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Phillip Fahie
Phillip Fahie


In syntax, an aposiopesis arises when the "if" clause (protasis) of a condition is stated without an ensuing "then" clause, or apodosis. Because an aposiopesis implies the trailing off of thought, it is never directly followed by a period, which would effectively result in four consecutive dots.[6][example needed]


This type of aposiopesis does not to include details or thoughts which may be offensive or unpleasant to readers or listeners. For example, while discussing a court case in front of a jury, a lawyer may state:

Here, aposiopesis serves to turn focus away from negativity, whereas paralepsis emphasizes them. Although aposiopesis and paralepsis both use disregard as a tool, they can have opposite or drastically different meanings.

Like aposiopesis, anacoluthon is a literary term which includes an interruption of thought, or a pause. Unlike aposiopesis, anacoluthon has a pause which is followed by a new thought that interrupts the previous one or does not follow it logically.

Although it is the same situation, here, the interruption is followed by a completely different grammatical sentence and subject matter. Rather than continuing to speak of what he might do in anger, the speaker moves to ask a question. While aposiopesis results in a pause, anacoluthon results in a pause followed by a new direction of thought.

Aposiopesis is a term where a sentence is purposely left incomplete through the use of an em dash or ellipsis. In real life, aposiopesis may be an expression of strong emotion ranging from anxiety and rage to passion and love. In literature and film, this allows writers to give their characters realistic, believable speech. With a wide range of applications, aposiopesis can be used in everyday speech, serious discourse, great literature, and pop culture alike.

When a sentence is left unfinished it is up to the reader to determine what happened and what is going to happen next. This means that examples of aposiopesis are often subjective, with multiple possible interpretations. One reader might interpret a line break as something dramatic and exciting, alluding to pleasant possibilities in the world of the characters. While another might see it as foreshadowing something terrible.

The article is devoted to the study of understatement, which is an indirect way of communicating the English and the related concepts of "incompleteness" and "aposiopesis". The author comes to the conclusion that understatement is an incompleteness and/or aposiopesis and is indicated by a dotted line in the case when the speaker intentionally interrupts his speech for internal reasons that are due to his emotional state. Understatement is not an incompleteness/aposiopesis expressed with a dash when the speaker interrupts his speech due to external circumstances. The analysis of these concepts is necessary to understand the true intentions of native speakers.

Using aposiopesis, one usually starts a sentence and then stops, leaving a 'pregnant pause'. This invites the other person to complete the sentence, either in their imagination or even speaking out loud.

Aposiopesis is een vorm van allusie, maar een waarbij de betreffende persoon of zaak niet expliciet genoemd wordt met behulp van een "benaderende" omschrijving. De stijlfiguur onderscheidt zich hierdoor bijvoorbeeld van antonomasie. Pregnantie speelt een grote rol bij aposiopesis, en net als bij bepaalde vormen van understatement wordt er extra veel nadruk op de betekenis van het niet-uitgesprokene gelegd, juist doordat de boodschap zelf niet expliciet wordt vermeld.

He stopped because he could not go on. It was an aposiopesis of the purest kind. Ticklepenny supplied the missing consequences in various versions, each one more painful than any that Murphy could have specified, terrifying taken all together.

Because the song is of a very sensitive subject, Imogen Heap slowed it down and made it very emotionally stimulating. To do this, she uses several different effects, one of them being aposiopesis. Throughout the song, silent pauses between segments of words are implemented strategically to invoke specific feelings in the listener. Towards the beginning of the song, she uses many long pauses. In this section, the lyrics are quiet and slow. She uses a large amount of imagery, and the meanings of the lyrics are not clear. At this point, where there are pauses is when Imogen Heap intends for listeners to concentrate on the lyrics in attempt to decipher them, while simultaneously experiencing their own stirred emotions. 041b061a72


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