Aposiopesis (a-poe-sigh-uh-PEA-sis): Figure in which the speaker abruptly stops or falls short of completing a statement; stopping short of completing a statement.


"The ship is riding majestically toward us like some great feather, riding as though it was mighty proud of the place it's playing in the worldís aviation. Itís practically standing still now; theyíve dropped ropes out of the nose of the ship, and itís been taken ahold of down on the field by a number of men. Itís starting to rain again -- the rain had slacked up a little bit. The back motors of the ship are just holding it, just enough to keep it from -- "

"It burst into flames! Get this Charley! Get this Charley! It's fire and it's crashing! It's crashing terrible! Oh, my! Get out of the way, please! It's burning, bursting into flames and is falling on the mooring mast, and all the folks agree that this is terrible. This is the worst of the worst catastrophes in the world! Oh...! Oh, the humanity...."

-- Herbert Morrison of WLS Radio in Chicago, Reporting on the Hindenburg Disaster

"At this juncture I want to get into -- By the way I was told to give you some advice about the media. You don't know how small I feel giving you advice, but Iíll be glad to anyway since Iíve been asked to."

-- Rush Limbaugh, Address to the incoming House GOP Freshmen

Charlotte Blackwood: "The MiG-28 does have a problem with its inverted flight tanks. It won't do a Negative G push over. The latest intelligence tells us that the most it will do is one negative --  Excuse me, Lieutenant, is there something wrong?"

-- delivered by Kelly McGillis (from the movie Top Gun)

Dr. Petrov: "This is most unnerving, Captain. The reason for having two missile keys is so that no one man may -- "

Captain Ramius: "May, what?"

Dr. Petrov: "-- may arm the missiles."

-- delivered by Tim Curry and Sean Connery (from the movie The Hunt for Red October)

Rhetorical Figures in Sound

Online Speech Bank

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