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Aphorismus

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Aphorismus

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Aphorismus is questioning or challenging the meaning of a word.

Example

Call yourself a man? You're acting like a boy!

That's not a car, it's a lawn mower!

Is that 'music' is these days? How impoverished you must be.

Discussion

Words are little packets of meaning that have all kinds of connotations by which we enrich and extend the language. For example, 'man' may also mean 'strong', 'independent', 'chivalrous', and so on.

This gives plenty of scope in challenging the meaning of a word by challenging one of the extended elements. Thus, for example, a man who is not 'strong' may have his manhood challenged in an ad hominem attack that implies that failure to comply with one added meaning is failure to comply with the basic meaning or denotation of the word.

Classification: Questioning, Meaning

See also

Meaning, Fallacies, Attack the Person, Assumption principle

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