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rhetorical devices

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Isaiah Wilson

on 23 January 2013

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Transcript of rhetorical devices

Rhetorical Devices Isaiah Wilson, Swan Smith Political Rhetoric:
-used by politicians, government officials, lobbyists, and activists involving emotional issues often seen in bits and fragments
-war and peace, justice and injustice, freedom and oppression, and the future of our planet

-tries to link a product, service, or idea with something already liked or desired by the target audience
-create a strong emotional response and then associate that feeling with a brand "family = Coke, victory = Nike"

-ads showing lots of people using a product, implying that "everyone is doing it"
"Million of women are using the new Mineral make-up foundation"

Beautiful people:
-using good-looking models (who may also be celebrities) to attract our attention
-Ad with a model drinking a brand drink Bribery:
-tries to persuade us to buy a product by promising to give us something else
-a discount, a rebate, a coupon, or a "free gift” Sales, special offers, contests, and sweepstakes

-Ads using celebrities to grab attention
-brands contracts with athletes

- a type of Testimonial using experts to advise us about things that we don’t know ourselves
-Scientists, doctors, professors and other professionals often appear in ads and advocacy messages, lending their credibility to the product, service, or idea being sold

Explicit claims:
-claims directly, fully, and/or clearly expressed or demonstrated
-some ads state the price of a product, the main ingredients, where it was made, or the number of items in the package Fear:
-uses something disliked or feared by the intended audience to promote a "solution
-Ads that use fear to sell us products that claim to prevent or fix the problems (bad breath, failure, high taxes or terrorism)

-Advertisers make us laugh and then show us their product or logo because they’re trying to connect that good feeling to their product
-laughter will come from an advertised product

-The language of ads is full of intensifiers
-(greatest, best, most, fastest, lowest prices)

Plain folks:
-A type of Testimonial opposite of Celebrities
-laundry detergent commercial Repetition:
-words, sounds or images may be repeated to reinforce the main point
-a TV commercial, a billboard, a website banner ad may be displayed many times

-Media messages often show people testifying about the value or quality of a product, or endorsing an idea
-someone other than the maker testifying for a bed brand

Warm & fuzzy:
-uses sentimental images to stimulate feelings of pleasure, comfort, and delight
-(families, kids and animals)

The big lie:
-telling a complete falsehood with such confidence and charisma that people believe it
-Adolf Hitler Charisma:
-persuaders can be effective simply by appearing firm, bold, strong, and confident
-people often follow charismatic leaders even when they disagree with their positions on issues that affect them

-Euphemism tries to pacify audiences in order to make an unpleasant reality more palatable
-"downsizing" instead of "layoffs," or "intensive interrogation techniques" instead of "torture.”

-drawing huge conclusions on the basis of a few small facts
-when someone predicts something we hope can or will be true

-making audience feel better about themselves
-"You work hard for a living." "You deserve it." Glittering generalities:
-use of so-called "virtue words" to persuade us to approve and accept their statements without examining the evidence
-civilization, democracy, freedom, patriotism, motherhood, fatherhood, science, health, beauty, and love.

-this technique links a person or idea to a negative symbol to make us reject the person or the idea on the basis of the negative symbol
-(liar, creep, gossip, etc.)

-use of faith in technology and progress to sell or advertise products
-"All new TVs"

-invoking a time when life was simpler and quality was supposedly better to sell or advertise products
-"like Mom used to make"

Rhetorical question:
-questions designed to get us to agree with the speaker set up so that the “correct” answer is obvious
-"Do you want to get out of debt?" "Do you want quick relief from headache pain?" Scientific evidence:
-uses the paraphernalia of science to "prove" something
-(charts, graphs, statistics, lab coats, etc.)

Simple solution:
-Persuaders offer relief by ignoring complexity and proposing a Simple solution
-(lower taxes, a new law, a government program)

Slippery slope:
-Instead of predicting a positive future, it warns against a negative outcome. It argues against an idea by claiming it’s just the first step down a “slippery slope” toward something the target audience opposes
-"If we let them ban smoking in restaurants because it’s unhealthy, eventually they’ll ban fast food, too."

Symbols are words or images that bring to mind some larger concept, usually one with strong emotional content
-home, family, nation, religion, gender, or lifestyle
Ad hominem:
-the ad hominem technique responds to an argument by attacking the opponent instead of addressing the argument itself
-campaign ads

-An analogy compares one situation with another
- "Pearl Harbor" and "9/11"

Card stacking:
-Card stacking deliberately provides a false context to give a misleading impression.
selecting only favorable evidence to lead the audience to the desired conclusion

Cause vs. Correlation:
-persuaders can fool us by intentionally confusing correlation with cause
- Babies drink milk. Babies cry. Therefore, drinking milk makes babies cry Denial:
-This technique is used to escape responsibility for something that is unpopular or controversial.
-A politician who says, "I won’t bring up my opponent’s marital problems,"

-This technique diverts our attention from a problem or issue by raising a separate issue, usually one where the persuader has a better chance of convincing us
-Instead of worrying about me, why not worry about my opponents actions as they are far worse than mine

Group dynamics:
-using what other people think and do to influence. Group dynamics is a more intense version of the Majority belief and Bandwagon techniques
-live audiences, rallies, or other gatherings

Majority belief:
-This technique works on the assumption that if most people believe something, it must be true
-using poll and survey results to back up an argument

-Scapegoating blames a problem on one person, group, race, religion, etc.
-claim that undocumented (“illegal”) immigrants are the main cause of unemployment in the United States
Straw man:
-This technique builds up an illogical or deliberately damaged idea and presents it as something that one’s opponent supports or represents
-political campaign ads

-Sometimes a media message is persuasive not because of what it says, but because of when it’s delivered
-placing ads for flowers and candy just before Valentine’s Day
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