Was Aristotle wrong about Metaphor?

The wonderful Judy Rees, clean language guru and Mistress of Metaphor seems to think so. In a recent blog post, she argues that Aristotle was wrong to claim that mastering metaphor was a sign of genius. But what exactly did Aristotle mean by 'genius'? Is there more going on here than it might at first seem?

 



Read more ...

Add to: Digg | Technorati | del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | reddit | Furl

A fresh look at rhetoric adds new fuel to an old argument

Want to motivate people? You’ll end up using rhetoric. Want to influence people? You’ll end up using rhetoric. When rhetoric works, it gives a human being the power to move crowds, shift cultural mountains, in short, to change the world.

The rules of rhetoric were laid out in Ancient Greece, but the practice of rhetoric spans the history of oral communication.

It's a subject that Sam Leith, in 'You talkin' to me?: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama' covers in an entertaining and readable way. But what would he have you believe? Leon Conrad, of the Academy of Oratory takes a critical look at his work in this review.



Read more ...

Add to: Digg | Technorati | del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | reddit | Furl

Don’t Diss the Dissoi Logoi - by Leon Conrad

Dialectic is a term often used interchangeably with logic when people list the subjects of the Trivium. Is it Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric; or is it Grammar, Dialectic, Rhetoric? When were the middle subjects practised and what’s the difference?



Read more ...

Add to: Digg | Technorati | del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | reddit | Furl

How I teach and Why - by Leon Conrad

In 1947, Dorothy Sayers described the liberal arts as ‘lost tools of learning’. She was talking about a 2-part curriculum that was the foundation of learning from classical times to the late 19th Century. The first part was called the Trivium. Its three subjects were Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric. The second part was called the Quadrivium. Its four subjects were Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy and Music.

Sister Miriam Joseph, in her book, The Trivium, refers to Logic as being the study of the thing-as-it-is-known; Grammar, the study of the thing-as-it-is-symbolised; Rhetoric, the study of the thing-as-it-is-communicated. She also describes the liberal arts as education that develops the learner from within, acting upon him like an intransitive verb (eg ‘A rose blooms’).

It is the integration of the subjects that is so vital in bringing the liberal arts to life within a person, helping them bloom. It is this integrated approach that enables a person to develop as a free-thinker, and grow in wisdom and intelligence, developing their natural abilities and talents in a holistic way.

 

It is not a conventional approach. Far from it.

 

But this is how I teach.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Read more ...

Add to: Digg | Technorati | del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | reddit | Furl

Does Meaning matter? Or does Style rule?

A response to Mark Forsyth's new book, “Elements Of Eloquence” by Giles Abbott

“You don’t need to have anything to say, you just have to say it well”. So says a reviewer in summary of Mark Forsyth’s new book, “The Elements Of Eloquence”. Style: One, Substance: Nil, apparently.

I heard about this book on the Today Programme, Monday 11th November 2013 at around 8:30am. The author detailed how he has studied certain rhetorical figures and teaches readers how to use them to create the perfect English phrase. He points out that such techniques were widely taught in Europe until roughly a hundred years ago. This is true. He points out that this is how Shakespeare learnt his craft as a writer. This is true. He says that anyone can learn these techniques. This is true. He says it doesn’t matter what you say, but only how you say it. This is not true. Disguised in flippancy, this is a seductive, but grievous, lie.     



Read more ...

Add to: Digg | Technorati | del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | reddit | Furl