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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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    Say Two Things at Once

    Paradoxes, irony, puns, and tactical ignorance.

     Why would you want to say two things at once?  For circumlocution ("speak around"), for humor, to disguise your rhetorical goals, and to allow contraries to co-exist.  "In discord is harmony [concordia discors]," Augustine said.  Two-headed figures like the ones below let you sound a rhetorical chord— or dischord.

    accismus (ak-SIS-muss)
    The oh-you-shouldn’t-have figure.

    acyrologia (a-KEER-o-LO-gia)
    The fortunate mix-up, or malapropism.

    The figure of hidden meaning.

    apophasis  (a-PA-pha-sis)
    The deny-it-then-say-it figure.
    Also see this.

    aporia (a-POR-ia)
    The I-don’t-know-how-to-say-this figure; an expression of doubt, real or feigned.

    catachresis (cat-a-KREE-sis)
    The Metaphor Gone Wild.
    Also see this. And this.

    An act that can only be performed by its contrary.

    ceratin (se-RAT-in)
    The horns of a dilemma.

    circumlocution (cir-cum-lo-CUE-tion)
    The rhetorical end run.

    dialogismus (die-ah-log-IS mus)
    The one-person conversation.
    Also see this.

    diasyrmus (die-ah-SIR-mus)
    The silly comparison.

    enantiosis (en-an-tie-OH-sis)
    The paradoxical contrast.
    Also see this.

    ennoia (en-NOY-a)
    The figure of faint praise.

    epitrope (eh-PIH-tro-pee)
    Appearing to concede a point; actually, though, you’re making fun of it. The epitrope is a form of irony.

    equivocation (e-quiv-o-KAY-shon)
    The language mask.

    The rhetorical question.

    inopinatum (in-op-in-OT-um)
    The figure of disbelief.

    litotes (lie TOE tees)
    The figure of ironic understatement, usually negative.
    Also see this. And this.

    metanoia (met-ah-NOY-a)
    The self-correcting figure.

    The contrary figure.
    Also see this.

    paralipsis (pa-ra-LIP-sis)
    The no-pun-intended figure.

    paronomasia (pa-ro-no-MAY-sia)
    A pun that plays on words that sound or mean the same, but aren’t identical.
    Also see this. And this.

    parrhesia (pah-RAY-sia)
    The excuse-my French figure.

    synoeciosis (sin-eh-SEE-eh-sis)
    An extended oxymoron.