Litotes, the Greek word for "straightforward," is a member of the figurative language family members tree. Because it"s not an English word, do not be fooled by the fact that it ends in S. Litotes is a singular noun.

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Litotes embrace colorful sentiments to expush an otherwise bland statement. A litotes is a roundabout means of saying somepoint, using the opposite of your intended meaning to show what you"re trying to say. The negative of one point is supplied to express the positive of its opposite.

That appears anything yet easy, right? Fear not. As quickly as you watch a litotes in activity, it"ll all make sense. Let"s open the door to litotes territory.

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Litotes Explained

While a litotes is a member of the figurative language household tree, its closest family member is irony. With irony, you mean one outcome and also get an additional. In truth, a litotes will certainly use irony to emphasize an idea without minimizing its prestige.

For instance, a frifinish can suppose her roommate to talk about someone who"s obviously wealthy by saying, “He’s filthy affluent.” However before, when she comes out and states, “Well, he’s not specifically a pauper,” it’s a little unmeant. Aacquire, literary gadgets are smart means to spice up our literary stays.

By saying someone is not somepoint, you imply that they are the oppowebsite. If you say Jeremy is "not tall," you"re implying that he"s short.

“They’re crazy to stay together” is straightforward. But take into consideration this subtler example: “They don’t seem like the happiest couple in the civilization.” It’s a gentler, seemingly ironic, way to say somepoint without having actually to “come ideal out via it.”

Instances of Litotes

A litotes is a nice means for authors to “beat around the bush.” They can touch upon the indelicate in an unobtrusive and also inoffensive means. Let’s discover even more

Her cooking isn’t destructive, exactly.(i.e., It"s actually excellent.)Ireland also is no ordinary nation.(i.e., It"s one-of-a-kind.)Geoffrey, this isn’t rocket science.(i.e., It"s easy.)Your commentary on their connection was much less than smart.(i.e., It was stupid.)In reality, I can’t argue through any kind of of your assertions.(i.e., I agree through you.)All in all, she wasn’t a poor dancer.(i.e., She was a good dancer.)The apple doesn’t loss much from the tree.(i.e., It"s similar.)He’s not unlike his older brvarious other.(i.e., He"s comparable.)They spent seven months apart; that’s no little amount of time.(i.e., That"s a lengthy time.)They don’t precisely have actually an simple partnership.(i.e., Their partnership is different.)She’s not the sharpest knife in the box.(i.e., She"s unintelligent.)Your kitchen isn’t disorderly, per se.(i.e., It"s orderly and arranged.)You won’t be sorry you bought a kitchen organizer.(i.e., You"ll be glad.)His statements are not without truth.(i.e., They are at leastern partially true.)Large crowds of people are not my cup of tea.(i.e., I disprefer them.)

Litotes in Literature

Of course, figurative language was produced fiction creating. Here are some samples that include a litotes:

“The sword wasn’t useless to the warrior.” - Beowulf“I am no prophet and here’s no excellent issue.” - The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot“No, ‘tis not so deep as a well nor so wide as a church-door.” - Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare“You understand, it’s really not that tough to put food on the table if that’s what you decide to carry out.” - The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wall“I live at West Egg, the - well, the less fashionable of the 2, though this is a the majority of superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a small sinister contrast between them.” - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Lean on Literary Litotes

From time to time, you deserve to take the roundabout road to deliver a line to your readers. It’s okay to make them think. Just take a minute to re-review your litotes and also make sure your interpretation is clear.

A litotes deserve to be tricky. In everyday life, specifically via worries pertaining to clarity, it"s not always recommended. However, when you’re looking to spice up your prose and also make readers pause to think, throw them an ironic litotes or two. They’ll appreciate the stretching of their psychological muscles.

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Ready to discover a few more literary devices? Consider a small symbolism in your following item. Or, probably you’ll desire to hit your readers over the head via a blatant epiphany kind of. Check out some of these of epiphany type of from a couple of literary giants.