Top Rhetoric Quotes

Browse top 172 famous quotes and sayings about Rhetoric by most favorite authors.

Favorite Rhetoric Quotes

1. "Politicians must be simple and clear about how their ideas will serve the national cause. We can no longer use the complexity of today's problems as an excuse for inaction, rhyme or rhetoric that does not meet the challenges before us."
Author: Alan Siegel
2. "My colleagues, while it is good that the Nation is finally focused on the critical issue of securing our ports, our rhetoric and our passion about Dubai must be matched by the funding necessary to keep our ports and our citizens safe."
Author: Allyson Schwartz
3. "Philo of Larisa, head of the Academy in Athens....inspired Cicero with a passion for philosophy, and in particular for the theories of Skepticism, which asserted that knowledge of the nature of things is in the nature of things unattainable. Such ideas were well judged to appeal to a student of rhetoric who had learned to argue all sides of a case. In his early twenties Cicero wrote the first two volumes of a work on 'inventin'--that is to say, the technique of finding ideas and arguments for a speech; in it he noted that the most important thing was 'that we do not recklessly and presumptuously assume something to be true.' This resolute uncertainty was to be a permanent feature of his thought."
Author: Anthony Everitt
4. "My speaking style was criticised by no less an authority than Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was a low moment, my friends, to have my rhetorical skills denounced by a monosyllabic Austrian cyborg."
Author: Boris Johnson
5. "Despite fearful rhetoric to the contrary, terrorism is not a transcendent threat. A terrorist attack cannot possibly destroy our country's way of life; it's only our reaction to that attack that can do that kind of damage."
Author: Bruce Schneier
6. "George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. What the president should have done, in the unlikely event that he wanted the support of America's peace-mongers, was to describe a confrontation with Saddam as the 'lesser evil.' This is a term the Left can appreciate. Indeed, 'lesser evil' is part of the essential tactical rhetoric of today's Left, and has been deployed to excuse or overlook the sins of liberal Democrats, from President Clinton's bombing of Sudan to Madeleine Albright's veto of an international rescue for Rwanda when she was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Among those longing for nuance, moral relativism—the willingness to use the term evil, when combined with a willingness to make accommodations with it—is the smart thing: so much more sophisticated than 'cowboy' language."
Author: Christopher Hitchens
7. "In fiction, especially in texts that are framed by a storytelling situation, aporia is a favourite device of narrators to arouse curiosity in their audience, or to emphasize the extraordinary nature of the story they are telling. It is often combined with another figure of rhetoric, "aposiopesis", the incomplete sentence or unfinished utterance, usually indicated on the page by a trail of dots..."
Author: David Lodge
8. "What am I to do with you?" Redd asked."M-maybe you could-" Jack began.The Cat raised a paw. "I know.""It was a rhetorical question, fools! You don't answer it! Since when do I need help making anyone suffer?"
Author: Frank Beddor
9. "...that out of the quarrel with others we produce rhetoric, matter for the editorial page, while out of the quarrel with ourselves we create art."
Author: Frank Lentricchia
10. "What therefore is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonymies, anthropomorphisms: in short a sum of human relations which became poetically and rhetorically intensified, metamorphosed, adorned, and after long usage seem to a notion fixed, canonic, and binding; truths are illusions of which one has forgotten that they are illusions; worn-out metaphors which have become powerless to affect the senses; coins which have their obverse effaced and now are no longer of account as coins but merely as metal."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
11. "Because of demagogues, rhetoric has a tainted reputation in our time. However, rhetoric is central to democratic governance. It can fuse passion and persuasion, moving free people to freely choose what is noble."
Author: George F. Will
12. "Sometime rhetoric was just another way to lie and impress persons, and he knew this"
Author: Haidji
13. "What is called eloquence in the forum is commonly found to be rhetoric in the study."
Author: Henry David Thoreau
14. "What struck me as I began to study history was how nationalist fervor--inculcated from childhood on by pledges of allegiance, national anthems, flags waving and rhetoric blowing--permeated the educational systems of all countries, including our own. I wonder now how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all children everywhere as our own. Then we could never drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, or napalm on Vietnam, or wage war anywhere, because wars, especially in our time, are always wars against children, indeed our children."
Author: Howard Zinn
15. "The problems seem so easy out there on the stump. Deficits shrink with a rhetorical flourish."
Author: Hugh Sidey
16. "It pained him that he did not know well what politics meant and that he did not know where the universe ended. He felt small and weak. When would he be like the fellows in poetry and rhetoric? They had big voices and big boots and they studied trigonometry."
Author: James Joyce
17. "When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto, when we are irresponsibly slow in moving toward AIDS in Africa, when we don't advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy."
Author: John F. Kerry
18. "Yeah, about the test...The test will measure whether you are an informed, engaged, and productive citizen of the world, and it will take place in schools and bars and hospitals and dorm rooms and in places of worship. You will be tested on first dates, in job interviews, while watching football, and while scrolling through your Twitter feed. The test will judge your ability to think about things other than celebrity marriages, whether you'll be easily persuaded by empty political rhetoric, and whether you'll be able to place your life and your community in a broader context. The test will last your entire life, and it will be comprised of the millions of decisions that, when taken together, will make your life yours. And everything, everything, will be on it....I know, right?"
Author: John Green
19. "I think politicians do great things in the world, but I don't think they're the only ones who can. I don't like all the rhetoric and the finger pointing."
Author: Lauren Bush
20. "We used awesome the way the British used brilliant: for anything at all. Perhaps . . . it was a kind of antidepressant: inflated rhetoric to keep the sorry truth at bay."
Author: Lorrie Moore
21. "To me, the human move to take responsibility for the living Earth is laughable - the rhetoric of the powerless. The planet takes care of us, not we of it. Our self-inflated moral imperative to guide a wayward Earth, or heal our sick planet, is evidence of our immense capacity for self delusion. Rather, we need to protect ourselves from ourselves."
Author: Lynn Margulis
22. "Women must find their own answer. That's the important thing. I'm no longer interested in books about women written by men. Even if I could believe in their objectivity, I just can't find their opinions relevant. Now I will only believe what a woman has to say about women, because even if it's not entirely true, it's her struggle and she's on the way to the answer.Many of you seek masculine approval. Even though you have inside you your way of talking and writing, you have mountains of it inside you, and even though it is enough to begin expressing yourselves so long as it is with your vocabulary, your abstractions, and your own conceptualization, I think you are still afraid of the master: men. Of their judgment. As long as you have this fear, you will not progress. I think the future belongs to women. Men have been completely dethroned. Their rhetoric is stale, used up. We must move on the rhetoric of women, one that is anchored in the organism, in the body."
Author: Marguerite Duras
23. "You're not listening to any of this, are you?" As far as she was concerned, it was really a rhetorical question.Rather than answer yes or no, Esteban had a question of his own. "Would it matter?" he asked her. "You seem to like to talk, and I've got a pulse." He looked at her over the hood of the car before getting in. "I figure that's about all you require."
Author: Marie Ferrarella
24. "... a rhetorical question. It has a question mark at the end, but you are not meant to answer it because the person who is asking it already knows the answer."
Author: Mark Haddon
25. "At some point the rhetoric runs out, and we have to ask ourselves, 'Are we simply going to standby while somebody's rhetoric is good, but their actions are so lousy?' Are we going to stand up for that?"
Author: Matt Gonzalez
26. "Horror grows impatient, rhetorically, with the Stoic fatalism of Ecclesiastes. That we are all going to die, that death mocks and cancels every one of our acts and attainments and every moment of our life histories, this knowledge is to storytelling what rust is to oxidation; the writer of horror holds with those who favor fire. The horror writer is not content to report on death as the universal system of human weather; he or she chases tornadoes. Horror is Stoicism with a taste for spectacle."
Author: Michael Chabon
27. "Obviously, Jay-Z is one of the greatest entertainers of the world today. Not only is he a remarkable rhetorical genius, he's also a man of deep sympathy and empathy for those who are lost and vulnerable, but especially under-educated youth of all cultures and stripes."
Author: Michael Eric Dyson
28. "In short, Calvin has been given too much blame by critics and too much credit by fans. His real genius is to be found in his remarkable ability to synthesize the best thought of the whole Christian tradition and sift it with rigorous exegetical skill and evangelical instincts. His rhetorical rule was "brevity and simplicity," and this, combined with a heart enflamed by truth, draws us back to his wells for refreshment in many times and places—especially when we seem to have lost our way."
Author: Michael S. Horton
29. "The rhetoric of ‘law and order' was first mobilized in the late 1950s as Southern governors and law enforcement officials attempted to generate and mobilize white opposition to the Civil Rights Movement. In the years following Brown v. Board of Education, civil rights activists used direct-action tactics in an effort to force reluctant Southern States to desegregate public facilities. Southern governors and law enforcement officials often characterized these tactics as criminal and argued that the rise of the Civil Rights Movement was indicative of a breakdown of law and order. Support of civil rights legislation was derided by Southern conservatives as merely ‘rewarding lawbreakers.' For more than a decade – from the mid 1950s until the late 1960s – conservatives systematically and strategically linked opposition to civil rights legislation to calls for law and order, arguing that Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophy of civil disobedience was a leading cause of crime."
Author: Michelle Alexander
30. "A silent concave of puppet buffoonsneither eagles nor jaguarsbuzzard lawyerslocuseswings of ink sawing mindiblesventriloquist coyotespeddlers of shadowsbeneficent satrapsthe cacomistle thief of hensthe monument to the Rattle and its snakethe altar to the mauser and the machetethe mausoleum of the epauletted caymanrhetoric sculpted in phrases of cement"
Author: Octavio Paz
31. "Whoop-de-do," said Ram."What?""I'm celebrating.""Was that irony or loss of mental function?" asked the expendable."Was that a rhetorical questions, a bit of humor, or a sign that you are losing confidence in me?""I have no confidence in you, Ram," said the expendable."Well, thanks.""You're welcome."
Author: Orson Scott Card
32. "The rhetoric on the Hill is getting very heated and it's getting quite dangerous. The gun is at the head of the American economy and Congress is holding it and its got a hair trigger. We've got to pay our bills."
Author: Peter Welch
33. "The mystic must be steadily told,—All that you say is just as true without the tedious use of that symbol as with it. Let us have a little algebra, instead of this trite rhetoric,—universal signs, instead of these village symbols,—and we shall both be gainers. The history of hierarchies seems to show that all religious error consisted in making the symbol too stark and solid, and was at last nothing but an excess of the organ of language."
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson
34. "If you paid me for work," continued Max, whose rhetoric was more sophisticated than you might expect from a man with food in his beard, "I wouldn't have to feel worthless. There's not law says old people have to feel worthless all the while, you know. You paid me, I'd have some dignity."Now it was Mile's turn to nod and smile agreeably. "I think the dignity ship set sail a long time ago, Dad."
Author: Richard Russo
35. "As a result of his experiments he concluded that imitation was a real evil that had to be broken before real rhetoric teaching could begin. This imitation seemed to be an external compulsion. Little children didn't have it. It seemed to come later on, possibly as a result of school itself.That sounded right, and the more he thought about it the more right it sounded. Schools teach you to imitate. If you don't imitate what the teacher wants you get a bad grade. Here, in college, it was more sophisticated, of course; you were supposed to imitate the teacher in such a way as to convince the teacher you were not imitating, but taking the essence of the instruction and going ahead with it on your own. That got you A's. Originality on the other hand could get you anything – from A to F. The whole grading system cautioned against it."
Author: Robert M. Pirsig
36. "I think he could have made most of the trips and gone to most of the fund-raisers if he would have avoided the partisan rhetoric and talked to the country as President in each of these appearances rather than to the narrow partisan audiences."
Author: Robert Teeter
37. "The unary Photograph has every reason to be banal, 'unity' of composition being the first rule of vulgar (and notably, of academic) rhetoric: 'The subject,' says one handbook for amateur photographers, 'must be simple, free of useless accessories; this is called the Search for Unity."
Author: Roland Barthes
38. "Now a government is secure insofar as it has God for its foundation and His Will for its guide; but this, surely, is not a description of Liberal government. It is, in the Liberal view, the people who rule, and not God; God Himself is a "constitutional monarch" Whose authority has been totally delegated to the people, and Whose function is entirely ceremonial. The Liberal believes in God with the same rhetorical fervor with which he believes in Heaven. The government erected upon such a faith is very little different, in principle, from a government erected upon total disbelief, and whatever its present residue of stability, it is clearly pointed in the direction of Anarchy."
Author: Seraphim Rose
39. "I am, as it were, the created creating—a paradox, for all its rhetorical trappings, at the beating heart of our shared human journey, and one I invite you to struggle with just as I have while, day in and day out, word by word and line by line, constructing a fictitious autobiography for myself in these pages."
Author: Sol Luckman
40. "Okay." I bounced down the stairs. "I'm decent."He was waiting at the foot of the stairs, closer than I'd thought, and I bounded right into him. He steadied me, holding me a careful distance away for a few seconds before suddenly pulling me closer."Wrong again," he murmured in my ear. "You are utterly indecent - no one should look so tempting, it's not fair.""Tempting how?" I asked. "I can change . . ."He sighed, shaking his head. "You are so absurd." He pressed his cool lips delicately to my forehead, and the room spun. The smell of his breath made it impossible to think."Shall I explain how you are tempting me?" he said. It was clearly a rhetorical question. His fingers traced slowly down my spine, his breath coming more quickly against my skin. My hands were limp on his chest, and I felt ligtheaded again. He tilted his head slowly and touched his cool lips to mine for the second time, very carefully, parting them slightly.And then I collapsed."
Author: Stephenie Meyer
41. "He, too, was in the grip of rage and rhetoric. I saw that, attractive though his side of the political spectrum was. A cancerous violence had eaten into every political idea, had taken over the ideas themselves, and for so many, all that mattered was the willingness to do something. Action led to action, free of any moorings, and the way to be someone, the way to catch the attention of the young and recruit them to one's cause, was to be enraged. It seemed as if the only way this lure of violence could be avoided was by having no causes, by being magnificiently isolated from loyalties. But was that not an ethical lapse graver than rage itself?"
Author: Teju Cole
42. "Not all of Derrida's writing is to everyone's taste. He had an irritating habit of overusing the rhetorical question, which lends itself easily to parody: 'What is it, to speak? How can I even speak of this? Who is this "I" who speaks of speaking?"
Author: Terry Eagleton
43. "A man has no reason to be ashamed of having an ape for his grandfather. If there were an ancestor whom I should feel shame in recalling it would rather be a man who plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real acquaintance, only to obscure them by an aimless rhetoric...."
Author: Thomas Henry Huxley
44. "We're more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see."
Author: Tom Stoppard
45. "We all romp about, grieving, wondering, but with rare exception we mostly remain suspended in the Rhetorical Colloidal Forever that agglutinates between Might and Do."
Author: Tony Kushner
46. "Hypotyposis is the rhetorical effect by which words succeed in rendering a visual scene."
Author: Umberto Eco
47. "But I had also learned that freedom of speech means freedom from rhetoric."
Author: Umberto Eco
48. "More scientific language and less diplomatic rhetoric may make this world even better."
Author: Wen Jiabao
49. "A man or a race either if he's any good can survive his past without even needing to escape from it and not because of the high quite often only too rhetorical rhetoric of humanity but for the simple indubitable practical reason of his future: that capacity to survive and absorb and endure and still be steadfast."
Author: William Faulkner
50. "It is an old observation that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric. When they do so, however, the reader will usually find in the sentence some compensating merit, attained at the cost of the violation. Unless he is certain of doing as well, he will probably do best to follow the rules. After he has learned, by their guidance, to write plain English adequate for everyday uses, let him look, for the secrets of style, to the study of the masters of literature."
Author: William Strunk Jr.

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We did some cool wire work in 'The Pact' - they had me strapped to a harness underneath my shirt so they could fling me around the house and slam me into doors. I definitely got some bruises even with all the padding!"
Author: Caity Lotz

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