What handier linguistic resource could a rhetorician want than an ambiguity whereby he can say “The state of affairs is substantially such-and-such,” instead of having to say “The state of affairs is and/or is not such-and-such”? (Grammar 52).
Submitted by johnjayjacobs on Wed, 03/26/2014 - 12:21
Case Study Team:
Data, Jay, Mari
Be clear on:
Demographic: Realistic Expectations of whom will be involved
Content: what are we presenting? how much can be generated for and consumed in the MOOC
Outcomes: what does a student get from the course
The reduction of ambiguity initiated by the privileging of motion sidesteps the problem Burke sees as fundamental: words are symbolic acts that both transform the objects of thought and subsequently act to reclassify them, making experience itself mutable and thus subject to rhetorical manipulation. Put another way, while pure pragmatism would hold that words are signs of things, Burke wants to show, as he does later in Language as Symbolic Action, that things are also signs of words (see ‘What Are the Signs of What,’ passim 359-79).
Kenneth Burke in Greenwich Village Conversing with the Moderns, 1915-1931. Jack Selzer. Madison, Wiscomsin: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1st edition. 1996. 284 Pages. ISBN: 978-0299151843. $18.08 (Amazon Prime).
“It is of great importance to study the various strategies of “prayer” by which men seek to solve their conflicts, since such material should give us needed insight into the processes of prayer (“symbolic action,” “linguistic action,” “implicit commands to audience and self”)."