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Autoclesis

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Autoclesis

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Autoclesis is introduction of a topic by refusing to talk about it.

Example

You know I'm not going to talk about Mike's affair.

Don't ask me about what happened today!

What? The job? Sorry, I can't talk about it...No, really...Oh, well, if you insist, what actually happened is...

Discussion

When we refuse to talk about something it makes other intrigued and they are more likely to want to talk about it. This can permit a person who, either by promise or social convention feels unable to talk about the subject, open up and speak.

When something is begun, then we seek completion in order to gain closure. In this way when we find that someone knows something and is holding it from us, we will become interested and even try to persuade them to talk.

Classification: Reduction, Hidden

See also

Completion principle, Interest principle

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