Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Assume someone says, "When individual investors enter the market, I know it's time to get out." The speaker is making a serious statement -- yet he is an "individual investor" himself.

What do you call this type of statement? It sounds like hypocrisy or irony, but neither term is on target.

share|improve this question
1  
Self-ownage is in vogue among the youth, I believe. –  Uticensis Mar 10 '11 at 22:47

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Perhaps the term you are looking for is contradictory statement. Note that Cerberus makes a useful comment below.

You might also consider paradoxical statement.

share|improve this answer
6  
Or more specifically self-contradictory, because there is not only contradiction but also implicit self-reference. –  Cerberus Mar 10 '11 at 20:37
    
To fix the statement: "When other individual investors enter the market..." The error is much like saying you are taller than everyone in the room. –  MrHen Mar 17 '11 at 18:17

Another possibility, if you don't like the connotations of "contradictory", would be to call it a self-negating statement, along the lines of Groucho Marx's "I refuse to join any club that's willing to accept me as a member."

share|improve this answer

Does the speaker consider himself an individual that is an agent for a company, not an individual-invertor. That is not a individual that is investing, but an individual that invests (over peoples money).

Therefore: Ambiguous, thought provoking ...

share|improve this answer

Although I think paradoxical (given above) is the best answer, perhaps recursive or self-referential would also apply.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.