Rhetorical Shorthand . . . .

english-shorthand  Gregg’s Shorthand

Some Remember Those Days!

In a couple of messages by Clay Smith, two interesting rhetorical techniques can be illustrated.  This is the first one of two.

#1) Creating A Useful Shorthand Expression

He frames a closing application with this statement, “Your 2020 family.”

Now that is another way and a good way to say what is far more bland, trite, and conventional.  Using and explaining the phrase “your 2020 family” packs that phrase with a succinct or condensed useful meaning which can then be used as a shorthand expression — 2020.

(audio clip — “Get In The Ring” by Clay Smith @ the 40:12 marker of the full message)

I want you to go home and I want you to discuss your 2020 family.

You’re thinking, “What’s a 2020 family?”

I have no idea. I made that up.

What’s a 2020 family?

Right now it’s 2018.

So what’s going to be the difference between your 2018 family and your 2020 family?

Two years.

The full statement is something on the order of  — “So what’s going to be the difference between your 2018 family and your 2020 family?”  “Spiritually, where will you and/or your family be in the year 2020?”

However, the speaker can now just make reference to the words “your 2020 family” and even just the number — “2020.”

Rather than saying . . .

“Will you be growing in the Lord over the next several years?”


“Where will you be in coming years in your spiritual life?”


“Two years from now will your life be marked by growth?”

. . . . the speaker can say, “What about 2020?”

“Your 2020 family” sets up a quick, simple, pithy way of taking an entire idea of using it to instantly call up the point.

Once “Your 2020 family” is packed with this meaning — after several moments of explanation as to what it is meant to convey — a speaker can use it as a verbal short-cut.

i.e., You can make such statements as . . . .

  • “What makes the difference between milk and solid food? — 2020”
  • “It’s about 2020.”
  • “2020 matters to the Lord.”
  • “Don’t miss out on your 2020
  • “Think about 2020 this week!
  • “Say “2020” to yourself this week.”
  • “Challenge your children – 2020!”
  • “[Closing Word(s)]  “2020!” / or “2020 – 2020 – 2020”
  • [In Your Prayer] “Lord, help us with our 2020 – today, tomorrow, this year and next!”
  • [Shaking Hands] “2020 brother.”
  • [Repeated At Another Service] “2020” / or “Are you still focused?  2020?”
  • etc.

You can pack any word or phrase with meaning and once it is packed, you only need call up the shorthand version to call back all the meaning that was “originally packed into” that word or phrase.

You can take an illustration (historical or fictional) and grab/or pack a word or a phrase out of that illustration which carries the meaning of the whole.

You can do the same with. . . .

  • an illustration
  • a quotation
  • a biblical phrase from a narrative
  • a personal story
  • an advertisement slogan
  • a verse reference
  • a Bible character’s name
  • an event (i.e. 09/11)
  • historical term
  • sport’s terms
  • business terms
  • product slogans – “Eye It, Try It, Buy It” – Chevy
  • gambling terms — “I’m All In” (always been a little hesitant to use this)
  • etc.

One thought on “Rhetorical Shorthand . . . .

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