Thursday, June 12, 2008
Because nothing's more erotical than gettin' rhetorical...on a Friday!
From Wikipedia.org: Litotes
In rhetoric, litotes is a figure of speech in which, rather than making a certain statement directly, a speaker expresses it even more effectively, or achieves emphasis, by denying its opposite. For example, rather than merely saying that Todd's mom is hot (or even smokin' hot), one might say that Todd's mom is "not unhot".Litotes is one of our favorites, but we find it most effective when the speaker/writer uses it to subtly criticize another--the idea being that they're too polite (or cowardly) to say something outright insulting ("Your recital was not bad...") or when the criticizee is right on some trivial point but missing a larger issue, such as the classic line from The Big Lebowski: "You're not wrong, Walter, you're just an asshole."