Re: permalancers

Subject: Re: permalancers
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: Technical Writer <tekwrytr -at- hotmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 02:07:16 -0800

Technical Writer wrote:

> Ned Bedinger wrote:
> I classify it as a variant of the
> rhetorical device known as "mirrors"
> which comprises barbershop mirrors, funhouse
> mirrors, smoke and ....</quote>

>> Your comments could be as appropriately classified
>> as obfuscatory prose. Pomposity is an inappropriate
>> (although altogether too common) response for
>> technical writers implying they are unreplaceable.
>> They are not. That is the bottom line. Misdirection,
>> obfuscation, and tatty little asides do nothing to
>> change the basic scenario.

Tek, you shouldnt take it so hard.

You took my prose as obfuscated, pompous. I wrote it in that stilted
academic style to color it that color, because formal rhetoric is an
academic discipline--you can take rhetoric out of the school, but you
can't take the school out of rhetoric.

I'm trained in classification science. It has been a while since I
aimed for real expertise in it, but I've internalized certain of the
values, and I guess I do see the world through that lens. I'm
comfortable with words like classify and variant. People in
classification science are forever discovering, naming, or classifying
something. The point is as much to test the classification system as it
is to believe that it is absolute.

My definition of rhetoric, as an amateur student of it, is a bit narrow
but workable: rhetoric is the art and science of using language to
attract and persuade an audience. We're all intuitive users--any time
you use any sort of expression that is done for effect, like
exaggerating or understating a point, is use of a rhetorical devices.

I should own up to your charge of misdirection. What I wrote might have
been interpreted as saying that "mirrors" is an established item in the
inventory of rhetorical devices. Anyone who went to the web and looked
for it would have been skunked. The truth is, I identified and named it
on the spot, which is what I wrote, Anyway, I'm not going to have time
to shepherd it through an academic gauntlet of test for timeless
rhetoricity. Let's consider the nomination withdrawn.

Hope this helps.

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com


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RE: permalancers: From: Technical Writer

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