Monday, December 21, 2009

a presence i havent felt since...

one of my favorite words is aposiopesis. a friend what told me i use a specific example of aposiopesis which he called the "I.T. trail-off."

aposiopesis comes to us from a greek word meaning "becoming silent," and it is when a sentence is cut short through unwillingness ("put that thing back where it came from or so help me-") or inability ("he who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the holy grail in the castle of aghhh...") and the audience must use their imagination to figure out what comes next.

the two examples illustrate how aposiopesis is typically punctuated: with a dash or an ellipsis.
  • linguists would define aposiopesis as a protasis with no apodosis.
  • logicians would call it an antecedent with no consequent.
  • everyone else can call it an 'if' with no 'then'.
lastly, the "I.T. trail-off" mentioned above is a mannerism that (apparently) is common to all institute of technology students where they realize what they are talking about is not interesting their audience so they. just. get all. staccato. and. kinda. trail. off...

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