Tag Archives: litotes

Litotes

Litotes (li-to’-tees): Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty (downplaying one’s accomplishments) in order to gain the audience’s favor (establishing ethos).


I shouldn’t be here today. The banquet you’ve set, the adulation you’ve expressed have moved me nearly beyond words. When Ed called me “a regular Superman,” I wanted to hide under my table. Instead, Jim and Carl carried me up here to the podium in that sedan chair over there. I am so embarrassed—I’m not royalty. I’m just an ordinary guy—a very ordinary guy. Look at me for God’s sake: average height, average looks, average body, average shoe size, average hands. I am average all over, from top to bottom, from side to side. And Joe, you were way off base when you called a saint. Saints perform miracles. Do you really think that what I did was a miracle? I don’t think so, and neither should you. And Ann, you said that without people like me, the world would end. I don’t think so. Without people like me, the world would go on as it always has as a site of hope and fear, and all the other binary pairs that motivate people to act.

I awoke today to be confirmed by my peers as a hero at this beautiful celebration. One month ago I wasn’t a hero—confirmed or not. I did what I did because the world cried out to me—in fact—it screamed to me. It said: “Do something for me!” I listened. But, I did not know what to do. So, I asked my girlfriend, Eden. She told me I should do something nice. I asked what that meant. She told me that nice things benefit other people, but I needed to beware: just because I might think something’s nice, it may not seem nice to somebody else. This struck fear into my heart, giving me mild chest pains, and freezing me into inaction: I was afraid I would make a fool of myself. So, I sat on my saggy couch. Eden sat next to me. We sat in silence until the sun started to set and evening’s shadows started to inch their way across the living room carpet. My chest pains had subsided, and so had the fear (to some extent).

I stood up and pulled down my pants and yelled “Do it yourself!” at the world. I hobbled out to my front porch and yelled “Do it yourself!” My neighbor across the street came out onto his front porch, pulled down his pants and yelled “Do it yourself!” It was Fourth of July Weekend, so everybody was home. Soon, the yelling grew into a roar. “Do it yourself!” became a slogan for a social movement that has swept the world in one short month. With social media’s help, it took off like a big beautiful bird. Now, here we are celebrating the demise a charity—of giving generously with no hope of recompense, or reward. All I did was fan the flames of the fire of selfishness that’ve been burning since the beginning of time. Where do we go from here? I really don’t care. Let’s eat, drink, and be merry and work out the ironies and contradictions later! Here’s to the haves, to hell with the have nots. Here’s to “Do it yourself!”

The banquet ended. The guests left the hall. I was beginning to think that my front porch outburst had really made a mess of things. We were headed for a world without love or compassion. I told Eden to drag me home in my sedan chair. She yelled, “Do it yourself!” I pulled out my Taser and walked slowly toward her.


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

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Litotes

Litotes (li-to’-tees): Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty (downplaying one’s accomplishments) in order to gain the audience’s favor (establishing ethos).


I don’t deserve your adulation—what I did isn’t really worthy of praise, or “kudos” as the Grecians say. The baby chick had been separated from its mother by the tornado that blew across our farm. It turned my tractor upside down, tore the roof off of my house and carried the baby chick up into the branches of what was left of our heirloom oak tree. The chick was making a constant cheeping sound. It was driving me crazy. I had to get the chick out of the tree. I tried throwing a tennis ball at him, but he cheeped louder every time I threw it at him. I tried a water hose, but when the water stream hit him, he just dug in his chicken claws and cheeped even louder. As I headed inside to get my shotgun, I got an idea. I could reverse my vacuum cleaner so it would blow instead of suck. I could load it with corn and spray it at at the chick! Surely, he would gobble it up and come down from the tree for more. It didn’t work. When the corn hit him, he cheeped even louder. So, I got my shotgun, loaded it and was ready to fire when my lost dog came running across the yard. He jumped up on me and the gun went off. I was prepared to see a mutilated chick hanging from the branch. Then I heard cheeping about 10 feet away on the ground. It was the unharmed chick. The dog had made me miss the chick, but I had hit the branch it was perching on and blown it off the tree.

Soon that chick will be big enough to eat. Thanks to my dog, we’ll have a nice chicken dinner.


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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

Litotes

Litotes (li-to’-tees): Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty (downplaying one’s accomplishments) in order to gain the audience’s favor (establishing ethos).

I’m not he funniest person in the world, and I haven’t earned millions in Las Vegas. But, I can make you laugh so hard you’ll wet your pants. Are you ready?

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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

Abbaser

Abbaser [George] Puttenham’s English term for tapinosis. Also equivalent to meiosis: reference to something with a name disproportionately lesser than its nature (a kind of litotes: deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite).

His hand blown off by the bomb blast, according to the news reporter in Ankara, my friend was “injured.” He isn’t injured, he is maimed for life.

Oh yeah news idiot, he was “injured” by the bomb blast, just like the woman who was standing next to him. Blown to bits, let’s call her terminally wounded.

Post your own abbaser on the “Comments” page!

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

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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

 

Antenantiosis

Antenantiosis  (an’-ten-an’-ti-os’-is): See litotes. (Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty [downplaying one’s accomplishments] in order to gain the audience’s favor [establishing ethos]).

I have always loved going fast, fast food, and fasting.

As a tribute to my love of fast, and what I have allegedly accomplished in the name of fast, you Governor Christie and the New Jersey State Legislature have proclaimed this “Freddy Fast Fast Faster Day.”

Let me tell you what I think it took for you to decide to proclaim this Freddy Fast, Fast, Faster Day.

When I ran away from my wife and kids, talk about fast, they couldn’t believe I had packed and left in under two minutes. They didn’t even have time to start crying or asking for money!

As for fast food, I am the only person in the world to eat 12 McDonald’s Quarter-Pounders raw–that’s fast food as fast as it gets!

And now, ever since that vomit-stained day, I’ve been fasting–dieting for so long that people are calling it a hunger strike!

I am honored by having a holiday named in my honor, but I also have a confession to make.

If I were Roadrunner, or Mickey D’s mother, or a prisoner protesting about something by not eating anything, then, maybe I could say “I deserve this honor.”

When I found about it, I said out lound “I’m just plain Freddy.”

My bookie overheard me.  He smiled and said, “Freddy, in a New Jersey kind of a way, being fast to leave your family, being a fast-food junkie, and being an obese guy with B.O. and occasional diarrhea from fasting on prune juice and raw clams, you deserve to have a day named in your honor.”

Well, that did it. I said out loud, “There should be a Freddy Fast, Fast, Faster Day! Al said, “Yes!  And for the hell of it, let’s call it Freddy FFFer Day. Freddy,  you always were, and still are, an F’n F-er!”

And so, with all my heart, thank you Governor Christie and all you state Senators and Representatives who’ve made such a wonderful judgment call. I also want to thank my cousin Joey, who owed me, and Turtlehead who set me straight.

Happy Freddy FFFer Day! Fast, Fast, Faster!

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

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Correctio

Correctio (cor-rec’-ti-o): The amending of a term or phrase just employed; or, a further specifying of meaning, especially by indicating what something is not (which may occur either before or after the term or phrase used). A kind of redefinition, often employed as a parenthesis (an interruption) or as a climax.

This is not a drill!  It’s a pipe wrench and I’m going to whack you in the head with it if you don’t stop humming that damn Mario Brothers chip-tune!

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

 

Litotes

Litotes (li-to’-tees): Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty (downplaying one’s accomplishments) in order to gain the audience’s favor (establishing ethos).

E: New Jersey.

A: Bigger than a breadbasket.

E: Governor Christie.

A: Bigger than a breadbasket.

E: Is there anything smaller than a breadbasket?

A: My parking space in Hoboken.

E: What about Fort Lee?

A: Bigger than a toll booth.

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

Antenantiosis

Antenantiosis  (an’-ten-an’-ti-os’-is): See litotes. (Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty [downplaying one’s accomplishments] in order to gain the audience’s favor [establishing ethos]).

Yes, I am faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but I’m not a bird or a plane. If I was, I would have feathers and a propellor and would be much more interesting to see up in the sky.

No, I’m just this guy from the planet Krypton who grew up in a small midwestern village, have two wonderful adoptive parents, X-ray vision, and a dog that wears a red cape.

So please, don’t call me “Superman.” Please,  just call me “Commendable Person” and leave it at that.  Ok, Lois?

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

Abbaser

Abbaser [George] Puttenham’s English term for tapinosis. Also equivalent to meiosis: reference to something with a name disproportionately lesser than its nature (a kind of litotes: deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite).

Love: Not bad for a four-letter word!

Post your own abbaser on the “Comments” page!

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

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. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

 

Litotes

Litotes (li-to’-tees): Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty (downplaying one’s accomplishments) in order to gain the audience’s favor (establishing ethos).

Sure, I climbed Mt. Everest barefoot, but it’s nothing to get excited about.  After all, I was only 82 years old when I did it!

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

Litotes

Litotes (li-to’-tees): Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty (downplaying one’s accomplishments) in order to gain the audience’s favor (establishing ethos).

His campaign promises are not unbelievable.

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

Litotes

Litotes (li-to’-tees): Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty (downplaying one’s accomplishments) in order to gain the audience’s favor (establishing ethos).

When I saved the company from financial disaster, I was only doing my job.

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

Abbaser

Abbaser: [George] Puttenham’s English term for tapinosis. Also equivalent to meiosis: reference to something with a name disproportionately lesser than its nature (a kind of litotes: deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite).

New York–a little town on a little island in a river.

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

Antenantiosis

Antenantiosis: (an’-ten-an’-ti-os’-is): See litotes. (Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty [downplaying one’s accomplishments] in order to gain the audience’s favor [establishing ethos]).

So I swam across the English Channel in a business suit–it’s not like I walked across!

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

Meiosis

Meiosis (mei-o’-sis): Reference to something with a name disproportionately lesser than its nature (a kind of litotes). This term is equivalent to tapinosis.

We’ve got to cross those mountains to get to California?  Hey–they’re just a couple of snow-capped bumps on the trail. Right?

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

Litotes

Litotes (li-to’-tees): Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite. The Ad Herennium author suggests litotes as a means of expressing modesty (downplaying one’s accomplishments) in order to gain the audience’s favor (establishing ethos).

Finding your kitten was no big deal, and driving 20 miles out of my way to bring him home to you was the least I could do.  I can’t imagine you offering me a reward!

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