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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr., Rhetorically Speaking | Allison Wright, OxfordWords blog

Today, a day after the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States, it's still timely in a blog about communication to consider King's rhetorical techniques.

Wright writes in this article:

Oratory, the art of public speaking, is a formal practice of eloquent speech making that utilizes elements of language to influence an audience. In short, it is rhetoric on a public stage. Dr. King, an impassioned orator, made use of a wealth of rhetorical techniques in order to communicate the messages of equality, justice, and peace during the divisive and violent civil rights era.
She goes on to describe these rhetorical devices in King's "I Have a Dream" speech, using samples from the speech:
  • anaphor
  • metaphor
  • allusion
  • hyperbole.
Wright also refers to the authority, passion and rationality in King's speech that day in Washington, D.C., concluding:
He was a remarkable orator, and his words helped change the world.
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Wright's article is featured today, Jan. 22, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Style: Write Choices, available at the Editorial Style tab above and by free email subscription.


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