Daily Archives: September 7, 2007

Paralipsis

Paralipsis (par-a-lip’-sis): Stating and drawing attention to something in the very act of pretending to pass it over (see also cataphasis). A kind of irony.

On a day like this, at a gathering such as this, it would be totally inappropriate to mention our esteemed office manager’s creative accounting practices, his crafty habit of “rescuing” our lunches from the refrigerator in the copy room, and his marvelous capacity for taking credit for nearly every good thing that happens around here, when, in fact, he can’t even turn on his own computer!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Cataphasis

Cataphasis (kat-af’-a-sis): A kind of paralipsis in which one explicitly affirms the negative qualities that one then passes over.

I’m not going to talk about all the pain you’ve caused–the people you’ve exploited and treated like trash–the squandered retirement funds and the bogus stock deals. Instead, I’m going to talk about ethical business practices, following the law, and my firm’s absolute commitment to both.

  • Post your own cataphasis on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)