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Socratic irony (suh-KRAT-ic EYE-ruh-nee) noun
A profession of ignorance in a discussion in order to elicit clarity on a topic and expose misconception held by another.
[After Greek philosopher Socrates (470?-399 BCE).]
"John, who'd been sitting in a plastic waiting-room chair not saying a word, looked up, shrugged his shoulders and replied with an air of Socratic irony that he honestly didn't understand." Tristan Egolf; Lord of the Barnyard; Grove Press; 2000.
"Indeed, from one point of view, Socratic irony seems analogous to false speech, in the sense that it is not straightforward and direct." J. Peter Euben; Corrupting Youth; Princeton University Press; 1997.
This week's theme: eponyms.
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. -Voltaire, philosopher (1694-1778)