Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Red Flags of Rhetoric
The louder and more forcefully people tell you about themselves, the more likely they lie.
"This won't hurt a bit" means "prepare for pain."
"I'm not crazy!" screamed at the top of one's lungs means "bring the straight jacket."
"I don't care," said with resentful, hurt & angry tones means, "it hurts so much I pretend indifference." I hear that a lot from my kids.
"I'm your friend," I heard as a very young man shopping for a car for the first time. It falls into the same category as "I'm right behind you." Both mean, "Turn you head a little more so you won't see the knife plunging into your back.
"Trust me," and "I'm not a crook" were said by George Bush and Richard Nixon, respectively. To be fair, many others before Bush used the same line.
I don't watch Fox news much, so have no opinion of my own of the fairness of their news coverage. But that banner proclaiming "Fair and Balanced" sounds an alarm. Why do they keep loudly insisting on their own goodness as news providers?
A Rereason Law of Rhetoric: The truth of a claim is often inversely proportional to the vehemence with which it is asserted.
Go in peace.