Epitrope


Epitrope (e-pi’-tro-pe): A figure in which one turns things over to one’s hearers, either pathetically, ironically, or in such a way as to suggest a proof of something without having to state it. Epitrope often takes the form of granting permission (hence its Latin name, permissio), submitting something for consideration, or simply referring to the abilities of the audience to supply the meaning that the speaker passes over (hence Puttenham’s term, figure of reference). Epitrope can be either biting in its irony, or flattering in its deference.

A specific form of epitrope is the (apparent) admission of what is wrong in order to carry our point.

Go ahead, don’t vote! It doesn’t matter if another candidate gets elected that might as well come from Mars. Who cares if our mayor works for us? Who cares if our children get the best public education possible? Who cares if our police force is a pack of donut-sucking cretan lickspittles?

Have another beer.

It’s good to be an irresponsible oaf! Enjoy yourself!

A rubber bullet in the butt is just what you need!

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

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

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