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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Apophasis

Since I got off on the subject of litotes the other day, I thought I'd do a blog on my favorite figure of speech, apophasis.  About.com defines it as "the mention of something in disclaiming intention of mentioning it--or pretending to deny what is really affirmed."
It's pretty rare to hear a good apophasis, which is why it's my favorite.  Some examples include, "I'm not talking to you," "I'm not going to tell you what a butt-hole I think you are."
They're not neccessarilly rude, Marc Anthony gets off a beautiful apophasis when he tells the plebians, "It's good you know not you are Caesar's heirs."  Even as a precocious five-year-old, I myself nearly made an apophasis at the dinner table when I naively asked, "Does Helen know about her birthday cake?"  To which my mother sagely replied, "She does now."
Writing a blog about apophasis virtually requires you to cleverly use one to wrap up with, but the problem is they're so consarn hard to come up with.  Wait a minute, I've got one!  By golly, an apophasis and a paradox!
I don't have a clever ending for this blog.

1 comment:

  1. This happens a couple of times a year. I’ll be a strange shaggy-haired man roaming through an elementary school on my way to get more sound gear from my car. A teacher will dart out from her classroom.
    “May I help you?”

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