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 [can include oxymoron].

A: I can’t believe, imagine, or even pretend that you’re a demented prince.  The demented part, I believe. But, if you’re a prince, I’m a microwave oven.

B: Samsung? Panasonic? Or, some off-brand?

A: I can’t believe you believe I’m a microwave oven!

B: You are banished insolent appliance. Guards, take him back to the kitchen and plug him in.

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

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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