Rhetorical studies show how word choice, phrasing, logic and even body language can affect discourse. In an increasingly Internet-driven society, the art of rhetoric is especially important. We now have more opportunities to control our language. The ability to give a good speech or presentation is highly valued, as a good performance can easily “go viral” and be seen by millions of people around the world. We will use this section of our blog to look at logical arguments, theory, analyses, research and news related to rhetorical study. By improving your awareness of things like word choice and logical arguments, you can improve your own speeches or build a stronger critical understanding of how rhetoric shapes politics, interpersonal communication skills and the modern world.
A recent study of the use of metaphors in spoken language and various sign languages shows that certain types of metaphors are difficult to convey in sign language. The study, “Iconicity and metaphor: Constraints on metaphorical extension of iconic forms,” to be published in the December 2010 issue of the scholarly journal Language, is authored by Irit Meir of the University of Haifa.