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Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the capability of writers or speakers that attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations.


  • Academic writing excuses itself from rhetorical care in the selfless service of some precise truth—and then deforms our only means for speaking truth.
    • Mark D. Jordan, “Christian Rhetoric: Scraps for a Manifesto,” Cross Currents, 56 (3), p. 328
  • What do you believe was on the mind of the ancient Romans that they called the arts of speaking humanity? They judged that, indisputably, by the study of these disciplines not only was the tongue refined, but also the wildness and barbarity of people’s minds was amended.
    • Philipp Melanchthon, “Praise of eloquence” (1523), Orations on Philosophy and Education, C. Salazar, trans. (1999), p. 66
  • Rhetoric, I shall urge, should be a study of misunderstanding and its remedies.
  • "The rhetorical process functioned in many areas other than speech: Curtius wrote about 'rhetorical landscape representations' while Serpieris speaks of 'la retorica al teatro' (the rhetorical use of theatrical space), and music historians have learned that the language and approach of musical theory in the Middle Ages were borrowed directly from medieval grammar and rhetoric."

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