One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A figure of speech in which an undesirable continuation is averted; specifically (a) introduction of a positive modification of, aspect to, or conclusion from an initial negative statement; (b) use of counter-accusation or recrimination to avoid answering a charge, etc.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in George Puttenham (1529–?1591), writer and literary critic. From anti- + ancient Greek ἀναγωγή anagoge.
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