Apophasis is a figure of speech, used not only in speaking but also in writing, which refers to bringing up an issue while claiming not to mention it.
Here are a few examples:
I don’t want to badmouth my parents or say how terribly abusive they were.
I promised I wouldn’t tell the world that the corrupt prosecutor tried to force her to lie on the stand.
Also, an example from the show Friends comes to mind, when Mr. Geller talks about Rachel’s parents’ disappointment when she doesn’t get married to Barry: (I’m not sure these are the exact words, so I won’t use quotation marks.)
I won’t say how much they spent on that wedding, but forty thousand dollars is a lot of money.
And here’s another one from the show House: (I’m not sure these are the exact words, so I won’t use quotation marks.)
I don’t want to say anything bad about another doctor, especially one who’s a useless drunk.
Apophasis is also present in some books I’ve read. One author that comes to mind is Marco Ocram. His works are filled with apophasis, which makes them some of the most amusing books I’ve had the pleasure to read.
Do you ever use apophasis when you speak or write?