Inopinatum


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].

It is beyond belief that you’d actually consider attacking North Korea.

Ever since you’ve been President, I thought you’ve been kind of stupid, but your stupidity did not endanger the existence of the planet!

I can’t believe you’d actually blow us all up. Tell us it isn’t true! You’re just bluffing, right? If you’re not bluffing, I think you need to start looking for a new job–Leader of the Free World is beyond your capabilities.

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

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