he should react. The audience can visualize the character Miles thinking to himself that he should move out of the way… quick, yet he does not react quickly enough and he ends up getting hit by the ball that he seen coming at him.

When reading this passage we as an audience can place ourselves in Miles situation- we cringe when thinking about the ball hitting Miles in the face. In this situation we can feel what the character feels and anticipate what he anticipates while reading every word in this particular scenario from “Looking for Alaska”.


Green, John. Looking for Alaska. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 2005.

Tumblr. Nothing Exists: Looking for Alaska Excerpt. 4 December 2011

Praesumptio: Overview

December 7, 2011 3 comments

                The definition of the rhetorical term praesumptio means presumption; anticipation of objection; stubbornness; and enjoying anticipation according to the Latin dictionary (Latin Lookup). According to Lanham, the Latin term means “anticipation” (pg 118).

The meaning of this rhetorical term can be used to describe specific moments from situations that occur in every walk of life. The anticipation of something does not always make us happy, nor does it always mean pleasurable because we find ourselves at times expecting the worst things and foresee situations going terribly wrong. We all find ourselves anticipating something or another, and then immediately thinking of consequences of our anticipation. Something that has not happened yet is easy to anticipate, but objections from this can drive us a bit crazy.

            In modern day popular culture, examples of praesumptio can be found in a variety of different categories. Praesumptio is found in song lyrics, television commercials, television shows, movies, novels, you name it. To take a deeper look into this rhetorical term, examples from such categories will be used to achieve this deeper explanation.

Lanham, Richard A. A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms: Second Edition. Los Angeles: UCP. 1991. Print.

Latin Lookup. Latin Lookup. 4 December 2011 <;.