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Word of the Day
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Definitions for aposiopesis

  1. Rhetoric. a sudden breaking off in the midst of a sentence, as if from inability or unwillingness to proceed.

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Citations for aposiopesis
“ … It's their job, when you come to think of it; but it'll be jolly difficult to get them to take it on, whereas you and I ——” And he turned away with a shrug to point his admirable aposiopesis. Ernest William Hornung, Witching Hill, 1913
I can't even is just the latest iteration of an ancient figure of speech. It's established enough to have a fancy Greek name—aposiopesis. Rebecca Cohen, “In Defense of I Can’t Even,” Slate, March 12, 2014
Origin of aposiopesis
Aposiopesis comes from the Greek word of the same spelling that translates to "a full silence." It is ultimately derived from the Greek verb siōpáein meaning "to be silent." Aposiopesis entered English in the mid-1500s.