One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A figure of speech in which a favourable turn is given to something unfavourable by the use of an expression that conveys only part of the truth; euphemism effected by the substitution of a positive synonym for a negative word or phrase.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Richard Sherry (b. c1505), schoolmaster and author. From post-classical Latin paradiastole putting together of dissimilar things, a figure in rhetoric (recorded in classical Latin authors as a Greek word, παραδιαστολή; not attested in Greek authors) from ancient Greek παρα- + διαστολή separation, distinction.
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