Thursday, January 15, 2009

Of Litotes and Apophasis

I mentioned to someone that there's a rhetorical tool which is where you bring up something by not bringing it up, e.g. "Your Honor, The People do not have any interest in speaking about the defendant's past record of alleged sex abuse."

The fundamental word for "mentioning by not mentioning" is apophasis. There are many types of apophasis and wiki has, to me, a fascinating article. I am most fond of praeterito and I get all proslepsitic on people's a$$es about Batman!

Praeterito: Drawing attention to something while pretending to pass it over - The more common name for praeterito is paralipsis.

Proslepsis: An extreme form of paralipsis in which the speaker provides great detail while feigning to pass over a topic.

Litotes: Emphasizing the magnitude of a statement by denying its opposite, e.g. "she's not an unattractive girl."

Having read all this, I wish I was smarter. Not in a wistful way, but in a wouldn't it be cool if I was as strong as Captain America way? Wouldn't it be cool if I was 10th level intelletc? Of course this leads to another ramble:

21st century Earth's entirety of knowledge constitutes a 6th level intellect (DC Universe). Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes has a 12th level intellect. 31st century Earth is supposed to have a 9th level intellect.

There's a great two lines in the series finale of JLU where Metron says to Luthor "only a 12th level intellect can survive crossing into the Source Wall.""well in that case, I'm overqualified!'OH SNAP. No he didn't INTERROBANG Yes, I think he did. Damn.

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