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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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    She's Not Talking Straight


    Quote:  “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.”  Ann Coulter, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

    Figure of Speech:  apophasis (a-PAH-pha-sis), the deny you’re saying it figure. From the Greek, meaning “denial.”

    Ann Coulter, the right’s blondest wing, favors the kind of humor that bullies liked to use against Figaro in the playground.  “Teacher says I’m not allowed to say ‘faggot’, but that’s what you are.”  This approach endears Coulter to testosterone-challenged conservatives.   She lends them vicarious cojones.

    Despite playground rumors to the contrary, Figaro admires Coulter’s figure — her apophasis figure, that is.   It allows her to take a swing at “political correctness” while calling Edwards a naughty name.  And it coyly lets her step back from her own crude smear.

    Figaro just loves high-level political discourse.

    Snappy Answer:  “That’s because you may not be a lesbian.”

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    Reader Comments (2)

    I like the figure apophasis because it's so practical and useful in different situations. Am I using it correctly here? "I would call Coulter a horse-faced Nazi bitch, but my mother taught me not to say hurtful things, even though they're true."
    March 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLinda
    "I can't say anything real mean, like for example I couldn't compare Bill Oreilly to a cannibal, it's mean to cannibals." - Oh yeah.

    I personally thought Coulter's use didn't really work, because she didn't not call him that.
    March 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJim Public

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