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Figaro rips the innards out of things people say and reveals the rhetorical tricks and pratfalls. For terms and definitions, click here.
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    Also, the Bride Must Not Drool While Tearing the Wrapping

    wedding2.jpgQuote:  "You must pretend that you invite people because you want to celebrate important occasions with them, and you must seem pleasantly surprised when they give you something." Miss Manners' wedding advice

    Figure of Speech:  accismus (ak SIS muss), the oh-you-shouldn't-have figure

    If you're cheap or greedy (and Figaro admits to being both), the accismus -- a fake refusal -- is your figure of choice.  Latin for "coyness," it makes you look like less of a jerk than you really are.

    Snappy Answer:  "Oh, we don't want a gift.  A check will suffice."

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    Reader Comments (1)

    Feigning disinterest in something while actually desiring it. [From Greek akkismos (coyness or affectation).] Rhetorical device of pretending to refuse. Accismus is showing disinterest in something while secretly wanting it. It's a form of irony where one pretends indifference and refuses something while actually wanting it. In Aesop's fable, the fox pretends he doesn't care for the grapes. Caesar, in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, is reported as not accepting the crown.
    April 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKumar

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