How often to you find yourself deliberately speechless? You recognize that you’ve reached the point where saying anything more won’t make the slightest difference so you simply quit speaking in mid-sentence. Some of my aposiopeses are followed up with a short “never mind,” before I’m moving on to the next subject. The literal Greek translation is “becoming silent.”
a sudden breaking off in the midst of a sentence, as if from inability or unwillingness to proceed.
Encyclopedia Britannica explains that aposiopesis is “a speaker’s deliberate failure to complete a sentence. Aposiopesis usually indicates speechless rage or exasperation, as in ‘Why, you . . .,’ and sometimes implies vague threats as in, ‘Why, I’ll . . . .’ The listener is expected to complete the sentence in his mind. In ancient Greek rhetoric, the aposiopesis occasionally takes the form of a pause before a change of subject or a digression.”
Sources: Encyclopedia Britannica, www.dictionary.com, and The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.