Tiger Lily watched the State of the Union Address with me last evening. She was impressed! Just that day in class I had taught a definition of rhetoric used by language scholars to see how it is more than sleazy lawyer-talk–
rhetoric: the use of language to accomplish something
I think of rhetoric as the way we make meaning in words, or more specifically, using communication in such a way as to influence your listeners or readers to hear your side, favor you, agree to your position, understand you, or for you to just “fit in.”
As one scholar puts it, rhetoric becomes the “‘condition of our existence’—a way of being, knowing, organizing, and acting in the world.”
Tiger Lily and I like the way Obama used words to make meaning last night.