mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest
What does Rhetorical mean? Options
WolfSlayer
Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 12:32:29 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/12/2014
Posts: 25
Neurons: 3,560
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
I need help with this word and example sentences!
Thanks!
WolfSlayer
Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 12:33:29 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/12/2014
Posts: 25
Neurons: 3,560
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
I already checked TFD but still don't understand!
Barely literate
Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 1:43:51 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/29/2012
Posts: 2,920
Neurons: 19,621
Dreamy
Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 1:57:59 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/11/2009
Posts: 1,501
Neurons: 10,806
Location: Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
horace wong wrote:
I need help with this word and example sentences!
Thanks!


Words spoken or published can be considered rhetorical when their purpose is to persuade or produce a particular effect.

Rhetorical questions such as "What is the world coming to when we can't enjoy a noise-free neighbourhood", are expressly asked not to get a specific answer but to express a feeling of some sort.

rhet·o·ric (rĕt′ər-ĭk)
n.
1.
a. The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively.

b. A treatise or book discussing this art.

2. Skill in using language effectively and persuasively.

3.
a. A style of speaking or writing, especially the language of a particular subject: fiery political rhetoric.

b. Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous: His offers of compromise were mere rhetoric.

4. Verbal communication; discourse.



[Middle English rethorik, from Old French rethorique, from Latin rhētoricē, rhētorica, from Greek rhētorikē (tekhnē), rhetorical (art), feminine of rhētorikos, rhetorical, from rhētōr, rhetor; see rhetor.]


The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


rogermue
Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 2:08:48 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/2012
Posts: 5,045
Neurons: 34,900
Location: München, Bavaria, Germany
You should give the passage where you found the word rhetorical. Then it is possible to see whether it is used in its normal sense or in a negative sense.
In ancient Rome rhetoric was studied by people who had to deliver public speeches. Rhetoric is the art and technique to make effectful speeches.
If you google for rhetoric you should get a lot of explanations.
Madas
Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 2:29:44 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/26/2014
Posts: 167
Neurons: 2,671,553
Location: Vilnius, Vilniaus Apskritis, Lithuania
Rhetorical question deserves rhetorical answer. See political debates.
Kami
Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 6:07:41 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/12/2009
Posts: 229
Neurons: 687
horace wong wrote:
I already checked TFD but still don't understand!


Hey Horace,
Do you speak and understand another language besides the English language? If you do, see if you can understand the meaning and usage of "rhetoric" in that language you understand better. Sometimes, a foreign language enhances one's understanding of his or her mother tongue. "Rhetorical" is an adjective to describe the manner or style in which you use language to produce a kind of effect on the people you're talking to. Do you want to convince people?, do you want to persuade them?, do you want to please them? do you want to influence them? Now, you will have to choose your words and use them in a style that will produce the result you want.
John MK
Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 12:21:33 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 9/26/2012
Posts: 24
Neurons: 125,692
Location: Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom
Hi Horace, lots of good answers already, I see, especially the detailed one from 'Dreamy'.

In normal speech, 'rhetorical' can also mean something more subtle, implying that there is no answer... or no answer is expected. So, yes, a rhetorical question or statement is intellectually clever and precise (the word's historical meaning), but in a way that either blocks a possible answer or assumes there isn't one - or that no-one is going to make an answer.

For example, in the sentence, "It's raining, let's go inside?" there is a question; 'let's go inside?', but as it's raining it's perfectly clear no-one is going to say "No, let's stay outside and get wet." So it's a 'rhetorical' question.

Often when people speak, and sometimes when they write, they casually say things in a way that could be a statement or question to which someone might answer, but it's either very unlikely they would, or an answer would be redundant. We might then say the statement or question was 'rhetorical'. That is quite common in 'casual' use of English, as opposed to text-book grammar.
Mr Epstein
Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 12:33:13 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/31/2014
Posts: 286
Neurons: 354,485
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
I like the answer given by John MK.

Rhetorical can mean imply more than one meaning so context is very important.

It seems when most people use the word in today's conversation they mean to propose a topic for which no answer is obvious, that the issue at hand has no simple solution. Most examples seem to involve the ideas that people have or think solutions yet are not real solutions, simply personal thoughts.

Much of the philosophy of eternal soul or being that has been written and refined since the days of the Upanishads is not much more than rhetorical banter, as every couple of centuries another thinker comes along with modern ideas that drastically alters what was once considered orthodox.

There is no simple answer as is found in mathematics or simple chemistry.
WolfSlayer
Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 2:06:48 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/12/2014
Posts: 25
Neurons: 3,560
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Thanks now I understand now and I changed my name form horacewong to this name:DarkWolf so call me dark or wolf or both!
seemo74
Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 7:22:22 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 3/29/2014
Posts: 333
Neurons: 23,588
Location: Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt

rhet·o·ric (rĕt′ər-ĭk)
n.
1.
a. The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively.

b. A treatise or book discussing this art.

2. Skill in using language effectively and persuasively.

3.
a. A style of speaking or writing, especially the language of a particular subject: fiery political rhetoric.

b. Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous: His offers of compromise were mere rhetoric.

4. Verbal communication; discourse.
TheParser
Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2014 6:31:03 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2012
Posts: 4,668
Neurons: 22,062
seemo74 wrote:



b. Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere.





Just listen to any of our politicians if anyone wants examples!
Square
Posted: Monday, April 14, 2014 6:12:21 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/15/2014
Posts: 406
Neurons: 2,701
TheParser wrote:
seemo74 wrote:



b. Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere.





Just listen to any of our politicians if anyone wants examples!


The oxymoron "honest politician" (not sure if it really is) comes into my mind.
Luker4
Posted: Monday, April 14, 2014 6:32:30 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/2013
Posts: 4,235
Neurons: 24,493
Location: Wrocław Pracze, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
The rhetorical question is usually defined as any question asked for a purpose other than to obtain the information the question asks. For example, "Why are you so stupid?" is likely to be a statement regarding one's opinion of the person addressed rather than a genuine request to know. Similarly, when someone responds to a tragic event by saying, "Why me, God?!" it is more likely to be an accusation or an expression of feeling than a realistic request for information.
Apart from these more obviously rhetorical uses, the question as a grammatical form has important rhetorical dimensions. For example, the rhetorical critic may assess the effect of asking a question as a method of beginning discourse: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" says the persona of Shakespeare's 18th sonnet. This kind of rhetorical question, in which one asks the opinion of those listening, is called anacoenosis. This rhetorical question has a definite ethical dimension, since to ask in this way generally endears the speaker to the audience and so improves his or her credibility or ethos. The technical term for rhetorical questions in general is erotema.

http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/Figures/R/rhetorical%20questions.htm
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.