Rhetoric

The word rhetoric once denoted ways of communicating one’s thoughts by devices called “rhetorical devices” “Appeal to authority” (used in terms like “expert/scientists say”) is a rhetorical device often used by journalists to convince readers of the validity of their opinions. But today maybe 2500 years since the devices of rhetoric originated, the noun rhetoric  … More Rhetoric

Java, Genesis, Insurance

I’ve been reading Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism. This morning a television  news item announced the death of a 146 year old man,our planets oldest person, in a Java village: I couldn’t help but think of the hundreds of years long life spans of most of the major figures in the book of “Genesis”.Doubtless – … More Java, Genesis, Insurance

Time & Timelessness

Thoughts central to Shakespeare’s sonnets are beauty, procreation, nature and time. Personal beauty overcomes the ravages of time by procreation, “Die single and thy image dies with thee.”(sonnet 3) “For never-resting time leads summer on/To hideous winter and confounds him there;”(Sonnet 5) In the twentieth century T.S. Elliot sees time as a static mental construct, … More Time & Timelessness

Hearing the Tone of Words

The most difficult element of rhetorical style to characterize is tone. I’ve seen funny movies that are satirical in that they mock social habits and conventions through irony; yet reviewers write about plot and comic effectiveness, scarcely noting the object of the humour. Sarcasm another use of ironic tone says one thing but means another. Mathematical and news … More Hearing the Tone of Words

Shakespeare’s King John

I learned from television news that President Obama will visit the Globe Theater to comomemerate the 400’th year since Shakespeare’s death. King John, Act 2, Scene 3; a citizen of Angiers and Philip the Bastard