The paying of attention to ones audience is called

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Unformatted text preview: rem ains to be s hown) they us e the cunning of language, without particularly m eaning to. The language us ed is a s ocial object and us ing language is a s ocial act. It requires cunning (or, if you prefer, cons ideration) attention to the other m inds pres ent when one s peaks . The paying of attention to one’s audience is called ‘rhetoric’, a word that I later exercis e hard. One us es rhetoric, of cours e, to warn of a fire in a theatre or to arous e the xenophobia of the electorate. This s ort of yelling is the vulgar m eaning of the word, like the pres ident’s ‘heated rhetoric’ in a pres s conference or the ‘m ere rhetoric’ to which our enem ies s toop. Since the Greek flam e was lit, though, the word has been us ed als o in a broader and m ore am iable s ens e, to m ean the s tudy of all the ways of accom plis hing things with language: inciting a m ob to lynch the accus ed, to be s ure, but als o pers uading readers of a novel that its characters breathe, or bringing s...
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This document was uploaded on 03/23/2014.

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