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Paradiastole

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Paradiastole

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Paradiastole is the conversion of a vice into a virtue, typically using a euphemism.

Example

I am not so much arrogant as you say as confident, which perhaps you are not.

You call her ugly because you do not see her beauty.

Yes, I know it does not work all the time, but that is what makes it interesting. 

Discussion

To be accused of vice is to be accused to of transgressing social values and so risk being ostracized. People thus accused may well seek to reframe what is being called a vice into a virtue, effectively doing a reversal.

Sales people may use paradiastole when they turn an objection into a benefit.

Paradiastole may also be used in an ironic or sarcastic sense, such when a person committing a foolish act is praised as being a genius.

Paradiastole comes from the Greek 'para', meaning 'next to' and 'stole', meaning 'dressing up'.

Classification: Reversal.

See also

The Seven Deadly Sins, Reframing, Objection-handling

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