Rhetoric Quote of the Day…


“When Confucius was asked what would be the first thing he would do if he were to lead the state—a never-to-be-fulfilled dream—he said, Rectify the language. This is wise.  This is subtle.  As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too.  Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: You liberate a city by destroying it.  Words are used to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.  Finally, words must be so twisted as to justify an empire that has now ceased to exist, much less make sense.  Is rectification of our system possible for us?”


~ Gore Vidal


Anthropomorphic Design

Ever wonder about those subconcious cues advertisers and designers use to draw us in? TheVanBlog discusses the shape of things and how we like or dislike them in “Building an Emotional Connection with your Audience: Anthropomorphic Forms Part I.” Read it and enjoy! I did.

via Smashing Magazine’s Twitter

Special Issue

Family Rhetoric

Remember when you asked Dad instead of Mom to see Basic Instinct in the theatre when you were twelve? Remember when you learned to wait for planes to fly overhead so that the noise would drown the sound of your creaking window when you were sneaking out? Remember the time your grandma told you that “this place is nice for how you live”? And remember the time your grandpa said, “you’ll understand when you’re older”?

Now, remember when you saw the Keatons, Huxtables, Seavers, Tanners, and Winslows. The Taylors, Bluths, Barones and the Gosselins and Duggars. Remember these families? Remember how they taught you about being moms, dads, brothers, and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents?

For this issue of Harlot, we are calling for rhetorically reflective stories (rhetflections, if you will), analyses, and critiques of family. We want to learn about communication in that pervasively hidden community where you use rhetorical tactics to negotiate spaces, passive aggressive behaviors, and statements that foreclose argument with an audience of relatives. We want to learn about the rhetorical practices of moms, dads, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents; we want to know about the rhetorical moves that make them what they are. In other words, we want to learn about the rhetoric of family.

This Special Issue provides an opportunity for exploring family rhetorics and the ways in which your own experiences or the ones you see around you rhetorically construct family. Areas of interest for this special journal issue include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Family in media representations
•• TV
•• Film
•• Web
•• Portraits
•• The White House

Family in social networking communities
•• Forums
•• Blogs
•• Facebook
•• myspace
•• Twitter

Family and
•• gender
•• race
•• class
•• disability
•• transgressions

Expose your insights traditionally (words coupling with other words like an essay, poem, or short story) or non-traditionally (words coupling with video, pics, sounds or multimedia like a film, a website or a speech).

Submissions due:
January 15th, 2011

Submit at


Have you gotten Apple’s email about the new iPod Touch? Allow me to direct you to this part advertising their new FaceTime application:

Now, is there not a better marketing strategy here? Seriously!? Part of the point of using an instant messenger is that it is text based. Some people like the fact that they don’t have to talk to or see the other person. It makes it more convenient if you’re, say, in the middle of a meeting or in an extremely noisy place. There is a reason why instant messenger still exists and is used.

Why, why, why would you use commentary that points to people that are not likely to use that particular application? Wouldn’t a better appeal have been, “Hey, you can use FaceTime on WiFi, which can dramatically reduce your phone costs!” That’s the thing that intrigues me. Also the idea of a Skype-like conversation, but without the bulk of an entire computer is quite tempting, but I’m of the population that likes Skype. My IMs? I stay hidden in every single one.