Charientismus (kar-i-en-tia’-mus): Mollifying harsh words by answering them with a smooth and appeasing mock.
A: You can’t tell the difference between shit and Shinola.
B: At least I don’t eat it.
A: Are you saying I eat shit?
B: No, no! I’m saying I don’t eat shit. If you want to eat shit (or Shinola), that’s your business. It’s probably safer to eat shit than Shinola. Shinola’s loaded with harmful ingredients—definitely poisonous. Also, it will stain your teeth—a dead giveaway to Shinola-eating.
A: Ok. Let me put it another way: If brains were dynamite, you wouldn’t have enough to blow your nose.
B: Thank God for that! I’d rather be unable to blow my nose than have my head blown off by my big knowledge-filled brain!
A: You’re hopeless. Let’s go to the pub and have a few beers.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)
The Daily Trope excerpt are available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.