And We Won’t Call Him a Crazy Old Man Who Yells at His TV
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 04:12PM

Quote: “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ –Donald Trump

Figure: paralepsis (pah-rah-LEP-sis), Greek for “omission.” Also occultation, Latin from occultere, to hide or conceal.

The President of the United States and the Supreme Leader of North Korea are conducting an interesting and ever-so-risky rhetorical experiment, to see whether the pen truly is mightier than the sword.

By “pen,” of course, we mean “Tweet.” And by “sword” we mean…well, Figaro doesn’t want to think about that.

In the latest undiplomatic exchange between atomic powers, Kim called Trump a “dotard,” meaning a person in his dotage—old, useless, the sort who forgets where he left the nuclear codes.

Trump, in exchange, semi-humorously targeted Kim with a paralepsis. This figure of thought declares something while denying the declaration. In this case, the Prez is employing a tiny bit of humor. Which would be funnier if civilization weren’t hanging in the balance.

Not that we’re calling President Trump a dangerous dotard who watches Fox News and then conducts foreign policy while sitting on this toilet tapping into his phone. That would be disrespectful. And Figaro is always respectful.

Article originally appeared on Figures of Speech (
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