The rant is one of my favourite rhetorical genres. Rant genre is characterized by a unique set of qualities that instantly capture attention and can really mesmerize an audience. Often the response that the rhetorician receives after embarking on a rant is either exasperated or amused, but people tend to really listen to a rant. The rant genre is even a form of entertainment: many stand-up comedians use the rant in their shows.
Cell phones and social networking sites have been on the rise for the past few years now, but suddenly they are really taking off. With a large scale Twitter following and the development of newer, better cell phones and the iPhone, it sometimes seems as though we can’t go a day without relying on these technical devices. And now it’s gone one step further: even our novels are being typed up and invented on Twitter and on cell phones.
I am out of the country for the week, so a fellow blogger has kindly lent me two of her blog posts (the first of which was published here at Living Rhetorically on Tuesday). Hanlie blogs at Fertile Healthy; this post was originally published at her blog on August 18th.
There are a lot of things wrong with our society, but one of the most pervasive is our tendency to label people.
I am out of the country this week, so a fellow blogger has kindly lent me two of her excellent blog posts—the second of which will be published here at Living Rhetorically this Thursday—regarding the labels we give ourselves and others. Hanlie blogs at Fertile Healthy. This post was originally published at her website on July 10th.
My friend Tony, The Anti-Jared, doesn’t like the word “fat.” Who does?
Affect vs. Effect
My managing editor at The Uniter (hi Stacy!) mentioned earlier this week that she often stumbles over these two words when writing a piece, and I have to say that I agree. The English language is full of words such as affect and effect. I really like both of these words and use them frequently, but every time that I use them I have to pause and think carefully for a moment about which word is the correct one for the context I’m using it in.
Up until the past few years, I wrote fiction religiously. Electronic copies of novels, short stories, and poems fill ancient floppy disks; the hard copies are stacked in boxes, binders, and folders. I’ve gone through piles of paper, weeks and months of work, and have subjected friends and family to read my work for their input and suggestions. Creating alternate worlds and languages, drawing up maps and designing building plans, I ignored the real world for a very long time.
A colon is a punctuation mark and, much like the comma, it works to organize sentences and break everything down for coherency purposes.
Colons are most commonly used in the following ways:
1. To bring attention to a specific point: the colon draws the eye and allows some breathing space in between each part of the sentence. It also often explains the first part of the sentence in greater detail. A very long sentence appears less daunting when a colon is used.
The best way to explain the Jeremiad form of rhetoric is to think of it in terms of the origins of the name. Jeremiah was a Biblical prophet of doom and, as one of my professors so astutely put it, a performance artist. The Jeremiad, then, is really a political sermon, and is applied by powerful leaders in front of large audiences. Predicting misfortune is a way to frighten the audience—or society—into believing whatever the rhetorician wants them to believe.
How we act and the way we view the world is strongly determined by our definitions. These definitions change and develop as we go through new experiences, thus causing us to broaden our minds and grow as people.
When I was out riding my bike earlier this week, I rode past someone who was running along the street in the opposite direction. He had an expression of complete focus on his face and didn’t see me go by.
Reference books and dictionaries are precious to any rhetorician, and they extend far beyond the ordinary (but delightful) Oxford English Dictionary or a thesaurus. There are countless ways that we can play around with language and have fun with it. The Scholastic Dictionary Of Synonyms, Antonyms, And Homonyms is one way to expand your vocabulary and polish your writing skills.
Synonyms are words that have the same meaning.
Writing is, of course, composed of sentences. Stringing words together in a particular order conveys meaning so that we can relate to one another and communicate, and it is as simple (or complex… or compound… or compound-complex!) as that. Today we’re going to look at the different kinds of sentences.
Every sentence contains a subject and a verb (if a sentence doesn’t contain a subject and a verb,
Every kind of writing requires a different sort of style to represent it. A newspaper column is different from a film script is different from a self-help book is different from classic literature is different from a cookbook… the list goes on. Indulging in one style of writing more frequently than another certainly enhances our abilities with that particular style, but neglecting other forms of writing can also hinder our growth and development as a writer in other areas.
Kenneth Burke’s Dramatistic Pentad goes hand in hand with the Narrative Paradigm because of the focus on human motivation and theatrics. The kind of language that we use and the way we express ourselves are strategies to convince others of our viewpoints. If the speaker has the ability to identify with the audience, they can then elicit sympathy, which goes a long way in persuading people.
The Dramatistic Pentad is made up of five elements:
From movies to video games to theatre plays to books, varying forms of entertainment can offer an interesting perspective on the human condition and a fascinating examination of our interactive behaviours. Listed here are some of the best must-watch movies!
These are a few of my favourite films which have characters and dialogue that are not only enjoyable to watch, but are also incredibly interesting to study from a rhetorical point of view:
As Fritinancy pointed out in the comments section of Punctuation matters! Three tips for using commas, I made a mistake in my placement of an apostrophe. This blog is just as much a way for me to learn as it is for you, so I think it’s about time we brush up on our punctuation skills with regards to apostrophes.
For some reason apostrophes are one of the most common mistakes that writers of any kind make.