Announcing The Silver Tongue

There’s a new blog coming out of Carnegie Mellon that looks exciting:

The Silver Tongue is written by a group of rhetoric scholars committed to providing smart, entertaining insight into the language that shapes our everyday lives.

Although many people associate rhetoric with deceptive or “slimy” communication, we believe that rhetoric is the way things get done in a democracy, that communication and persuasion are desirable alternatives to force. We cannot solve social problems without understanding, and we cannot achieve understanding without rhetoric.

And you can see, there’s considerable overlap with the mission of Harlot, right down to the name–Silver Tongue takes a term that’s often used with tinctures of derision (or at least skepticism), and reclaims it for a positive, productive notion of rhetoric.  The warrant offered for the project’s instantiation is one that Harlot is familiar with:

If rhetoric really matters to the public, as rhetoricians often claim, then we have a responsibility to aid the public in making sense of it.

There are, of course, differences between the projects; but it’s exhilarating to see more and more ventures that seek to build bridges between popular audiences and the academy.

Congrats to those of The Silver Tongue and best wishes for success with the project!  The more of us working for these admirable goals, the better — perhaps down the road there will be opportunities to collaborate!

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