What is an example of paralipsis in nonfiction today?

1 Answer
Feb 16, 2018

Paralipsis (or apophasis) is a rhetorical device in which words are used in a specific way. It is a more tongue-in-cheek method to get a position on an idea across.


A notable example is when Michelle Bachmann, a Republican congressional representative, made a comment about the outbreak of swine flu:

I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out...under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. And I'm not blaming this on President Obama. I just think it's an interesting coincidence.

Here, Bachmann is using paralipsis to implicate President Obama by denying that she is blaming him. After all, why mention the coincidence if it was not for casting blame on him?