Antenantiosis (an’-ten-an’-ti-os’-is): See litotes. (Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty [downplaying one’s accomplishments] in order to gain the audience’s favor [establishing ethos]).
Yes, I am faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but I’m not a bird or a plane. If I was, I would have feathers and a propellor and would be much more interesting to see up in the sky.
No, I’m just this guy from the planet Krypton who grew up in a small midwestern village, have two wonderful adoptive parents, X-ray vision, and a dog that wears a red cape.
So please, don’t call me “Superman.” Please, just call me “Commendable Person” and leave it at that. Ok, Lois?
- Post your own antenantiosis on the “Comments” page!
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).