Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rhetoric - accismus



accismus [ækˈsɪzməs] n.

1.) A feigned refusal of something ardently desired. When people receive gifts or honors, they may use accismus by modestly declaring something like, "Oh, I couldn't possibly accept this!" or "I'm flattered, but I'm really not worth of the honor." Political candidates and appointees sometimes engage in something like this tactic by declaring that they would really rather be doing something else than being involved in public life (Garner's Modern American Usage 3rd Edition).

Etymology: Medieval or Modern Latin, adopted from Greek ἀκκισµός coyness, affectation.

"But this Oscar is a symbol, I think. And it is given for appreciation from those people who we never see. They are a part of our life. I refuse to believe that I beat Jack Lemmon, that I beat Al Pacino, that I beat Peter Sellers. I refuse to believe that Robert Duvall lost. We are a part of an artistic family" ("Best Actor Oscar Acceptance Speech", Dustin Hoffman, 1980).
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Hi all, I couldn't really think of a relevant work of art for this one, so it's just text for today. Also, a reminder that today is the last day to submit your entries for the weekly challenge. Thanks for reading!

24 comments:

Mai Yang said...

oh! I don't understand..

Wintermute said...

audio didnt work.

Meri said...

I can't stand when people do this. Just be gracious without all of that!

Kristina P. said...

Oooh, I like this word.

meandmythinkingcap said...

I like this word but wont want to use anytime. ;)
Any word which could sound fancy and polite and can be used to reject tirade?

D4 said...

I do this way too often. I should like, have an ego or something.

Anne said...

Dustin Hoffman was clearly full of something when he made that speech. And he was full of it up to his eyeballs. I think we all know the word Ship High In Transit.

JayJay said...

I should have realised that there was a word for this.

Looking at your example I'm juts impressed at the actors in 1980.

Jessica Thompson said...

Interesting!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I always forget to turn the volume down before listening, not good when wearing headphones.

HYDRIOTAPHIA said...

It's all rhetoric in general but you're kindly educating us all of its many subtle shades and nuances. Great !

Any picture better than no picture and an apology, it must be a near impossible task to find a visual work depicting such verbal niceties.

Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...

This word sums up the Chinese culture perfectly. Everyone is secretly wanting you to pay for dinner, yet they feign refusal every time you offer.

ivy said...

Interesting speech.

DEZMOND said...

hello, gorgeous, hope you're having a nice Monday.

What an unusual word. I don't think we have a word for this in my language.

shari said...

Cool. I love when you have words I've never ever heard of. I've probably used accismus before. "Oh, I'm not THAT great. Shouldn't you be giving that award to someone else? I haven't done ALL that much. Really." hahaha

Just kidding. I've only ever gotten a 2nd place Spelling Bee award sometime in my early childhood. Should've been first place, but I froze up on "RECEIVE" and thus, first prize went to the other contestant. Probably better that way, it never had a chance to go to my head.

Melanie said...

Great word...and I too hate when people (especially actors) do this, because they soooo want the recognition!

Bibi said...

I'm guilty of this... Like, very guilty. But just imagine me saying "oh yes, I know, I look absolutely stunning today" when someone tells me I look good. Such bragging wouldn't suit my humble personality.

Shutterbug said...

It is common for the Chinese and Japanese to do this! ;)

RaShelle Workman said...

Great word, E! Love the Dustin Hoffman quote you put with it. Sometimes it's hard for people to accept graciously. It's a good quality to have though because not accepting can hurt those who've done the giving feelings. Did that make sense? LOL Have a fab MOnday!!!

Jennifer Fabulous said...

I do this all the time. I had no idea there was an actual term for it!

A Beer for the Shower said...

If Stephenie Meyer could at least pretend to do this every time she cashed a royalty check, I'd feel a little bit better about the world.

Henry said...

Yep. I'm familiar with this, but not this word. Nice.

Wintermute said...

-E- you have an admirer

Necroticism said...

I didn't know the English word, but I use accismus all the time.

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