Daily Archives: January 20, 2008


Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless.

What are the top three things I can’t even imagine?

Number three:  I can’t imagine a world without taxes.

Number two: I can’t imagine what it would be like not to have a credit card.*

Number one: I can’t imagine what it would be like not to imagine what I can’t imagine.

*My 14-year-old daughter just told me she doesn’t have a credit card and she knows what it’s like: I buy her stuff with my credit card.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.