Sexy Rhetoric

I’ve been hearing this word so much in class and not until this assignment was I given the opportunity to expand my knowledge and find out what the heck we’ve been talking about all semester. Of course my first time dealing with the term head on I was asked to define it. Considering I had zero idea about what it actually was this was a bit challenging. So this is how I defined rhetoric, I stated that “Rhetoric is watching two strangers make love; its erotic and enduring yet emotionless. It means nothing, but you still want to see the end”. I am not at all sure where I came up with this definition but I will do my absolute best trying to describe what I meant in detail. When given this assignment I looked at approximately 12 different definitions of the word rhetoric, this only confused me more. Many words have more than one meaning but my goodness. I am pretty sure that simply using the word would ignite such conversation that would later turn into an argument because of the different views. Allow me to try and break my definition down. The first part about watching to strangers make love has a lot to do with the confusion that comes along with rhetoric. When watching two strangers make love I assume you don’t know much about what you’re getting yourself into, the same idea pertains to rhetoric. The conversation or use of rhetoric could conclude in so many ways, in most cases nothing like you imagined. The second part says “its erotic and enduring yet emotionless”, this pertains to the language of rhetoric. The language is persuasive and impressive and uses figure of speech which could, in a sense, be erotic and/or enduring like watching two strangers have sex. It is emotionless because in one of the definitions I read it said that rhetoric is often regarded as lacking sincerity or meaningful content. Just like two strangers having sex, that’s all their doing, having sex. There are no emotions involved or any attachments just sex, just rhetoric. Lastly it says “it means nothing, but you still want to see the end”. Like stated before it is just empty sex with no meaning just like rhetoric. Still wanting to see the end is referring to the use of rhetoric. It’s this empty thing but we still want to use it we still use it to get what we want and we still use it in our writing.

In one of our reading Bitzer talks about rhetorical situations have structure. I think it is rather interesting that rhetorical situations have structure but rhetoric in itself and the definition are all over the place. Would the situations be so structured if the definition was more concrete? To me rhetoric is whatever it needs to be whenever it needs to be it. You cannot simply put rhetoric in some box with a label and expect only certain things to fit. I definitely agree with Bitzer and his idea that rhetoric is situational.

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