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Asteismos

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Asteismos

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Asteismos is expression of emotion, often negative emotion, in a polite way.

Example

Dear Sir,
You have insulted my wife and I hereby challenge you to a duel.
Your most obedient servant,
Charles Hawtrey

You know that does make me rather annoyed.

Oh dear.

Discussion

Emotions are catching. When you express them, particularly if they are negative or strongly expressed, then others also experience the same or complementary emotions.

In many countries, there are strong social rules about being polite and against expressing strong emotion in public. This can result in asteismos, where negative emotions are converted into formal expressions by which they may be acceptably portrayed.

These expressions may well include a neutralization of the infectious effect of the emotion by portraying them in a relatively mild form.

Classification: Emotion

See also

Amplification principle, Emotions, Values

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