Writing about Literature with a New Tool

On the Internet, when you search for deceptive rhetoric or rhetoric hoax, you’ll get more than two million hits for either one. That volume of hits is an echo of what we’ve heard all our lives—that Rhetoric is associated with deception and trickery, even though the college experts try to reassure us that the discipline of Rhetoric is really neutral. Fact is, though, most of what the public knows about Rhetoric is a hoax, especially as regards the origins, the history, and the confusion over Rhetoric in academic circles.
The Origins of Rhetoric
Most people, even school teachers, think the history of Rhetoric began in Greece with Aristotle——-but it didn’t.
In 427 A.D., sixty-year-old Gorgias, a sophist from the Greek colony of Leontini, in Sicily, brought Rhetoric to Athens. He settled in Athens and popularized rhetoric by offering public demonstrations of his skill in public speaking, which was his way of marketing his trade to anyone who wanted to learn to speak as he did.
One of his most apt students, Isocrates, learned the trade and became “the most influential teacher of rhetoric in Aristotle’s time” (On Rhetoric, Kennedy, George A., New York: Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 13).
Why wasn’t Aristotle “the most influential teacher of rhetoric” in his own time?
Because he had his own personal brand of Rhetoric, and he taught it only to students in his small, private school in Athens, called the Lyceum. And his Rhetoric, really more of a collection of notes gathered over the years than anything else, was not published in his lifetime (384-322 B.C.) and was basically unknown outside his small, private school.
In fact, not only was Aristotle’s Rhetoric unknown in his own time, it was largely unknown and untaught throughout the ages. According to George A. Kennedy—a universally praised scholar of ancient Greek culture and a highly esteemed translator of Aristotle’s Rhetoric—Aristotle’s Rhetoric was “obsolete as a school text” throughout most of history (On Rhetoric, p. 308).
The History of Rhetoric
Aristotle’s Rhetoric became obsolete because, first of all, it was lost in Asia Minor for about 200 years after his death in 322 B.C.——-out of circulation, out of usage, out of sight, out of mind.
During that time, probably because it had no real competition, the Rhetoric of Isocrates flourished and became established as the major well-spring for progress in the art of Rhetoric.
Also during that lost time, three very popular major features were added to Isocrates’s Rhetoric that were never developed in Aristotle’s version:
? stasis
(contributed to Rhetoric by Hermagoras of Temnos around 150 B.C.; a systematic series of questions used to develop the central issue in court cases)
? tropes
(one of two major divisions in figures of speech, see below; using words in a way that their normal meaning is replaced with something else, such as, “today the White House issued a statement”—as we know, the White House building did not issue the statement; irony is another example, such as when a sarcastic students says, “Yeah, I just loooove grammar”)
? figures of speech
(the Stoic philosophers of Athens added these to Rhetoric somewhere between 250 and 100 B.C.; figures of speech are divided into two main categories: schemes and tropes; schemes change the ordinary or expected pattern of words, such as, “My voice teacher, a real looker,” which uses the scheme of apposition or renaming; and tropes change the general meaning of words, as discussed in the entry just above).
Scholars throughout history considered these three Rhetorical features as extremely important and studied and discussed them extensively. So they paid little attention to Aristotle’s Rhetoric, which did not have them, after it was found and ‘published’ around 80 B.C. Then, around 190 A.D., Alexander of Aphrodesias published a commentary on Aristotle’s Rhetoric, and scholarly interest revived a bit.
However, throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the principal texts on Rhetoric were not Aristotle’s, but two books that were based largely on the Rhetoric of Isocrates and its accompanying three supplementary features discussed above. These two books were Rhetorica ad Herrenium (Rhetoric for Herrenium), of unknown authorship, and De Inventione (On Invention), written by Cicero (106-43 B.C.), the great Roman philosopher, politician, and rhetorician.
The modern academic and philosophic interest in Aristotle’s approach to Rhetoric is often traced to the publication of philosopher Kenneth Burke’s book, A Rhetoric of Motives, which was published in 1950. Since then, many other books have investigated and expounded upon Aristotle’s Rhetoric, and more people today are reading and studying it than did so in all the rest of history combined.
So the public perception that Aristotle’s Rhetoric is the Rhetoric that was handed down and taught widely in schools throughout the ages is quite wrong. This hoax has been perpetuated by well-meaning but poorly educated textbook writers.
The Confusion Over Rhetoric in Academic Circles
Now, wouldn’t you think that the actual bedrock principles of Rhetoric, the fundamental principles, would be pretty well-known and established after 2,500 years?
And you would also think that an encyclopedia dedicated to collecting and explaining all the important parts, patterns, processes, purposes, and perspectives of Rhetoric would clearly identify and discuss them, right?
Well, take a look at what the Preface says in the Encyclopedia of Rhetoric (New York: Oxford Press, 2001):
… [this is] our effort to abstract rhetoric as far as we could… and to endeavor to search for its principles.
“Search for its principles”? Immediately following that eye-opener is this:
We recognize the paradox, in view of what we take rhetoric to be. It is nearly impossible either to abstract a temporal cause from its effects or to look anew at a subject anchored in but not confined to an ancient tradition. But the attempt to do so, we believe, sets this work apart from other recent publications such as the Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition….
I’m not even going to attempt to work out the “paradox” reasoning.
But I wonder: Am I reading too much into this? Is Rhetoric as hard to define, is it as unstable and as unclear in what its old principles are and in what its new principles are, as this encyclopedia makes out?
Let’s try another encyclopedia dedicated to Rhetoric—there’s only one other. Looking at the Preface to the Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition (New York: Garland, 1996), we find:
… [this encyclopedia] provides an introduction to rhetoric, including the major periods and personages, concepts and applications. Rhetoric… is becoming ever more difficult to locate in a conceptual framework… many theorists are reconceptualizing rhetoric in its own terms.
This encyclopedia of rhetoric “provides an introduction to Rhetoric”? Only an introduction? It doesn’t go beyond identifying the very basic parts, pieces, and patterns of Rhetoric?
Plainly, this encyclopedia is not claiming to be thorough and comprehensive, claiming that it covers only the basics, “an introduction.” After 2,500 years of discussions and arguments about what Rhetoric is and what it is not, surely there should be more than just “an introduction” to Rhetoric in an encyclopedia dedicated to it!
Is a more comprehensive version, which goes beyond this “introduction,” in the works or being planned? No mention of that.
Furthermore, “Rhetoric… is becoming ever more difficult to locate in a conceptual framework….” What?!!! There’s that “paradox” sort of difficulty, again, as confessed by the first encyclopedia we discussed.
Maybe it would have been helpful to explain what “conceptual framework” means. Perhaps it has something to do with identifying an overall pattern that organizes all the concepts of Rhetoric—“ever more difficult to locate,” even now?
The fact that “many theorists are reconceptualizing Rhetoric “in its own terms” clearly implies that theorists have not been conceptualizing Rhetoric in its own terms, for some reason. Why might that be?
Let me take a shot at it—Perhaps it is because Rhetoric has so very many disorganized parts and pieces, without a clear hierarchical pattern of connections, that it’s literally impossible to pin it all down into an organized pattern. In short, “rhetoric can mean nearly anything” (Professor George Pullman of Georgia State University; conference, What is the New Rhetoric? in Sydney, Australia, 2005) that an ‘expert’ wants it to be and says it is. Given what I’ve shown, here, that seems a decent interpretation of what was said in the prefaces to those two encyclopedias.
So Rhetoric is definitely fair game for being compared to the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” Rhetoric has so many hundreds of devices and isolated concepts (“trees”), yet it has no clear, overriding principle (“forest”) to hold them all together in a plainly recognizable pattern.
Way back in 1663, the poet and satirist Samuel Butler said what many had said for centuries in more general ways and captured the spirit of this perennial confusion and uncertainty about Rhetoric with his famous, oft-quoted criticism:
For all a rhetorician’s rules teach nothing but to name his tools.
Cute little saying, but Samuel Butler was serious. And so was Herbert Spencer (a very influential English philosopher of the Nineteenth Century, in Europe and America, in both literature and Rhetoric) when he said in his 1852 essay, “The Philosophy of Style,”
The maxims contained in works on composition and rhetoric are presented in an unorganized form. Standing as isolated dogmas—as empirical generalizations, they are neither so clearly apprehended, nor so much respected, as they would be were they deduced from some simple first principle.
My take on what Spencer was saying is this:
The many rules for writing and public speaking are not organized. If they were organized under a single, simple, powerfully unifying principle, then the rules of composition and rhetoric could be clearly understood, taught, and learned.
A much more modern Rhetoric authority, the late Professor Wayne C. Booth of the University of Chicago, plainly agreed but went a little further than Spencer when he said,
Where is the theory, where are the practical rules for ensuring that this talk will not only grab you, as the Madison Avenue rhetoricians say, but keep you grabbed and send you away determined to behave differently? (The Essential Wayne Booth, Wayne C. Booth & Walter Jost, University of Chicago Press: 2007, p. 69)
Booth’s point was that modern writing texts don’t provide a comprehensive theory or practical rules for writing or speaking to a specific audience (neither did Aristotle’s), and that Aristotle’s Rhetoric couldn’t fulfill our modern needs for “a rhetoric of the symposium, of the conference room,” or of other modern situations that were not even imaginable in ancient Greece.
Furthermore, there’s been a whole host of Rhetoric authorities over the last one hundred and fifty years who have been simply clamoring for a “New Rhetoric”—because, like Booth, Spencer, and Butler, they see that Rhetoric simply can’t handle the diversity, depth, breadth, and uniqueness of modern times. These authorities include a number of academic heavyweights: I. A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, Wayne C. Booth, W. R. Winterowd, Francis Christensen, James L. Kinneavy, E. D. Hirsch Jr., Andrea Lunsford, Lisa Ede, Richard Lanham, Reed Way Dasenbrock, C. H. Knoblauch, and Lil Brannon.
So confusion reigns among modern encyclopedias dedicated to Rhetoric, and academic authorities have been complaining about the failings of Rhetoric for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. And they are all clamoring for something new——-because the old Rhetoric just isn’t good enough anymore.
Conclusion
Add to all that, the 2002 report from the National Education Association that only one in five high school seniors can write well enough to do college work. No wonder the National Commission on Writing (NCW) declared in 2003 that there’s a crisis in teaching writing in America! But what did the NCW recommend?
The NCW practically demanded more time, more people, and more money be poured into the same old, ineffective writing instruction, without any basic changes to the fundamental principles that determine how writing is taught! (And, of course, what is taught in writing textbooks and writing classes across America is all based on Rhetoric. Rhetoricians are proud to point this out, by the way.) They want to spend a whole lot more money, time, and people on the same old thing that isn’t working? As they say on Sesame Street, “What’s wrong with this picture?”
One last very telling point—Is there a final test that would either prove or disqualify Rhetoric as the basis for teaching writing?
Yes, there is. It’s called the WHAT IF test, and here it is:
WHATE IF an essay or some other written work has all the pertinent forms of Rhetoric used perfectly in it?
And WHAT IF it isn’t new to the readers?
If the reading audience DOES already know the ideas and is familiar with the presentation, then what’s the point of that writing? Without being new, it has no audience. At the very least, it will be oppressively boring to readers.
If it’s a book intended for public distribution, it won’t see the light of publishing day—people don’t put out good money for old news, and publishers know that very well. Ditto for poetry, short stories, essays, and especially journalistic articles, opinions, and editorials.
And the Rhetoric of Isocrates, the Rhetoric of Aristotle, the Rhetoric of Cicero, the Rhetoric of Quintilian, the Rhetorica ad Herennium, James L. Kinneavy’s Theory of Discourse—not one of them develops a step-by-step process for generating the astonishingly simple but amazing ignored concept of——-
What’s new to the reader
We don’t need a New Rhetoric.
We need a Rhetoric of Newness.

Learn more about
writing advertising

How To Stop Armpit Sweating Fast

Dealing with armpit hyperhidrosis can be depressing. Especially when you are not sure what to do. I know how it feels. I know how humiliating it can be. That is why I want to show you how to stop armpit sweating immediately.

That way, you’ll understand what to do to stop you underarm sweating. You’ll understand what you need to do to control you underarm sweating. You will have remedies that’ll help you. You will understand what will help you to stop your armpit hyperhidrosis. Just make sure you use them.

It may be a challenge for you to select appropriate clothing to wear if you experience excessive underarm sweating, as this will likely restrict you to materials that are light in color. The unpleasant smell only makes this condition harder to bear. Quit feeling depressed and miserable, this article will provide you the steps on how to stop excessive underarm sweating.

The most important thing to do first is to determine the causes underlying this problem. A genetic trait known as hyperhidrosis is to blame in some people.

We know of several ways to prevent or reduce excessive underarm perspiration. Try a prescription antiperspirant, which often has aluminum chloride, glutaraldehype, and formalin that work by blocking sweat from reaching your skin. surface by obstructing the pores

Something else that may be used to treat this condition is botox injections. During this treatment, botulinum toxin is injected into the armpits to arrest the liberation of acetycholine. Another procedure known as iontophoresis, is performed by placing the armpits under tap water and subjecting them to mild electric shocks. Keep in mind that iontophoresis is not recommended for epileptics, cardiac patients, and pregnant women.

Should you seek help from your doctor about how to stop excessive underarm sweating, it is possible that surgery would be suggested. One surgical procedure utilizes a titanium clip to block the nerve signals attached to the sweat glands by placing the clip across the sympathetic nerves. This is known as clipping. The second procedure is called “cutting,” which involves the snipping of the nerves with scissors.

Here are some remedies that you can use to stop armpit sweating. Make sure you use these treatments if you want to stop the hyperhidrosis. They will help you fast and they are effective. Just be sure you use them now so that you can stop your armpit hyperhidrosis. If you want to get rid of your sweating problem, make sure you utilize these tips. They will help you with your sweating problem.

To get more information on how to stop armpit sweating, go to http://StopSweatyArmpitsNow.com

Three Strategies To Market Your Time share Smartly

As being a time share investor, you recognize that every single as soon as inside a whereas you could very well be pressured to offer a time share that you simply presently have within your possession. This may be as a result of the require for cash to spend to your daughter’s wedding ceremony as an example or merely since you have made the decision that you would like to obtain out in the time share business altogether. Whatever the motive, you might want to make positive that you just offer your time share in an intelligent style. To that finish, right here are 3 hints which will enable you to obtain began fast, effectively and contain a prosperous sale.

The 1st is which you should try to appreciate is that you just cannot just go available and set an advert inside the paper expecting to advertise your time share that working day. It merely does not operate aside and if you are thinking about making use of the newspaper then you definitely may perhaps would like to really reconsider that option has even though the categorized segment does give good results it requires time and a whole lot more usually than not you will uncover that your advert is buried within the highly back again with the paper wherever people today may perhaps not know to seem to be for it. Not just that, but usually talking there’s a set timeframe which you need to have though operating for and this can get pretty expensive particularly rapidly. An additional choice that you simply may be pondering of is word-of-mouth. Although that is somewhat a little more affordable than a labeled advert it could possibly seize lengthier and it isn’t targeted. So, the primary issue to consider aside from that is that you choose to really should try to initial have a very approach. You really need to make positive that you just employ a time line for which you need to advertise your time share too like a spending budget as about these two issues you do not have a very prepare without having approach be promoting your time share anytime quickly.

The following tip needless to say would be to give some thought to how quick you need to promote your time share should you needed so awfully extraordinarily fast then you definitely may perhaps want to give consideration to affordable possibilities including radio or tv promotion. Right here once more there is no genuine assure that you will advertise your time share has of those techniques though they reached a huge quantity of individuals are really untargeted and once again which you possibly will be throwing dollars of your window devoid of seeing any outcomes.

As soon as you have a very strategy what then? The last issue right here would be to have persistence. Comprehend that the product sales procedure irrespective of whether or not it is for a time share or Television, I’ll can be a rather particular pattern and also you really should make certain that you are not in search of immediate gratification and be wary of individuals that guarantee of immediate sale. You will need to make positive that you just contain a practical dream of time that you are prepared to wait and regularly marketplace your time share. The important thing right here is always to understand which you aren’t a misprint marathon and also you should do constant actions just about every working day to obtain the consequence you desire to attain.

For even more information and facts go to sell timeshare.Three Guidelines To Advertise Your Time share