The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


"I Love You" (A Lover's Discourse)

Submitted by syntaxfactory on March 9, 2014 - 7:12am

Starting the Language & Power unit in "Intro to Writing Studies" this week, a unit which takes almost all examples from Deborah Tannen, JL Austin, and one, just one example from Roland Barthes. Of all the examples, it is the one I must come back to, personally, every time I teach, and every time, it inspires in me reflections I have not seen before, responding to dimensions of my life, I suppose, that rise into my awareness each time.


North American Dialect Map

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 31, 2010 - 12:24pm

Via Sullivan, a really cool map of dialects.


Guest Post: Stroud on Languages

Submitted by syntaxfactory on November 20, 2010 - 11:14am

Guest post from Scott Stroud:

I went to a history of rhetoric panel (ASHR) at the recent NCA on the "future of the history of rhetoric," and I was a bit dismayed. It seems like there's a trend toward fewer and fewer history of rhetoric Ph.D.'s being produced and hired by communication studies departments. It would be undesirable if this discipline loses its sense of history and outsources rhetorical history to classics departments, say. Perhaps that will never come to be, but the trend is there.



Submitted by Jim Aune on September 3, 2010 - 10:28pm

I am not now nor have I ever been a prescriptive grammarian, but I'm a bit of a prescriptive rhetorician, although I mostly just get annoyed about "like," "right?" and "upspeak." The latter two seem epidemic among younger faculty, while the former, well, like, you know, you can play a fun game by counting how many "likes" you hear when walking from your office to your classroom. The Oxford University Press blog weighs in on the history of "like."



Submitted by syntaxfactory on July 18, 2010 - 10:32am

...because no matter how beautiful the words, I will never forgive RPW what he did to literary studies and I do not know what it is to feel Southern.


Obama's speech "aloof and out of touch"

Submitted by Jim Brown on June 17, 2010 - 9:42am

According to Paul J. J. Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor (Austin based), Obama's speech was at a 9.8 grade level. Apparently, this is too high:

He singled out this sentence from Obama as unfortunate: "That is why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation's best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge -- a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation's secretary of energy."


Things that drive me crazy 1

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 13, 2009 - 9:23pm

I am not a prescriptive grammarian (rhetoricians usually aren't), but this rapidly spreading meme of using "beg the question" to mean "raises the question" is a sign that no one seems to be teaching logic anymore--question-begging expressions.


Autism as Metaphor

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 11, 2009 - 6:44pm

"What is it about autistic people that prompts the trope of the alien? How are autists different from other human beings, in such a way that a gifted autist can feel that living among humans is like living with Martians? How can a gross but effective sound bite create the sense that aliens are snatching our children to make them theirs ? I am of the school that thinks you can learn about X by reflecting on what makes something not-X.