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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Apophasis December 21, Figures of Speech

Apophasis: When the other figures of speech ask me who I like best, I always say, "I love you all equally in different ways."  But the truth is, apophasis has always been my favorite.  From Greek apo "deny" and phani "to say," apophasis is when you say something by claiming not to say it.  Marc Antony gets off a gorgeous piece of apophasis in Julius Caesar when he tells the mob, "it's good you know not you are Caesar's heirs."  Other pieces of apophasis include statements like, "If I've told you once, I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate," or "I'm not talking to you."  The titles of the old Underdog cartoon, I believe it was Underdog, it may have been Bullwinkle, were old-fashioned bills pasted onto walls.  The last of the bills said, "post no bills."

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