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In Words Like Loaded Pistols, Sam Leith traces the art of persuasion, beginning in ancient Syracuse and taking us on detours as varied and fascinating as Elizabethan England, Milton's Satanic realm, the Springfield of Abraham Lincoln and the Springfield of Homer Simpson. He explains how language has been used by the great heroes of rhetoric (such as Cicero and Martin Luther King Jr.), as well as some villains (like Adolf Hitler and Richard Nixon.) Words Like Loaded Pistols is a primer to rhetoric's key techniques; you'll find out how to build your own memory-palace; you'll be introduced to the Three Musketeers: Ethos, Pathos and Logos; and you'll learn how to use chiasmus with confidence and occultation without thinking about it. Most importantly of all, you will discover that rhetoric is useful, relevant – and absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
Classical Rhetoric in the Middle Ages: The Medieval Rhetors and Their Art 400-1300, with manuscript survey to 1500 CE is a completely updated version of John Ward’s much-used doctoral thesis of 1972, and is the definitive treatment of this fundamental aspect of medieval and rhetorical culture.
Want to be an effective, successful and happy academic? This book helps you hone your skills, showcase your strengths, and manage all the professional aspects of academic life. With their focus on life-long learning and positive reflection, Alex and Bailey encourage you to focus on your own behaviours and personal challenges and help you to find real world solutions to your problems or concerns. Weaving inspirational stories, the best of research and theory, along with pragmatic advice from successful academics, this book provides step-by-step guidance and simple tools to help you better meet the demands of modern academia, including: Optimising your effectiveness, priorities & strategy Workflow & managing workload Interpersonal relationships, and how to influence Developing your writing, presenting and teaching skills Getting your work/life balance right. Clear, practical and refreshingly positive this book inspires you to build the career you want in academia.
This book provides a pragmatic analysis of presidential language. Pragmatics is concerned with "meaning in context," or the relationship between what we say and what we mean. John Wilson explores the various ways in which U.S. Presidents have used language within specific social contexts to achieve specific objectives. This includes obfuscation, misdirection, the use of metaphor or ambiguity, or in some cases simply lying. He focuses on six presidents: John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald W. Reagan, William F. Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack H. Obama. These presidents cover most of the last half of the twentieth century, and the first decade of the twenty first century, and each has been associated with a specific linguistic quality. John F. Kennedy was famed for his quality of oratory, Nixon for his manipulative use of language, Reagan for his gift of telling stories, Clinton for his ability to engage the public and to linguistically turn arguments and descriptions in particular directions. Bush, on the other hand, was famed for his inability to use language appropriately, and Obama returns us to the rhetorical flourishes of early Kennedy. In the case of each president, a range of specific examples are explored in order to highlight the ways in which a pragmatic analysis may provide an insight into presidential language. In many cases, what the president says is not necessarily what the president means.
“Fish mines cultural touchstones from Milton to ‘Married with Children’ to explain how various types of arguments are structured and how that understanding can lead to victory” — New York Times Book Review A lively and accessible guide to understanding rhetoric by the world class English and Law professor and bestselling author of How to Write a Sentence. Filled with the wit and observational prowess that shaped Stanley Fish’s acclaimed bestseller How to Write a Sentence, Winning Arguments guides readers through the “greatest hits” of rhetoric. In this clever and engaging guide, Fish offers insight and outlines the crucial keys you need to win any debate, anywhere, anytime—drawn from landmark legal cases, politics, his own career, and even popular film and television. A celebration of clashing minds and viewpoints, Winning Arguments is sure to become a classic.
Good writers follow the rules. Great writers know the rules—and follow their instincts! Finding the right words, in the right order, matters—whether you’re a student embarking on an essay, a job applicant drafting your cover letter, an employee composing an email . . . even a (hopeful) lover writing a text. Do it wrong and you just might get an F, miss the interview, lose a client, or spoil your chance at a second date. Do it right, and the world is yours. In Write to the Point, accomplished author and literary critic Sam Leith kicks the age-old lists of dos and don’ts to the curb. Yes, he covers the nuts and bolts we need to be in complete command of the language: grammar, punctuation, parts of speech, and other subjects half-remembered from grade school. But more importantly, he charts a commonsense course between the “Armies of Correctness” and the “Descriptivist Irregulars.” For Leith, knowing not just the rules but also how and when to ignore them—developing an ear for what works best in context—is everything. In this master class, Leith teaches us a skill of paramount importance in this smartphone age, when we all carry a keyboard in our pockets: to write clearly and persuasively for any purpose—to write to the point.

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