I once knew a word that meant to mention something by announcing that you would not mention it. The word may be Greek; I encountered it in the study of poetry.

An example, then, from poetry, Edmund Spenser's Aegloga Quartet:

I will not match her with Latonaes seede.
Such follic great sorrow to Niobe did breede.
   Now she is a stone,
   And makes daily mone,
Warning all others to take heede.

Here the poet is publicly refusing to compare his subject, Elysa, with the goddess Latona, but in doing so (quite intentionally) makes the comparison.

This device is common in poetry, and I believe the term is most used in this regard, but is common in politics as well.


1 Answer 1



  • The raising of an issue by claiming not to mention it

“I shall not mention Caesar's avarice, nor his cunning, nor his morality.”


Can also be called paralipsis, praeterito, or occultatio

Update: Graffito added that preterition also fits.

  • 2
    Also preterition.
    – Graffito
    Dec 21, 2016 at 20:21
  • 1
    Beautiful. Paralipsis is the word I had in mind but those are all great
    – Unrelated
    Dec 21, 2016 at 20:28

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