“Am I using rhetoric right?”




Hoermann-Elliott, Jackie

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Tanglewood Moms


Seeking confirmation for his understanding of rhetoric as duplicitous, empty speech, a relative asked me this question at a holiday party last year. He peered over his glass of merlot expecting an explanation, and I sighed audibly before saying, “How long do you have?”

As an assistant professor of English at Texas Woman’s University, people assume I have a menagerie of pet peeves about the use (and alleged abuse) of the English language. I am often asked to hypothesize as to why no one knows how to use a comma or to play therapist to those most concerned with texting’s effect on the writing skills of the youth. And yet, these selfproclaimed protectors of the English language never upset me more than they do with their flippant dismissal of rhetoric.



Signs and symbols, Communication, Thought experiment


This is the published version of an article that is available at https://tanglewoodmoms.com/madeworthy-magazine/. Recommended citation: Hoermann-Elliott, J. (2023c, December 30). “Am I using rhetoric right?”. Madeworthy Magazine. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.