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Figaro rips the innards out of things people say and reveals the rhetorical tricks and pratfalls. For terms and definitions, click here.
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    Left Words, Right Words

    The New York Times has a great word cloud comparing the terms used at the Republican and Democratic conventions. Check it out here.

    Figaro has been looking at the use of tropes and figures by each political party. We find that Dems favor poetic patterns—figures—while Republicans prefer tropes: ways of bending reality. In the Times infographic you may find another difference. Which party seems to use the more specific, easily defined words? And which one uses more symbolic terms?

    Why should you care? Because symbols lend themselves to demonstrative rhetoric—language that brings a tribe together and makes it feel superior to another tribe. Specific terms apply better to deliberative rhetoric: argument about choices. So which side seems more about tribes, and which one focuses more on choices?

    Yeah, we know, both parties get pretty tribal. But isn’t it interesting to see political language in that light? It would make a good drinking game for the prez debates. For each specific term or fact, drink a precise amount of beverage. For each trope, pretend to drink. Which candidate gets you high?

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    Reader Comments (1)

    Rhetorically insightful and logically devilish, as Holmes might say. Demonstrative/tribal rhetoric is - or ought to be - a step toward deliberative rhetoric. Thus, the one who is able to move from demonstrative to deliberative is, insert Latin phrase, rhetorically more effective and politically more desirable.
    October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdavid yb kaufmann

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