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    We Will Not Discuss Flatulence

    whoopie_throne.jpgQuote:  “My lord, we had quite forgot the fart.”  Queen Elizabeth I.

    Figure of Speech:  apophasis (a-PA-pha-sis), the not-to-mention figure.  From the Greek, meaning “denial.”

    The story goes that Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, farted in front of the Virgin Queen.  Mortified, he went into exile for seven years (and, according to another legend, wrote plays attributed to Shakespeare).

    When the earl finally returned, the queen greeted him with an apophasis — an ironic figure that asserts a point by denying it.  We at Figures Central have encountered many examples, but none so deft as Elizabeth’s.  Historians say the story is probably apocryphal, but  Figaro prefers to follow the wisdom of Winston Churchill:  “It is all true,” he said of King Arthur, “or it ought to be.”

    Still, we have nothing to say about our current president’s love of fart jokes; nor about his ancestors, who apparently passed royal genes as well as gas.  

    No, none of that.  When it comes to farting, Figaro chooses to remain silent.

    Snappy Answer:  “Your majesty’s odor is far more memorable.”

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