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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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    Figaro Beats His Son!

    GeorgeRocker.small.JPGFigaro will spare you the chore of reading him this morning.  Instead, please hear his rhetorical commentary which ran last night on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”  Not to brag or anything (apophasis), but it’s already on the network’s most-emailed list.  Please let us know what you think—add a comment to this entry.


    Click here to listen. 

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    Reader Comments (23)

    Save for that over-cooked "touche" ending, your well-polished powers of persuasion had me in fact smiling more brightly here.

    My thanks (al dente)!
    May 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStyles
    So you consider it medium well done? We'll take that as a compliment.

    May 31, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    Heard ya, Figaro. Impressive!
    May 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKris S.
    When did you stop beating your son?
    May 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKris S.
    When I heard you on NPR I was so excited; I feel you're an intelligent friend. Your toothpaste story was delightful. It reinforces once again how powerful nuance, used correctly, can be!

    You're in my classroom everyday, and there is a whole generation of high school juniors who are familiar with and mesmerized by your daily figure. It makes my job immensely easier...thank you for being such a humorous political influence.
    May 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen
    So great to hear your voice. I love that story. George is so handsome even in his shorts. This a.m. on one of the network morning shows, I saw a group of authors who have made up a singing group. Stephen King was in it and so was the guy who wrote Tuesdays With Maury and now One More Day. I expected to see you in that goup, even looked for you. Thought this might be your network. Your book is great. We are having such fun reading it. It's like visiting our good friends. Wish you the best with the book,
    May 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDarla McLeod
    Stop beating my son? Ah, the Fallacy of Many Questions! My favorite!
    May 31, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    Kathleen, that is one of the kindest notes I've yet received. Don't know about the intelligent part, but I'm honored you consider me a friend. Anyone who teaches rhetoric to high school students is a hero in Figaro's book.
    May 31, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    Darla, many thanks! I'm glad you heard it. You won't find me in Stephen King's singing group until he writes me in as a fictional character. That scares even Figaro.
    May 31, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    george has his mom's looks and his dad's attitude. congrats on the piece on bigtime radio. too bad terri gross won't talk to you. i hear she likes quiet people.

    June 1, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercw
    Hi Figaro,

    Thanks for the passion you have sharing us your experiences and Ideas. As a teacher, I really find them educational.
    June 1, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterlord manila
    George will be glad to hear he has his mother's looks, but you should see him when he's arguing; he looks just like his dad. Unfortunately.

    Are you the famous CW in California? Of CW Radio fame?

    June 1, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    Thank you, Lord Manila. I'm offering speakerphone conferences with classes that adopt my book. Let me know if you're interested.

    June 1, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    Humorous, to the point, self-effacing (asyndetonic merismus).

    June 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob
    I'm overwhelmed, flattered and deeply gratified (ditto).

    June 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    Re "ditto": it's a merismus, but not an asyndeton where "and" is included.

    Now you know why I'm despised by all healthy humans.
    June 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob
    You are right, Sir! About the mistake, not the "despised" part. (Concessio)

    June 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob
    I remember reading this story somewhere on your site. Or maybe it was one of the articles on another site you linked to from here. No, shorts might have been the magazine website article, toothpaste was definitely on here. Shows I pay attention ^_^. But, yeah, a good listen.
    June 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSydney J. Carton
    Well, besides NPR, I've told the George toothpaste story in 62 radio interviews, an article in Southwest Airlines' Spirit magazine, and my book.

    Figaro is a big believer in narrative overkill.

    June 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    I always like where you talk about your kids being essentially little snots (err, I mean that in a very positive way) and how "they do [you] proud", because of the critical thinking (such a rare thing!) they have developed.

    Upon preview: Yeah, I was thinking of the "Teach a Kid to Argue" section more specifically. Still makes me chuckle and nod.
    June 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSydney J. Carton

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