Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rhetorical Values List: First Draft

Italo Calvino inspired me vicariously through Jon Wright. Instead of literary virtues however, I want to think about broad and ultimate rhetorical ideals. My intention is to produce a short list with ultimate yet specific enough and distinct values such that, if any given piece of rhetoric truly satisfies all of them, no further changes will ever be necessary - or even helpful. Here is the list I have so far:

1. Relevance
2. Accuracy
3. Precision
4. Concision
5. Clarity
6. Completeness
7. Eloquence

What do you think? Do any of the values overlap unnecessarily? Are any less than ideal? Are any missing?

1 comment:

  1. when i went to debate camp, we were taught a system of persuasive speaking that depended on four...uh pillars or something.

    i think there were these:

    - topicality
    - significance
    - solvency
    - inherency

    ah! they were called "stock issues". so a good opening speech in a policy debate has the burden of proof and needs to present a prima facie case, meaning that the argument presented outlines a problem that is inherent in the status quo and won't simply go away or won't go away quickly; it is within the topic being addressed; the solution presented solves the problem; and that it is of some import and not a menial problem.

    i've frequently thought back to this paradigm i was given.

    i thought you might find this interesting.


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