Tag Archives: Litotes

Now, THAT’S a litotes!: TAE Word for the Day


Richard Armitage is really not a bad actor. RA isn’t an unattractive fellow. Guy is not an undesirable male.

All of the above are examples of litotes.

Litotes (LAHY-tuh-tees, li-TUH-tees, lahy-TOE-tees) (noun): understatement, especially that in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its contrary, as in “not bad at all.”  Origin: 1650-1660. From the Greek meaning “plainness, simplicity.”

It is, perhaps, not strictly speaking a litotes, but I find myself also thinking of a quote from, I believe, someone commenting at one of Vicki Frost’s Spooks blog posts: “Richard Armitage is OK eye candy.” OK? Just OK??

For RA, with his Entire Body of Temptation, with those mesmerizing eyes, that amazing smile, that stunning bone structure–is Grade A Number One First Class Eye Candy. And sooooo much more.  A fine, dedicated, detailed actor and an intelligent, charismatic, kind, lovely human being. To say he’s not a bad-looking guy or not a bad actor would be, well– nothing less than litotes, n’est-ce pas?