Quote: “Many countries collectively agree … that children are a tantrum wrapped in a diaper and not worth the trouble.” Emily Yoffee in Slate.
Figure of Speech: tapinosis (tap-in-O-sis), the belittler.
Emily Yoffee had the nerve to write that childless women might consider bearing children — that they might actually like it. Many readers took her advice as an insult of their lifestyle. One called Yoffee a “mindless breeder,” a tapinosis in its own right. She uses a tapinosis of her own to sum up what seems to be a First World attitude.
The tapinosis (“humiliation”) is an artful form of name-calling. Similar to a meiosis, it uses a belittling phrase in place of the person or thing’s actual name. A fun way to employ the figure is to do what Yoffee did: describe the object of your scorn as something wrapped in something.
Consider it a sort of rhetorical tamale.
Snappy Answer: “Those countries must have sat next to those children on my last flight.”