Ridicule: A Rhetorical Technique

776 Words4 Pages
This rhetorical technique changes a person, group, action or idea into an object of laughter or scorn. “Ridicule attacks the basic worth and credibility of persons and ideas, thus endangers any assigned or claimed legitimacy. By inspiring an emotional response, ridicule highlights the counterintuitive aspects of an argument or action, making it appear foolish or ridiculous and contrary to common sense” (Woodward, Denton, 2014: 72). Alinsky claims “ridicule is man’s most potent weapon” because “it is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also, it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage” (Alinsky, 1989: 132). Ridicule is also a form of humour, it is used both by individuals and groups in order to debase an authority…show more content…
Hate speech is concerned with any speech act, gesture, conduct, written or graphic form of communication which is judgmental and pejorative towards a person or a group in regard to race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, nationality or religion. The most infesting form of hate speech incites violence. For Rita Whillock and David Slayden hate speech is an operational tactic and rhetorical tool of persuaders. They claim that hate may be used to dominate the opposition by rhetorical force. Whillock and Slayden claim that hate speech is employed to “polarize particular groups in order to organise opposition, solidify support and marshal resources toward forcing a ‘final solution’ to a thorny problem” (Whillock, Slayden, 1995: xiii). As a result, polarisation induces an audience to direct their anger at possible, often highly symbolic, an object of hatred. Specifically, the main goal of hate speech is to move an audience and aggravate emotions of followers in order to slander designated object of hatred, and inflict permanent and irreparable harm to the opposition, and ultimately…show more content…
Sometimes it takes the form of metaphorical epithet, as in “lazy road”. A transferred epithet is an adjective modifying a noun which it does not normally modify, but which makes figurative sense, for example “ragged noise”. The striking and unusual quality of the transferred epithet calls attention to it, and it can therefore be used to introduce emphatically an idea you plan to develop. Likewise, the metaphor may perform a regulative function, that is manipulating the recipient’s ideological views and assessment of values in support of the manipulator. From a structural point of view, most political epithets are simple or non-complex since they are supposed to reach a considerable number of recipients. Political discourse rarely engages phrase or sentence epithets. However, a lot of political epithets have negative connotations, they are ironic, critical, even obscene. 2.4.6 Valence
Open Document