"It was grave but not doleful, resolute but not belligerent, eloquent but not grandiloquent. Its acknowlegments were eclectic: Biblical allusions, a nod to Tom Paine, a shout-out to Jerome Kern.
"But it wasn’t especially memorable."
Linguist Geoff Nunberg explains why that's actually a good thing. And gives a quick and engaging lesson in rhetoric while he's at it. (You can also listen to Nunberg delivering a slightly shorter version of the essay on Fresh Air.)
I throughly enjoyed reading Mr. Nunberg's essay and his explaination of the parts of speech used in public speaking, especially, the luscious words naming these terms. My favorite to say is "polyptoton" and favorite to think about is "catachresis". Thank you.
Posted by: Nick | January 24, 2009 at 12:51 PM