Who's Your Rhetorical Soul-Mate?

The world can be a cold and lonely place for rhetoricians (I mean, how many times have you said what you do and someone said "What's rhetoric?"). Find your rhetorical soul-mate from the Enlightenment to Modern eras.

Get started with these questions...

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1. Literature is a conversation between the writer and reader; they create its meaning together.

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2. Rhetoric in everyday discourse is more often concerned with identification (inclusion/exclusion).

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3. Every single choice of word and its placement effects the work as a whole.

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4. Syllogisms are definitely useful, but for reasoning, not scientific discovery.

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5. Effective rhetoric appeals to all faculties of the mind (understanding, passion, etc.).

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6. The study of rhetoric, even if not actively used, still refines taste.

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7. Literature can't be successfully interpreted out of historical context.

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8. Different language systems we've developed (political, legal, etc.) reveal much about human motives.

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9. Aristotle is awesome.

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10. Clarity in speech leads to clarity of thought, but sometimes being indirect is appropriate.

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11. All kinds of language should be approached as dialogue - socially situated.

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12. Even artistic writing is best when it achieves economy of style.

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13. While it's important to know classical rhetoric, modern rhetoric is superior.

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14. ALL discourse is persuasive because all communication has a motivation to achieve some end

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15. Rhetoric should be seen as a branch of logic, in fact, logic has more in common with rhetoric than it does with science.

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16. Rules of style may be best used in editing, rather than creating.

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17. Syllogisms are a waste of time.

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18. Great ideas should be put out there regardless of whether they're accepted or you get credit.

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19. Principles of rhetoric are most effectively used in literary criticism.

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20. Because writing literature is a persuasive action, rhetoric is needed to interpret literature correctly.

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21. The proper study of rhetoric begins with the study of what produces conviction.

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22. Grammar ought to describe how the educated speak, not tell us how to speak.

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23. Rhetoric is the 'polish' of other subjects.

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24. Inefficient language tires the mind of the reader, reducing the message's impact.

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25. Structural linguistics is of no concern to actual language use.

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26. People should be treated as equal and this should be reflected in language theory.

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27. Moral argument should be based on probability and testimony.

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28. Developed taste leads to good taste in matters of virtue.

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29. Understanding can be either scientific or moral, and different approaches are required for each.

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30. Other subjects are just as interesting as rhetoric – science, education, government, sociology, etc.

What do you think, did we get it right? Comment here...