Class Notes: Aug. 31, 2017

Rhetoric:  The practice and study of effective communication.

If the above is the definition of rhetoric, how do you explain the definition of the phrase “rhetorical question”?  Doesn’t that mean a question that is not really a question?

To understand the phrase “rhetorical question,” you need to understand something about words and how they are used.  First of all, there are two general categories that words fall into:

denotative: dictionary definition

connotative: “feeling” of what the word is, how it is used in day to day life

While the definition of rhetoric as the practice and study of effective communication is the denotative definition, the connotative definition of rhetoric is much broader.  The word “rhetoric” is not in any way the only word whose denotative and connotative definitions differ widely.  Please consider the denotative and connotative definitions of the term “brick” or “lit.”

Regarding our brief discussion of free speech and recent current events, several students made some excellent points.  For instance, Kyle mentioned that, “the regulation of hate speech in the context of free speech, is a hard line to walk and raises many questions regarding how to you provide parameters or guidelines.”


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