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...a sweatshop of moxie

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fresh Angle On The Debate

You've heard the pundits. You've read the live-blog comments. You've replayed the TiVo.

But are you ready for the geek approach in dissecting the first debate?

Leigh Anne Rayburn is a blogger after my own heart. As an old Oxford Union member, I know what it is to parse another person's oratory on my feet, but I tip my hat to her for this blogpost:

And the Winner of the Presidential Debate is...

ANAPHORA! It was the rhetorical device that was thrown around most.

Here's how nerdy I am. While watching the debate, I kept a chart of rhetorical devices and logical fallacies. It is not comprehensive. I got distracted by chatting with Mr. Lundin about it, so I didn't catch everything.

But here's yet another glimpse into the Word Nerd who is your English teacher.

Pathos (sad news about Kennedy)
Antimetabole (2)
Allusion to Eisenhower
Ad Populum (The American worker, I still believe in the United States)
Anadiplosis (We came to power, and power changed us.)
Red Herring (Bear study)
Begging the Question (He has earmarked $ for pork barrel spending.)
Ad Hominem (maybe that’s not a lot of money to Senator Obama)
Red Herring (I didn’t win Miss Congeniality in the senate)
Red Herring (Ireland pays 11 percent business tax)
Ad Populum (look at them, my friends, you’ll be appalled)
Parallelism (walking the walk, talking the talk)
Anaphora (we have to, we have to)
Tricolon and Epistrophe (how we leave, when we leave, what we leave behind)
Pathos (let us win, we don’t want our kids coming back here)
Red Herring (this business about Pakistan, let me tell you my record)
Ad populum (one of the most popular presidents, one of the men I admire most)
Anaphora (I have a record)
Pathos (I will wear your dead son’s bracelet with honor)
Red Herring (you would think that with that kind of concern Senator Obama would’ve visited…)
Ad populum/Bifurcation (We cannot allow a second holocaust)
Bifurcation (if you sit down with that person, you legitimize his comments)
Red Herring (the average S. Korean is three inches taller than the average N. Korean)
Pathos (I love veterans)

Tricolon – many times
Anaphora (he’s right that…he’s also right that…)
Hyperbole (this gas cost that is killing them)
Polysyndeton (and, and, also, also)
Begging the Question (opposing George Bush’s wrong-headed policies)
Hyperbole (health care problems are crushing people across the nation)
Anaphora (we hadn’t, we hadn’t)
Epistrophe (wisely, wisely)
Red Herring (I’m very proud of my VP choice, when asked about not going to Iraq)
Red Herring (General Petraeus has done a brilliant job)
Anaphora and Epistrophe (you said that, you were wrong)
Anaphora (we need, we need)
Bifurcation (if we don’t, Americans won’t be safe)
Allusion (McCain’s bombing Iran song)
Epistrophe (he may be a dictator, but he’s our dictator)
Pathos (I’ve got a bracelet, too)
Ad Populum (No U.S. soldier ever dies in vain)
Anaphora (we took our eye off)
Anaphora (you don’t muddle through)
Anaphora (they have funded)
Parallelism, allusion (walk the walk, talk the talk)
Pathos (my dad was a determined Kenyan)

If you ask me, I think the real winner of the evening is General Petreaus, because we wouldn't be having this debate with John McCain without him.

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