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    Eat Right, Be a Stick Figure

    food_pyramid.gifQuote:   “We needed a symbol that maintained that 80 percent high recognition, that was motivational and conveyed some general messages.” Eric Hentges, the Agriculture Department official responsible for the new food pyramid.

    Terms:   Ethos, Pathos, Logos—the three basic forms of persuasion

    Are you as excited about the new food pyramid as we are? It cost $2.4 million to design and has rainbow colors, a stick figure, plus a staircase that means…something. They kept the pyramid because it’s recognizable, even though it no longer represents anything.  That’s using Ethos, the “character” part of persuasion.  We’re more likely to trust a brand we recognize.

    The little stick man gets our heart rate up just looking at him.  (Pathos, or argument by emotion).  Then there are the “general messages”—that’s Logos, rhetoric's rational side.  The main message seems to be a website, www.mypyramid.gov, where you can learn what the hell all this means.

    Snappy Answer:     “Two and a half million dollars could buy 860,000 Big Macs.”

    Got a snappier answer?  Email Figaro.

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