paralipsis paralipsis
 par-a-lip'-sis from Gk. para, "side" and leipein, "to leave"
("to leave to one side")
Also sp. paraleipsis, paralepsis
antiphrasis, parasiopesis
occultatio, occupatio,
praeteritio, preteritio, praetermissio

the passager, preterition

Stating and drawing attention to something in the very act of pretending to pass it over. A kind of irony.


It would be unseemly for me to dwell on Senator Kennedy's drinking problem, and too many have already sensationalized his womanizing...

Melville's narrator of Moby Dick, Ishmael, manages to characterize Queequeg in the very act of stating he will pass over such details:
We will not speak of all Queequeg's peculiarities here; how he eschewed coffee and hot rolls, and applied his undivided attention to beefsteaks, done rare. Moby Dick "Breakfast"

Related Figures

Related Topics of Invention

Sources: Ad Herennium 4.27.37 ("occultatio"); Aquil. 8 ("paraleipsis," "praeteritio"); Melanch. IR d2v ("praeteritio" "paralipsis" "occupatio"); Sherry (1550) 59 ("paralepsis," "occupatio," "occupacion"); Peacham (1577) S2v ("preteritio"); Putt. (1589) 239 ("paralepsis," "the passager"); Day 1599 95 ("paralepsis," "occupatio")

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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
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