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Language and Rhetoric Jason M. Chang Critical Thinking.

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1 Language and Rhetoric Jason M. Chang Critical Thinking

2 Lecture Outline I.Argument vs. rhetoric II.Euphemisms III.Dysphemism IV.Jargon V.Weasel words

3 Argument vs. rhetoric What is rhetoric? Definition 1: The art of speaking of writing effectively and persuasively Definition 2: Skill in the effective use of speech; also insincere, extravagant, intellectually vacuous language

4 Argument vs. rhetoric Philosophy vs. rhetoric Philosophy Using arguments to reach truth Rhetoric Speaking for the persuasion of flattery Plato (427-347 BC)

5 Argument vs. rhetoric DEFINITIONHOW IT PERSUADESWHY PROBLEMATIC ARGUMENT RHETORIC Premises that logically support a conclusion Insincere, extravagant, language used to persuade or mislead Appeals to reason Uses premises to give evidence for conclusion Appeals to emotion Uses emotional, manipulative, misleading language N/A Often takes place of good reasoning Persons often swayed without having reasons

6 Euphemisms

7 What it is Root of word Definition A mild, vague, or more pleasant term used to replace a bad or offensive one

8 Euphemisms Between jobs Collateral damage Correctional facility Learning opportunity Under the weather Sanitation engineer Restroom/powder room Unemployed Civilian war causalities Prison Exam Sick Garbage worker Bathroom

9 Euphemisms As a rhetorical device How used Used to suppress negative emotions about a topic (that ought to be there) Often times used to “defend the indefensible”

10 Dysphemisms

11 What it is Root of word Definition A disagreeable, offensive, word used to replace an agreeable or neutral one

12 Dysphemisms Eating animal flesh Pro-abortion Anti-choice (anti-women) Dead tree version Cheapskate Killing a baby Flip flopping Eating meat Pro-choice Pro-life Paper copy Frugal person Abortion Changing one’s mind

13 Dysphemisms As a rhetorical device How used Used to evoke negative emotions or attitudes about a topic

14 Jargon

15 Definition Special language of a particular group or profession

16 Jargon As a rhetorical device Using pretentious language marked by unnecessary, abstract words Used to impress, confuse, intimidate people

17 Jargon Jargon in advertisements “Chevron contains techron” “Low temp anti-freeze consists of a specially inhibited concentrated methanol base containing estorol, a new organic solvent that makes the metal in your radiator rust resistant” A Lolonis Vineyards wine: “Wisp of cedar vanilla sit to the side of quiet, slighly candied cherries in the low-keyed aromas, while, in the mouth, this wine runs parallel to the nose in its soft fruit and sweeter oak qualities. Very smooth and sporting a fat, glyceriny feel, it is ripe, but always a bit fuzzy in varietal focus and its lack of a real grip suggests that it be consued sooner rather than later.”

18 Jargon Jargon in debate Good Will Hunting clip

19 Weasel words

20 What it is Definition Words aimed at creating the appearance that a strong claim has been made when in fact only a fact claim has been said

21 Weasel words As a rhetorical device How used Used to mislead without outright lying

22 Weasel words “You may have won a new car” Impression: Good chance that I won Reality: May consist of 1 in a billion chance “3/4 dentists recommend sugarless gum” Impression: 75 percent of all dentists recommended it Reality: Only need to survey 4 dentists

23 Weasel words “up to 50% off on all products” Impression: Everything is 50% off Reality: It might be that only one product is 50% iff “Some doctors recommend ginseng for sexual dysfunction” Impression: Many doctors recommend ginseng Reality: Some can mean only two

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