Shania Steele - shanias
Journey Log #6
Persistance & Engagement
In Defense of Rhetoric Video
This week's assignment wasn't particularly exciting since we've been talking about rhetoric and its uses. Apparently, rhetoric is actually everywhere and included in all communication aspects of our lives, hence the above meme. Interestingly enough, we can find it in music, business, technology, and anywhere else. Rhetoric, which was formerly known as trickery or wordy ornamentation, has now been given an expanded meaning. According to the video, words aren't even required for rhetoric to take place. Simply choosing NOT to talk is a rhetorical decision. So next time I'm asked what rhetoric is, I can technically stay silent and practice the act instead of giving a definition.
"The art of bullshit" has been around for AGES and people are still trying to figure out how to define it, which is the absolute definition of persistence. Rhetoricians have been modifying the study of this extremely useful device in to fit into our ever changing society. Finding a way to maintain a genuine interest in this subject is pretty fascinating to me and I truly applaud everyone that is able to. It's not that breaking down components of language and arguments doesn't sound incredibly fun, but finding rhetoric in literally everything seems like it'd be quite a task. In the video, one of the men featured brought up the fact that despite its obvious power on all forms of communication, rhetoricians and those that closely follow the concept have been trying hard to make it relevant as its own subject, especially in colleges.
Dating back to Aristotle and Plato and other super cool scholars of the time, rhetoric has been used as a tool of persuasion. It can be found not only in arguments, but also gestures and emotional appeals. The famous rhetorical triangle, that I've seen since elementary school, gives us the gist of what exactly rhetoric is and how it can be used. Ethos, pathos, and logos have been drilled into our heads as the three parts of rhetoric along with the main idea that it is used for persuasion. With numerous advertisements in the media, lyrics in songs, and even photography, the audience must engage with the source. Rhetoric analysis involves a lot of things beyond the initial purpose of any source.
For example, an advertisement for toothpaste that is highly recommended by 6 out 8 dentists airs on television after your favorite show takes a commercial break. Before airing the commercial, experts evaluate the time of day it should be aired for optimal viewers and more potential customers. A different set of people (maybe different, maybe not) look into music to play behind the commercial and find relatable, everyday people to advertise their product to make it attainable. Adding in that a majority of dentists recommend also adds to the rhetoric of this example since most people trust their dentists' opinions due to his status. Among many other things, rhetoric requires an in-depth analysis through which the audience should engage. By investing time and extra thought into anything as simple as a toothpaste commercial, one can find numerous meanings behind it and how it was manipulated to apply to them specifically. Simply engaging with a photograph or a specific word in a speech can lead to a whole new world called Rhetoric in which you will find the art of persuasion and all it encompasses.
Rhetoric is "no longer just for liars" but for everybody!
Rhetoric is about effectively making choices to convey a message how and to whom you want. It is everywhere and will continue to be therefore, we should embrace this form of art and continue to analyze its existence.