Tapinosis (ta-pi-no’-sis): Giving a name to something which diminishes it in importance.
Operative: My name is Nello. I’m glad to see you can afford a Rolls Roach: the automobile of the aristocracy—the automobile of the oppressor. You should know better than to stop for a saw horse with a blinking yellow light. And driving alone too—tsk tsk. Get out of the car, or should I say scar? Pants down! Hands up! I’ll just fish your wallet out of your jacket pocket while you tremble and think about your immediate future. Ok, what’s your phone’s passcode—don’t make me smash your skull with this tire iron. Ok. What’s your bank account’s pin? You’re going to give me a grant to save the world from people like you. Ok, I bet you even know your swift code Mr. International Business Man. Time to empty your account into mine. Ahhh. Nice. Now, take off your pants. We’re going to soak them in gasoline and use them to torch the 4-wheeled obscenity you’re driving. Normally, we’d take your shoes too, but it’s supposed to rain & we don’t want you getting your feet wet. He ha! Do you have anything to say?
Victim: Yes indeed! I obtained this car about an hour ago from the headquarters of Pompelmous Corporation, makers of edible listening devices disguised as grapefruits. I have disguised myself as Pompelmous’s CEO and am on my way to sabotage a secret meeting in New Vernon to discuss expanding their line of devices to English muffins and Taylor Ham. I will kill all the attendees. I am unafraid to sacrifice my life to protect my privacy and save us all from government snooping into every facet of our lives.
Operative: My God! That’s beautiful! Pull up your pants and be on your way!
Victim: (on cellphone). Hello, police? There’s a gang of revolutionaries on RTE. 12 right outside Green Village with a fake roadblock. They are flagging down luxury automobiles, in the name of some kind of political movement, and taking the occupants’ money. Oh, you’ve already gotten a number of other calls? Why are they still there? Under surveillance? Is this Nello? Nello?
Operative: Yes. It’s me and I’m in the back seat with a Glock aimed at your head. Turn this shit barge around. We’re headed for the Great Swamp. I’ll be driving alone to the chop shop and you’ll be face-down in the mud. Don’t try any funny business or our little ride will abruptly end.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.