Rhetorical Device: Expeditio

Expeditio is sometimes called the "argument from residuals". It is the tactic of introducing a series of possibilities and then eliminating all but one. This device makes it seem as though all choices have been considered, when in fact you've been steering your audience towards the one choice you desired all along.


It is hard to find good examples of this technique from famous speeches that are short enough to quote here. For this reason, and because we have to make a living, I have opted to use my own example. The following uses expeditio to frame an argument for why you should use our WeWriteSpeeches' services to help ensure your wedding is a success:
So you need a good wedding speech? You have a number of good choices. You can spend many hours doing your own research, copy/pasting from other people's work, and then rewording it to make it your own. That will cost you no money but it will cost you a lot of time, and the result might be less than perfect.
Or you can buy a pre-written template from the internet. It will save you time, but it won't be very personalised, and you are likely to end up with the wrong mix of content, with little consideration given to the particular combination of speakers at your event.
Another option is to hire a professional speechwriter who will interview you and write a fully personalised speech based on the information they have gathered. If you get a good one, and they write all the speeches for the event, you should get great results, but it won't be particularly cheap. Finally, you could use our affordable self-service speech writing tool, where your personal content, our curated content and AI-authored content will be blended together using our proprietary algorithms, into a unique personalised speech, that is tailored to the circumstances. E. Ryan, "Sample sales pitch for WeWriteSpeeches structured using Expeditio"

WeWriteSpeeches rhetorical device explainer card on expeditio

Further reading

  • Nordquist, Richard: "Expeditio (elimination)" ThoughtCo Visit
  • Silva Rhetoricæ: The Forest of Rhetoric Visit
  • IFIOQUE.COM: Expeditio Visit