Understatement (our last figure of speech. There are many more, but we’ve been looking at the more common ones.)

Understatement is a figure of speech in which a writer or a speaker deliberately makes a situation seem less important or serious than it is.

“I have to have this operation. It isn’t very serious. I have this tiny little tumor on the brain.”
(Holden Caulfield in The Catcher In The Rye, by J. D. Salinger)

It’s just a flesh wound.”
(Black Knight, after having both of his arms cut off, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail)

“I am just going outside and may be some time.”
(Captain Lawrence Oates, Antarctic explorer, before walking out into a blizzard to face certain death, 1912)

My understatement _______________________________________________

4 responses to “Understatement

  1. I appreciate these mini-lessons.

    Let’s see, an understatement…

    It only rained hard in the morning. Look, you can still see the wheels of most of the cars parked in the river formerly known as Main Street.

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