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fundevogel's avatar

Quick, it's a vocabulary emergency! Anyone know the word for....?

Asked by fundevogel (15030 points ) November 12th, 2011

…when a person denies that they’re going to say something for the explicit purpose of calling attention to the thing they’ve claimed they aren’t going to talk about.

You know, like:

“I’m not going to say I told you so.”

I know there’s a word for it. I’ve seen it. I just can’t remember it. Help me and I swear I will commit it forever to memory this time with all the other hopelessly specific terms in my head. I’m looking at you gralloch.

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24 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I know this isn’t what you’re looking for, the specific word. But the behavior itself is passive-aggressive, if that helps you think of it.

Judi's avatar

That’s what I was going to say too augie.

Jaxk's avatar

There are a few that might fit.

Verbal Paradox
Oxymoron
Logical Fallacy
Or maybe just a fallacy

You pick.

fundevogel's avatar

You’re all under the right umbrella. I’m just looking for a particular spoke. There is an actual word for it, I hope someone knows it.

I wish there was google page for all the fantastically navel-gazing words describing words and ways of speaking. Sure, you don’t need to bust out “portmanteau” or “homophone” very often, but it beats having to devote a sentence or two to explaining what the hell you’re talking about when you can’t remember it.

ETpro's avatar

It’s a form of apiria.

fundevogel's avatar

Not quite. It’s ironic for sure, and possibly hypocritical, but when a person does it they know exactly what they are doing so it’s isn’t really a logical fallacy.

To me it feels a little like old preface :

“I’m not ______, but…”

The whole point of it is setting yourself up a way of saying something that it might not be so flattering to say. It’s doesn’t matter that there’s a contradiction, it’s not about logic, it’s just about highlighting something in a way that lets you kinda sorta wash your hands of it.

ETpro's avatar

@fundevogel I misspelled it. It should be aporia. And indeed it is a form of aporia. Look at Demda’s use of it here.

Jaxk's avatar

Well, let’s see. How about sophistry. Or possibly, metastasis.

fundevogel's avatar

@ETpro You aren’t wrong, but you aren’t right enough.

I’m looking for “Irish wolfhound” and getting “dog”. Not to slight your contributions. I wasn’t familiar with many of the terms the bunch of you have come up with.

Jaxk's avatar

Last try

epitrope

ratboy's avatar

Apophasis: a rhetorical term for the mention of something in disclaiming intention of mentioning it—or pretending to deny what is really affirmed. Adjective: apophatic. Similar to paralepsis.”

sndfreQ's avatar

Insinuating

fundevogel's avatar

@ratboy That’s it! Paralipsis is totally the word I was looking for.

fundevogel's avatar

@Jaxk “epitrope”

Not what I was thinking of but boy howdy is that in the same class of super-specific word-words. Also, it’s super annoying when people do that.

zensky's avatar

That was fun – I’m late, but I just wanted to say that this thread is why I lurve Fluther.

fundevogel's avatar

@zensky I’d be SOL with out it. Where else on the entire internet could I have posed this question and have someone actually know the word? Fluther is a wonderful thing.

smilingheart1's avatar

Pretense was what I meant to communicate

zensky's avatar

@fundevogel And get 6 GQ’s for it.

fundevogel's avatar

@zensky Clearly it appealed to the lowest common denominator. Jellies are suckers linguistic wankery.

zensky's avatar

@fundevogel Worthy of a gaol cell.

fundevogel's avatar

@zensky That really confused me the first time I saw that in a novel.

Bellatrix's avatar

I use gaol instead of jail. I think I’m being pompous on all honesty. As a product of the British school system I was taught the correct form is gaol and always believed jail was a US alternative and we can’t use that now can we! (Said in my best plum in mouth accent).

However, I have noticed while reading colonial newspapers, the most common spelling used is jail. This is as far back as 1803. Gaol is used but mostly it seems in headlines such as ‘Gaol Delivery’. The choice to use jail is related to newspaper space. Jail takes up less space than gaol and according to Sally White (1996 I think), it also avoids the obvious potential confusion between goal and gaol. I need to get out my dictionary but a quick Wiktionary search suggests both words have the same etymology. “From Middle English gaiole, gayle, gaile, gayll, via Old French gaiole, gaole, geole, geole, from Medieval Latin gabiola, for *caveola, a diminutive of Latin cavea (“cavity, coop, cage”).” More research required I think.

bea2345's avatar

I would call it provocation.

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