Word of the Day

Monday, October 08, 2012

apophasis

\uh-POF-uh-sis\ , noun;
1.
Denial of one's intention to speak of a subject that is at the same time named or insinuated, as “I shall not mention Caesar's avarice, nor his cunning, nor his morality.”
Quotes:
But I think that anything that is deep isn't love, it's deliberate calculation or schizophrenia. I myself wouldn't even attempt to say what love is - probably both love and God can only be defined by apophasis, through those things that they are not.
-- Viktor Pelevin, The Sacred Book of the Werewolf
"…Now, I have no desire to be a backseat driver—” Apophasis, Chris thought; saying you're not going to say something in order to say it. Nixon's favorite device, and Newt Gingrich's, and Karl Rove's—fine old Republican tradition.
-- John Barnes, Directive 51
Origin:
Apophasis stems from the Greek word apópha meaning "to say no, deny." The suffix -sis appears in Greek loanwords, where it forms an abstract noun from a verb, as in thesis.
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