Rhetoric and Questions

I was going to title this post “Rhetorical Questions.” But then I realized that I might not actually know what that phrase meant. And I certainly wouldn’t want to embarrass myself with that type of silly error, would I? (Correct usage of a rhetorical question.) So I went to my source of all things correct, Wikipedia (sarcasm, not rhetoric). And here is what I found.

Rhetoric is the art of persuasive discourse. That means talking to inform, persuade, or motivate an audience.

Rhetorical questions are asked to encourage the listener to consider a message or viewpoint, not to get an answer. So if someone asks you, “Are all dogs this dumb?”, you may want to consider the possibility that the person doesn’t like dogs and is looking for support of that position.

Ever get the uncomfortable feeling that you are learning something from my posts? (Correct usage of a rhetorical question)

The following questions are rhetorical, and I do not expect an answer. You may answer quietly to yourselves if you so desire. (more sarcasm)

Why would the store put a picture of a live lobster in the middle of a picture of Valentine’s Day gifts? Among the candy, flowers, and cute stuffed animals was a live lobster. “Happy Valentine’s Day! I brought you a live lobster! If you don’t want him as a pet, you can cook him for dinner.”

Why did the heater on my car die during the coldest winter in recent memory?

I started wearing my mother’s jacket instead of my own because there would be room for a hoodie under it. So why do I never remember the hoodie until I’m freezing in the car?

Why is the iciest patch of the road right at the end of my driveway?

Why was management so much more supportive of my being sick when I returned healthy than when I called in sick?

Admittedly I’ve been looking a little shaggy, but did no one in my family actually notice that I had 3 inches of hair cut off?

Why are the people who complain the most at work usually the same ones who don’t want to listen when something bugs you? (Actually, that happens in real life too)

Why are people surprised when they tell a coworker a “secret” and then hear it from someone else later? Haven’t they noticed how much gossip they hear about their coworkers?

Why was I so surprised that the new management trainee in the deli didn’t know how to use a string mop? A very nice middle-aged male customer tried to explain it to her, but was unsuccessful. Isn’t there something about a place that serves freshly roasted chickens, soup, salads, and sliced meat that screams “at some point, you’re going to need to clean something up?” How naïve am I that I was surprised she didn’t stick around to watch me actually use the mop? (3 questions-for-1 situation – bonus)

How did we get to the point that we’re shocked when a stranger does something nice? A customer I had never seen before stopped and gave me a Valentine. I put it where I could see it and thought about him several times during the day.

When did my standards for weather get so low that 17 degrees and sunny qualifies as a nice day?

Why does the template for these posts say the heading is optional? Everywhere else they tell us how important a good title is for drawing people in.

Why can I never find a decent close for this type of post?

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Rhetoric and Questions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s