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unit 1 paper. rough draft.

unit 1 paper. rough draft. - Bernard 1 Matthew Bernard Dr...

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Bernard 1 Matthew Bernard Dr. Chavez Composition and Rhetoric 23 September 2010 Rhetorical Analysis: The Power of Words in Wartime Robin Tolmach Lakoff’s critical essay of the use of linguistics during wartime is an interesting piece that will keep the reader engaged through the whole process. Written originally as an editorial opinion piece, this analysis of military and domestic wartime jargon examines the use of vocabulary, personification, and compassion of human beings. The author’s opinion of vocabulary during times of conflict is inherently correct with almost no lack of fundamental basis. Lackoff best summarizes her own piece by stating, “Bullets and bombs are not the only tools of war, words, too, play their part” (Lakoff 129). First and foremost, Lackoff begins her own rhetorical analysis of military terms by discussing the most basic forms of jargon during times of war. The author describes how the use of impersonal, inhuman vocabulary is the first step in the battle towards creating a different image to military personnel and civilians alike. Lackoff uses current events to provide a fundamental foothold for her thesis. In the modern Iraqi conflict, Lakoff states that military leaders refer to the opposing force as “the enemy” and prison guards refer to those detained as “it” (129). The main point of Lakoff’s piece is to exemplify that the verbal war is just as important as the conflict itself. She also provides many historical bases for her opinion. Her references to vocabulary battles in Vietnam, Korea, and even ancient Rome only strengthen her idea that vocabulary is more than half the battle. Most of this idea stems from her opinion that,
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Bernard 2 “Human beings are social animals, genetically hard-wired to feel compassion towards others. Under normal conditions, most people find it very difficult to kill” (129). Lakoff’s opinion that killing is difficult to do, based upon our genetic hard-wiring, automatically exemplifies that the ethos of this paper is very strong. Her point and basis for her thesis is very clearly grounded. Also adding to the author’s ethos is the fact that she is a professor and Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of California and Berkeley. This battle of words is what she has dedicated her life’s work to. Lakoff also has a subliminal message in the piece that appeared to make the ethos disintegrate. Though she clearly states that words are half
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