When the BBC writes, “Al Gore’s [Nobel Prize] acceptance speech was a powerful piece of rhetoric,” is there an underlying political critique happening? We’re all aware that popular use of the word “rhetoric” doesn’t always line up with scholarly connotations. Shocking, I know. Does it mean something, though, that they didn’t tag it as a “powerful speech” or “powerful message”? How is the article contextualizing the speech by calling it a “piece of rhetoric”? (click here for the full speech)
“Mr. Gore’s speech,” the article says, “was a rhetorical tour de force.” Under the section heading “Rhetorical Power,” there is, however, only an implicit rhetorical analysis: “The former vice-president painted a gloomy picture of the climate impacts that might lie ahead. But he was more upbeat in his assessment that carbon emissions could be tackled.”
Emotional roller-coaster = rhetorically effective? Gore’s speech is ripe for rhetorical analysis . . . thoughts anyone?