Saturday, January 16, 2010

WaPo & Obama's Rhetorical Devices

A "rhetorical device or resource of language is a technique that an author or speaker uses to convey to the listener or reader a meaning with the goal of persuading him or her towards considering a topic from a different perspective." All people use rhetorical devices, such as irony or metaphor. The left commonly uses such devices as labels to circumvent debate and demonize a subject. Obama does that and more. The WaPo has taken notice, and indeed, devotes a whole column to one specific device "Let me be clear." This from the Washington Post:

When Obama is being "clear" these days, he is saying something quite different than when he was being clear in 2007 and 2008. His shifting use of the phrase traces the arc of Obama's time on the national stage, from campaign sensation to a president beset with challenges that rhetoric alone cannot overcome. In a presidency in which everything is murkier than Obama could have imagined, the "let me be clear" preface has become a signal that what follows will be anything but.

Heh. Do read the entire article.

No comments: