We live in a world where communication rules. We cannot hide from it, we cannot escape it. Everywhere, it stares us in the face on the TV, the Internet, the I phone, clearly it is inescapable. As Craig Smith argues, “communication is the attempt to elicit and/or transfer meaning and can be broken down into three major types: informative communication adds to our knowledge, entertaining communication holds our attention, and rhetorical communication goes beyond… to change actions, beliefs, attitudes, and/ or opinions” (Smith 2).
For the past few months, I have examined various rhetorical principles, through the blogs that I posted. For instance on Superbowl Sunday, I examined one of the famous advertisements that was aired entitled, Every Soldier deserves a Hero’s Welcome, through a rhetorical lens to demonstrate what Gorgias calls, “the art of persuading people to bring about the greatest good” (Smith 54). Every company in the world utilizes this rhetorical technique through advertising, and Superbowl ads are no exception, therefore they use this medium to engage their Sunday viewing audience.
For the 2013/2014 winter season, we experienced one of the coldest winters in over 50 years. People all over the East, Northeast, and Midwest got tired of all the shovelling, and scraping, so on Groundhog Day, Pennsylvania experienced one of its largest turnouts ever, to ascertain Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction. Unfortunately, he did not see his shadow, hence 6 more weeks of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Yes, no, perhaps! So what is truth? Cicero argues that, the “Ad antiquitam is the fallacy of claiming something is true or good simply because it is old” (Smith 114). Aristotle argues that, “probable truth, not certainty determines the answers to most questions” (Smith 69).
I also examined the rhetorical concepts that Chrysler Motors utilizes to market the Chrysler 300. Is it really a Chrysler, or the rebirth of the Bentley? In this particular post I argued that most companies gravitate to what Karl Marx calls a “false consciousness” to increase profitability Also, manipulation and control are at the top of the power spectrum.
Graffiti art has infiltrated certain parts of the City of New York to the extent that certain parts of the city can be equated to a large outdoor museum. Graffiti art appeals to its audience, both visually and linguistically. Each mural tells a story. In this particular post, I implied Kenneth Burke’s theory to ascertain that graffiti art can be viewed through a negative or “dyslogistic” lens, or through an “eulogistic” or positive/admirable lens. It all depends on the audience’s perception of the art form.
One other important concept that is used by salesmen in most industries such as the car industry, or even the Time Share industry, is the use of the rhetorical concept of “qualitative progression.” Burke defines this by saying that, “one quality is established in the mind of the audience so that another can be introduced” (Smith 315). Whereas in “syllogistic progression…the speaker starts with a premise and then develops arguments that move the audience step by step toward a conclusion” (Smith 315). Salesmen unconsciously employ this rhetorical principle on a daily basis. So Buyer Beware! before you sign on the dotted line for your next car, or Time Share.
It is my intention that these blogs reach a young adult audience, that are interested in rhetoric, and also to realize how it impacts all of us on a daily basis. The bright intertwining orange colors on my dashboard, symbolize rhetoric’s daily interaction.
So, in conclusion, rhetoric is everywhere. we cannot escape it! It is here to stay. Any concept in communication that has filtered down through the ages from since the time of Aristotle, is therefore of vital importance. We cannot escape or deny it, because it is here to stay. Long live Rhetoric!