Apoplanesis (a-po-plan’-e-sis): Promising to address the issue but effectively dodging it through a digression.

Q: Why did you storm the Capitol claiming you’re a patriot and carrying a big American flag, and later, beat a police officer over the head with the flagpole?

A: Ok ok. I’ll give it a try. You should ask me why I still live in America, but I’m gonna do stupid things anyway. I don’t fault you for asking that question. I guess you could say that I’m the kind of patriot that beats up police. “Beats up” has such a harsh ring to it. It’s like so much of the language we use to insult and anger our fellow people. Language robs us of our voice. We all use the same words. Or, at least In America we are supposed to speak American, but that’s not how it is and it makes me mad. I . . .

Q: All right. Step down. Bailiff, please escort the prisoner back to his cell.

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

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