September 24, 2012

rhetoric is an art...right?

I'll admit: sometimes, for the sake of increasing word count or making myself seem like I know what I'm actually talking about, I've use a painstaking amount of words to convey one particular idea. I've even confused myself before because of how many times I try to go around a subject matter before I actually try and attack it and even then, it's a thinly veiled attempt to just make myself seem smarter. So, while I'd hate to agree with Locke on this one, I have to - in some respects.

Using ornate language can be a good thing - if I'm reading a story that has kind of a dull or ridiculously common plot, I tend to enjoy it more when it has beautiful language and paints pictures for me because it's their command of language that sets them apart from other people's works. I'd much rather read a story that can capture me through their figurative language than one that captures me solely because I can predict the ending because I've read it a million times.

But to say that ornate language should be gotten rid of? I don't agree with that. Yes, sometimes people need to just get the facts out there without tainting them with some ridiculous language. When reading an educational article, I'm put off when people use excessive language because it makes them seem like they don't know what they're talking about. They look as if they're just trying to distract you with pretty and academic sounding words without providing anything of substance. They're not actually saying anything - and with that, I agree with Locke.

However, ornate language can be a beautiful thing. Look at poetry, look at music, look at art. Rhetoric is more than just bull-------* your way around an essay; it's making art of something that could be put plainly. If you have the command of language and the vehicle in which to perfectly apply it, why not?

(*pardon my french!)

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