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Praecisio

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Praecisio

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Praecisio is making a point by remaining silent.

Example

A defendant in court refuses to speak on the grounds that they have nothing to defend against.

A modern poet composes a poem that is just silence for sixty seconds.

Discussion

In a clamorous world where everyone is shouting to get attention, a novel reversal that can get attention is to to the opposite of shouting -- saying nothing, even in the face of provocation.

A trick with using Praecisio is to use the context as frame to provide the meaning, such as the soundless defence in the courtroom that actually speaks volumes.

Actors also use Praecisio to communicate through body language. A lot can be said with a gesture or a look or a positioning of the limbs.

Classification: Hidden

See also

Framing principle

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