TED Conversations

Patrick Cain

This conversation is closed.

How exactly does language and political rhetoric affect the communication that exists between and within governments and their societies?

I would like to explore the use, and more importantly the misuse of language as used in the political sphere. Particularly, I would like to look at the importance of the manipulation of language to persuade and placate the populace as well as others in that government itself. However, if possible, I would also like to approach the positives; the ability of a politician to inspire through no more than the use of language for example. Further, I would like to address the disconnect between those who write the speech and their interior beliefs and motives.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 29 2014: Political speeches are usually one of the most boring events in the world, with all this rhetoric. Bearing in mind that the politics are permanently restricted in their actions and speeches, they become an image, a hopefully charismatic person of the real existing power. The main rule when writing speeches for others seems to be : keep it as rethoric and senseless as possible. Therefore it is quite understandable that people do not get the message or get bored. Rethoric kills the essence of communication in my opinion.
    • thumb
      Feb 2 2014: I agree with some aspects of your post. Rhetoric isn't the same as a logical fallacy, which I feel is what you may be having an issue with in communication. Rhetoric is the language designed to persuade the audience. Though sometimes lackluster, it is in essence the heart of most communication (political, commercial, and personal). We all spend our days trying to convince others and get them to do things or think a certain way.
      • Feb 2 2014: Thanks for your comment.
        It is true that we all spend our days trying to convice others and that rethoric is a very useful tool. The main issue is the excess of rethoric used in politics, simply too much an then the message is confusing. Managing the use of rethorics to convince is an art that only few speakers master. Some speakers are using a good dose of rethorics very successfully, and that is alsi because they write their own speeches. Politics rarely write their own speeches with a heavy dose of rethorics. How can they be convincing if they did not even write it themselves?
        • thumb
          Feb 2 2014: I agree with that also. I don't truly understand the reasoning behind giving a persuasive/ political speech that you yourself have not written. I think that that is another aspect to look at. When someone else is writing a politicians material then is it (as the speaker) really the message they are trying to get across. It seems from the communication angle that it leaves the speech open for misinterpretation and even misrepresentation. When writing a speech wording is a precarious thing and it can easily change the intended message of your speech.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.