Words & Stuff

rrr: And Not a Mere Device (Reader Comments and Addenda)

(12 January 2000)

The word I was trying to think of for the device of "claiming not to be saying something when you're saying it" is apophasis. Unfortunately sources disagree as to what precisely that is. The word can apparently be used as a synonym of praeteritio (the pretending-to-omit-information "I shall refrain from mentioning..." one); I think I was just wrong in thinking that it applied generally to "I come to bury Caesar"-type "I'm not saying x" statements.

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Jed Hartman <logophilia@kith.org>