Mar 25, 2007

Rapid Rhetoric: PERSIFLAGE

Raphael's depiction of Plato defining the difference between true and false rhetoric This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.

persiflage (PER-sih-flazh) n. Light banter; frivolous talk; treating a serious topic with a alight-hearted dismissal, sometimes out of contempt.

Persiflage traces its roots directly from the French word persifler , meaning "to banter." notes that persifler is in fact a French compound word, combining the per- intensive prefix with siffler ("to whistle"). Siffler comes from the Latin sibilare , meaning "to hiss."

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