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Hello. There is a word describing the act of "saying something by saying you're not going to say it." Such as in "I'm not going to say I told you so." The word is in my head somewhere but I can't recall it. Any ideas? Thanks!
 
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Welcome, Buraian.

Were you thinking of litotes?

[oops, now that I look it up, I see I'm wrong. Hope to redeem myself.]

This message has been edited. Last edited by: wordnerd,
 
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I'd say it was a form of obversion


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Welcome, Buraian! See my PM.

Arnie, that's a nice site. I see it has one of my favorite words: "oligarchy."

It sounds similar to anapodoton (an-a-PO-do-ton), but that's not it. I wrote a limerick for OEDILF on anapodoton, which is when a main clause is suggested by the introduction of a subordinate clause, but that main clause never occurs.

Here's the limerick:

"If you think I am going to take
Your insults..." [...you make a mistake].
That rhet'ric device
Is the overconcise
Anapodoton — no, it's not fake!
 
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Picture of Richard English
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And Kalleh's effirts led me to ask Philology Pete what he thought on the topic of anapadoton. This is what he had to say:

If you've heard of Philology Pete
And those things he does, out on the street...
That rhetorical pause
Is the drop-the-main-clause
Anapodoton's lexical feat.


Richard English
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Buraian:
Hello. There is a word describing the act of "saying something by saying you're not going to say it." Such as in "I'm not going to say I told you so." The word is in my head somewhere but I can't recall it. Any ideas? Thanks!

Apophasis? Check out www.figarospeech.com, by Jay Heinrichs. Here's what he says about apophasis.

Heinrichs has listed his "Best Books on Rhetoric." Of course, the first one is his book, Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion, due to be released next month.

I don't have the expertise to really evaluate this site but, of course, I won't let that stop me. But maybe those who really do know what they're talking about (or think they know what they're talking about) can evaluate it for me.

Tinman
 
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OneLook's quick definition for apophasis is "mentioning something by saying it will not be mentioned".

Sounds spot on to the original query for me.

And of course the OEDILF has this

apophasis by Virge (Virgil Keys)

Apophasis: I'll never say
That it means giving secrets away
When, by slip or pretension,
You casually mention
The things that you shouldn't betray.

a-POPH-a-sis means mentioning something by saying it will not be mentioned.
WPSI


and this

apophasis by Chuck Folkers

I can neither confirm nor deny
That apophasis ought to apply
When a fact is denied
But denial's belied
By a comment allowed to slip by.

(uh-PAH-fuh-sis)
 
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Apophasis! That's it. Thank you. I knew I came to the right place. Smile
 
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