Paraphrase Tool


Updated Jan 17, 2023

Understanding the Rhetorical Device of Inopinatum

Have you ever come across a statement or phrase that caught you off guard, but left a lasting impact on your mind? Well, you might have encountered a rhetorical device known as inopinatum. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of inopinatum, its purpose, and provide some accurate examples to help you understand this intriguing rhetorical technique.

What is Inopinatum?

Inopinatum is a rhetorical device used to create surprise or astonishment in the audience by presenting unexpected or startling information. It aims to capture attention, provoke thought, and make a lasting impression. This device is commonly used in various forms of writing, including speeches, essays, poetry, and storytelling.

The Purpose of Inopinatum

The primary purpose of inopinatum is to engage the audience by introducing unexpected elements or information. By doing so, the speaker or writer can evoke curiosity, maintain interest, and keep the audience actively involved in the discourse. Inopinatum also allows for the element of surprise, making the message more memorable and impactful.

Examples of Inopinatum

To grasp the concept of inopinatum better, let's explore a few examples from different contexts:

  1. Literary Example: In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, the character Polonius utters the famous line, "To thine own self be true." At first glance, this seems like a straightforward piece of advice. However, when delving deeper into the play, we realize that the context and subsequent events reveal a much more complex and ironic meaning. This unexpected twist surprises the audience, leaving them pondering the true implications of the statement.

  2. Political Example: In a political speech, a candidate may use inopinatum to capture the audience's attention and emphasize a particular point. For instance, a politician might state, "I have seen firsthand the devastating effects of poverty – children rummaging through garbage for their next meal in our very own neighborhoods." By introducing a personal experience, the politician creates an unexpected image that sparks shock and empathy, making the audience more receptive to their message.

  3. Advertising Example: Inopinatum is also frequently utilized in advertising to grab attention and leave a lasting impression. Imagine a car commercial where the narrator confidently states, "Meet the car that can fly." While we know it is not literally possible for a car to fly, this surprising claim immediately captures our attention and piques our curiosity. The unexpected assertion serves as a powerful advertising technique, ensuring the audience remembers the product long after the commercial ends.


Inopinatum, as a rhetorical device, plays a crucial role in captivating audiences and effectively conveying messages. By introducing unexpected elements or information, speakers and writers can create lasting impressions, maintain engagement, and provoke thought. Whether in literature, politics, or advertising, inopinatum adds a touch of surprise to various forms of communication, making them more memorable and impactful. So, keep an eye out for this powerful rhetorical device, as it can truly enhance your understanding and appreciation of the spoken and written word.


About Paraphrase Tool

Getting your wording just right

Paraphrasing is a natural part of the writing process as it helps you clarify your thinking and suit your words to your audience. Using a Paraphrase Tool helps structure and streamline this work, and our paraphrase tool offers 20 modes, many of them free, for accomplishing just this. The 20 modes we offer are diverse, including a summarize tool, a free grammar checker, a mode to simplify text, and a sentence shortener. There are sentence rephrasers and paraphrase rephrase tools, and we pride ourselves on having both, since our reword generator accounts for context at both the sentence and paragraph levels.

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