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Paralipsis

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Paralipsis

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Paralipsis involves suggesting, by deliberately concise treatment, that much of significance is omitted.

Example

I will speak only about his good side.

This is not really about how much it will cost.

Not to mention her family, of course.

Discussion

When we say little about something that obviously deserves more, we leave the unsaid things hanging in the air for all to know. In this way we can avoid embarrassing or difficult discussion in we might be challenged.

In saying that we will not talk about something, we have to mention that thing, thus drawing attention to it.

Paralipsis is also spelled as Paraleipsis.
It comes from Greek paraleipein ‘to leave on one side’, ‘to omit’, which itself comes from para ‘beside’ and leipein ‘to leave’

Classification: Omission

See also

Praeteritio, Apophasis, Attention principle

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