Rhetorical Analysis Of Richard Seaver's Argument

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By misinterpreting and attacking the nuanced areas of the opposition’s argument, one is able to elevate his own argument while degrading that of the opposition’s. Even when an argument is sound and logical, if it contains a single unclear phrase open to interpretation that is followed by critical mockery, it appears inconsequential and foolish to an audience. Such is the case in an exchange between Richard Seaver, the Executive Vice President of the Grove Press publishing company, and Ira Herbert, an executive of Coca-Cola, regarding their common use of the marketing slogan, “it’s the real thing”. Herbert’s argument is innately logical but poorly supported and executed. Herbert has no legal standpoint; he did not state that the slogan …show more content…

He maintains a conscious naivety by using derisive underlying sarcasm masked by tactful verbal articulation in response to the authoritative and condescending tone of Herbert's letter, which allows for a persuasive and entertaining argument. Though Seaver uses humor to establish his purpose, he maintains the mutual respect between the two parties, despite him believing the conflict to be childlike and absurd. Since Herbert’s argument can be interpreted in multiple ways, Seaver attacks a fallacious interpretation of Herbert’s argument: the reason he is against the two companies using the same slogan is because consumers will be unable to tell the physical difference between a book and a beverage. Seaver says that “in order to avoid confusion between the respective products due to the slogan, each sales personnel is to make sure that what the customer wants is the book, rather than a Coke,” and adds that he fears “those who read (his) ad may well tend to go out and buy a Coke rather than (his) book.” Seaver also recognizes that Herbert cannot use the threat of the law and therefore ironically mentions his “strong sentiments concerning the First Amendment” and willingness to “defend to the death” Herbert’s right to use the slogan, even though his response was intended to regard his own rights. This ridicule

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