Lombardian two-prong

I’m not the greatest at naming phenomena, so someone should really come up with a better name. Until then, what do you call the rhetorical maneuver of throwing something out there without knowing a priori if it’ll be taken seriously or as a joke? If the former, you can sagely nod, and if the latter, put on one of those Bill Maher/Jon Stewart faces. I’m going to provisionally call it the Lombardian two-prong. It’s been called “hatebait” on the theory that “it’s written to be mocked, but linked each time it’s mocked”. I’m going to add a layer by suggesting that perhaps Lombardi himself didn’t know if he was going over the top by suggesting that “26. The modern man cries. He cries often.” Was it meant to mock a caricature of the emasculated modern man, or prod the modern man further into becoming such a caricature? The beauty of the two-prong is that either one will work post-factum.


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