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Thread: Rhetoric

  1. #1
    Thailand Expat

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    Rhetoric

    "We're confident that these new measures, once applied, and coming onstream in the spring, will address the shortcomings of the previous administration, so that in this way we honour our predessors, while also looking forward to the future, which belongs to the children of our children, and our children's children..."

    Blah, blah. It seems our media these days is just so hyper-saturated with rhetoric, all kinds: pc, political, environmental, pop culture, etc. that it makes debate difficult, since any issue can be put through the prism of vague rhetorical language. One example could be "the troops" in Iraq; everyone wants a piece of this issue: the media often go in with the family-documentary angle, the conservative droning on and on about honour, the left about failure, etc.

    I see it essentially as safe bullshit that protects the speaker by using noble-sounding but vague language in the process dumbing-down the entire culture and the quality of debate. Sometimes it borders on propaganda, like watching a television commercial with pristine shorelines then the Exxon logo materializes.

    Or more recently for me, childcare rhetoric. I'd go and pick Michael up and they'd say to me: "Michael is dialogueing well with his playdate help-mates; he's signing, using his words but had problems with gentle hands today" etc.

    The worst was the AA/12-Step/self-help movement in the early 90's embodied by the Al Franken "Stuart Smalley" character in SNL's "Daily Affirmation" and in the film "Stuart Saves His Family:"

    "I don't have closure yet on your taking my inventory, and now you're just acting out and projecting your issues onto my neediness...

    Two words I hate: "issues" and "closure."

    "Issues" used to be defined as in "Let's discuss the issue of____/the ___ issue," whatever. Now it's enough just to "have issues" that don't need to be defined, as in "he really has issues with that." What "issues?" And what's he doing with them?

    And "closure." It's just assumed this is what every family wants if a body hasn't been found, it's a word that sounds good, and everybody loves saying it, including the victim's family but what exactly does "closure" mean? "We want closure." Seems a rather broad term. Again, something to be wanted or had. Does one have to have "closure?" What if they find the body but I still don't get closure? Would that be wrong?

    I dislike this kind of vague, euphemistic language. You hear it a lot when politicians have to do their least-favourite task, answering awkward questions in public. You often get this: "If I may respond to the second part of your question I would have to say that, quite frankly, your point is well-taken and I appreciate your passion but I would put it to you that, within the context of the ongoing and developing challenges we face that, looked at from a different perspective, we could really take a fresh look at this thing and make a fresh start."

    Of course, "pc" language is legendary, particularly when it's trying not to offend Large specialized vocabulary, too.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
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    "If I may respond to the second part of your question I would have to say that, quite frankly, your point is well-taken and I appreciate your passion but I would put it to you that, within the context of the ongoing and developing challenges we face that, looked at from a different perspective, we could really take a fresh look at this thing and make a fresh start."
    bladdy hell - you're good at that!

  3. #3
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hootad Binky
    "Michael is dialogueing well with his playdate help-mates; he's signing, using his words but had problems with gentle hands today"
    Are you serious.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat

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    Maybe I need more "circle time"

  5. #5
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    El Gibbon's Avatar
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    What the flock Binky, you should be running for office somewhere. You've got it snapped. Don't yet know your platform and what your issues are, but, they bound to be classic.

    Good Work...

    E. G.

  6. #6
    watterinja
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    It's all 'smoke & mirrors'... illusion & spin

    A recent reply from a US-based expert regarding incorrect information provided on a project:

    "Sorry for the information dis-connect".

    It only cost me a few days of extra work to run up a few corrections, but, it happens... Such is life...
    Last edited by watterinja; 29-05-2007 at 12:40 PM.

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