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mental linkage between two


Litotes is a figure of speech you can use to affirm something positive by making an understatement. After you take a gander at the examples below, you’ll see that this literary device is commonly used in everyday conversations and popular literature.

Litotes examples:

“Not bad” (to say something is good)

“He’s not as young as he used to be” (meaning “he’s old”)

“Keep an eye on your mother whom we both know doesn’t have both oars in the water.”

Jim Harrison, The Road Home

“I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will make them honored, and they shall not be small.”

Jeremiah 30:19

“Are you also aware, Mrs. Bueller, that Ferris does not have what we consider to be an exemplary attendance record?”

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

. Hypophora

In short, hypophora is when you ask a question and then answer the question you just asked. Unlike a rhetorical question, to use this literary device, you’ll need to answer the question you pose immediately.

Hypophora examples:

“What made me take this trip to Africa? There is no quick explanation. Things got worse and worse and worse and pretty soon they were too complicated.”

Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King

Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.

1 Corinthians 11:21-22

“Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?

Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?

I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it

I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,

I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’,

I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’,

I saw a white ladder all covered with water,

I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,

I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children,

Bob Dylan, “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.”