Word of the Day: aposiopesis

As the newest blogger on the block, it is my duty to inform readers of the nature of this blog. First, be forewarned that on any given day there is a good chance that there will be violence, obscure words, rampant pop-culture references, satire, possible nudity, and most distressing of all, there might even be the occasional pun. Like all bloggers, I expect that on occasion, something I write will prove controversial. Don’t be alarmed. Such tactics exist only to increase readership, and should not be taken personally. They should, however, be entertaining. With the possible exception of the puns. Just skip over those.

Now that that’s out of the way, I bring to you…

Today’s Word:


As in:

There once was an old lady that lived in the middle of a dark forest.  It was her habit to rise early in the morning to gather the ripened goods in her garden and prepare her meals for the day.  After eating breakfast, she would journey into the quiet forest and pick wild berries, mushrooms and assorted herbs. In the fall, she would tap a few maple trees to make syrup.

It was on one of these trips, she noticed a large maple that she’d not noticed before. She reckoned that such a large tree might hold enough sugar sap for her to produce enough syrup for the year. She started to make a hole in the tree for her tap.

Just as she placed her bore into the tree’s bark, she heard a voice.

“Please don’t tap me.”

The woman was startled. “Hello? Who said that?”

“I did,” said a voice that sounded as if it came directly from the tree.

“Are you a dryad, or some sort of forest spirit?”

The tree made a sound like laughter. “No. Don’t be silly. Those creatures aren’t real. But, I am.”

The old woman was lonely, and soon she and the tree became great friends.  Each day the women looked forward to her trips to the forest and the time she would spend with her tree friend.

One day, the tree asked the women, “we have often talked,” he said, “but you have never once inquired how a tree such as myself should have the gift of speech.  As much as I honor you for your kindness, have you not once wondered as to this strange occurrence?”

And the woman thought about this a moment and said, “I have often wondered about this strange gift you have, but I was more interested in what you had to say then how you came to be a tree with the voice of a human.”

And the tree said, “Then today I will tell you the reason for my voice. I was once the most famous orator in the world. I traveled far and wide, making speeches. Usually, some patron would give me great sums of money to mention their products or services, and I was happy to do so, and I became quite wealthy. Soon I started to become complacent. My skills were fading. I forced myself to study arcane literary theory to sharpen my skills.  I devoured old texts, studying the powerful words and thoughts in each.  Some claimed to be able to turn straw into gold. Others outlined the process to bring life to inanimate objects and even revive people who had died.  That was when I discovered aposiopesis…


aposiopesis / AP – oh – see – OH – pey – sis / breaking off in the middle of a story or thought, especially suddenly. A rhetorical or literary device.


  1. […] Well, I think many of my early readers would agree with me and say that one  of the best stories was the one which involved this really interesting talking bird. It would tell these fantastic stories, but then one day, it was cursed with aposiopesis…” […]