Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rhetorical Device in USA Presidential Campaign

As I mentioned in lecture today, knowledge of classical rhetorical devices is as effective now as in ancient Rome, and I said I would blog an essay in proof of that.

From the centre-left online journal, this is that essay:

The Hottest Rhetorical Device of Campaign '08. Ask not what antimetabole can do for you—ask what you can do for antimetabole.

Politicians eager to keep up with the latest fad need more than a flag pin this election season; the hottest accessory of the 2008 campaign is the reversible raincoat. That's the nickname speechwriters have given to the rhetorical device in which words are repeated in transposed order, as with Churchill's famous line: "Let us preach what we practice—let us practice what we preach." The fancy Greek name for the trick is antimetabole, and it's been cropping up in speeches by Democrats and Republicans alike. >>>More