About This Site

Figaro rips the innards out of things people say and reveals the rhetorical tricks and pratfalls. For terms and definitions, click here.
(What are figures of speech?)
Ask Figaro a question!

This form does not yet contain any fields.

    « Cynics: Do Not Read | Main | GOP Boots the Gipper! »

    Hiding It Under the Afghan

    The wrenching debate over the Iraq war is well-known and need not be repeated here. It’s enough to say that for the next six years, the Iraq war drew the dominant share of our troops, our resources, our diplomacy, and our national attention — and that the decision to go into Iraq caused substantial rifts between America and much of the world.

    President Obama, speaking at West Point

     occultatio (uh-cul-TAH-tio), the not-to-mention figure. From the Latin, meaning “insinuation.”

     Okay, people, we’re not going to mention that this whole stuck-in-Afghanistan thing happened because my predecessor—whom I won’t stoop to name—had an attention-span problem that caused our armed forces to end up in the wrong country.

    This not so subtle figure of thought is an occultatio, which highlights a point by denying making it. (“And we won’t even begin to go into that night you Saran Wrapped the toilet seat.”)

    After Obama’s non-mention of Bush-Iraq in yesterday’s speech, he non-mentioned it again a few minutes later. Figaro generally discourages the device. It makes you look more coy than commander-in-chiefly.

     Snappy Answer: Go ahead. Make my day.

    PrintView Printer Friendly Version

    EmailEmail Article to Friend

    Reader Comments

    There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.