Quote: “There’s no way to apologize for such a sin.” San Francisco Giants manager Felipe Alou, in repsonse to an apology by radio host Larry Krueger. The radio station suspended Krueger after he called the Giants “brain-dead Caribbean players hacking at slop nightly.” Krueger also said of Alou: “You have in Felipe a manager whose mind has turned to Cream of Wheat.”
Figure of Speech: indignatio (in dig NOT ee oh), the figure of scornFelipe Alou could have told Krueger to stick a spoon in it. Instead, Alou upped the ante and labeled the insult a “sin.” Not just any sin, either—such a sin. Maybe a deadly one. (We always forget which sin comes after lust.)
Ordinarily, when you drag God into a debate, don’t look for a consensus. An argument has to do with persuasion and public opinion, while religion is about faith and an omniscient authority. But in this case, Krueger has a heavenly appeal. At least one religion gets you out of a sin if you say you’re sorry and mean it. It’s called Christianity.
Snappy Answer: "What do you suggest instead? Hell?"
Indignatio isn’t so much an expression of indignation as an attempt to make an audience see your adversary as a jerk. When you use the figure, just make sure you don’t come off as a bigger jerk.