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    It's Your Turn to Change the Tantrum

    tantrum.jpgQuote:  “Many countries collectively agree … that children are a tantrum wrapped in a diaper and not worth the trouble.”  Emily Yoffee in Slate.

    Figure of Speechtapinosis (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.”

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    Reader Comments (1)

    June 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKyle M. Terrizzi

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