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    Thou Shalt Not Command a Mood

    We’re devoting much of our time to our sister site, ArgueLab, but Figaro hasn’t disappeared altogether. He’s especially interested in the latest ArgueLab video, because it contains what linguists and grammarians call the command mood.

    A mood signals the purpose of a sentence. For instance, the interrogative mood has to do with a question. The indicative mood states a fact. The subjunctive mood—well, let’s not get all moody here. This is rhetoric, after all.

    One of the biggest rhetorical mistakes is to use a command to order someone’s mood. In this video, Christina’s imaginary boyfriend, Ryan Gosling, tells her to calm down. That’s the command mood commanding a mood. The results are predictable. But Christina also offers a solution.

    Got questions for Figaro? Comment below or get yourself straight to ArgueLab.

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    Reader Comments (1)

    Figaro being the Luddite he is, he can't figure out how to get the video to fit properly. It works fine on ArgueLab,com, if you don't want a headache from seeing part of Christina cut off. -Fig.
    May 5, 2015 | Registered CommenterFigaro

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