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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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    « Palin: Bush in Diguise! | Main | I, Like, Know »

    Biden Him Good

    I’m looking forward to meeting Joe Biden. I’ve been looking forward to meeting him since the second grade.


    ennoia (en-NOY-a), the figure of faint praise. From the Greek, meaning “hidden intention.”

    Oh, that saucy Sarah Palin!  With a smile like a dog’s before it bites you, she delivers her lines with an energy we haven’t seen politicians exhibit in some time.  We’re happy to see Governor Palin’s comfort with one of the finer figures. The ennoia damns the victim through faint praise, allowing you to seem agreeable  even when you’re on the attack. But Palin’s use of an it to imply the age of her hoary counterpart strikes us as a tad, well, schoolyardish. 

    And why isn’t John McCain laughing?

    Snappy Answer: “About the time you decided you were qualified for the vice presidency?”

    Here’s another example of ennoia.

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    Reader Comments (5)

    You're back Figaro! I was wondering if you would return to help us sort out all this rhetoric now that silly season is in full swing.
    October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMikeP
    It's been driving me crazy--constant travel along with a moronic inability to handle the technology remotely. Sigh. Someday I'll learn how to do this by phone.

    October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    Hey! why arent your blog updates emailing themselves to me! How am i supposed to get updated if it doesnt show up in my inbox!??
    October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDjr
    While 'faint praise' is an example of ennoia, more accurately, ennoia refers to any type of circumlocution in which certain information is held back, but is hinted at.
    June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGhost Dogg
    Whoa, Ghost Dogg, please. I just can't keep up with your hip, young
    September 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDr Pangloss

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