In the paper the concept of a rhetorical device (RD), suggested in the author's previous publications, is being developed. The RD means a deliberate and pragmatically motivated deviation from different varieties of the norm, which is regarded too widely as an ontological category. The ontological typology of the norms and the corresponding typology of RD are constructed on the basis of a fragmentation of the 'naive world picture', which is given not by philosophical theory, but is drawn directly from the whole complex of the texts that served as a matter of research (mostly anecdotes, some Russian folk tales, fantasy and post-modernistic fiction). As a result some particular ontology and corresponding RD types were pointed out and new terms suggested. Besides the RD classification on the ontological basis, the author offers the idea that the most important significance for rhetoric is their operational classification, which could disclose the system of principles (mechanisms) of RD construction. This idea is being illustrated by the examples of RD which are organized according to the principles of economy, redundancy and contamination. A systematical characteristic of the elocutionary devices inherent to the genre of newspaper anecdotes is also given.