Composition and Rhetoric for Schools (1902)

9780217696005: Composition and Rhetoric for Schools (1902)

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: graphs, and the whole composition. Grammar teaches us rules, which are to a large degree fixed; rhetoric teaches us principles, which are only general directions for obtaining effective composition. The word rhetoric has an unfortunate use in popular speech. We hear frequently statements something like these: "In spite of all his rhetoric, he did not deceive me"; "Then he grew rhetorical" (meaning bombastic or pompous). When people use the word in this sense, they imply that the study of rhetoric enables a writer or speaker to play tricks on his audience and make them believe that black is white, or teaches him how to make trivial thoughts appear important. To this is due the common feeling about rhetoric,—that it is an art of deception, against which we should be on our guard. The true rhetorician, however, teaches the writer not to decorate poor thought or to parade borrowed ideas, but to express his meaning clearly, exactly. What is commonly called rhetoric is frequently a violation of the real principles of rhetoric. 5. The Value of Oral Composition.—Writing, as has been said before, seems to most of us a very hard task, which demands great skill and natural ability, if not genius. To write even a letter seems to the beginner to require special talent. Thoughts fly apart when it comes to putting them on paper. Yet each one of us engages in composition many times every day: every spoken sentence, every recitation, every conversation with friends, is an unconscious act of composition—an exercise in putting our thoughts together and expressing them in words. The constant practice which we get in spoken composition will help or hinder us in the more difficult art of written composition according as we speak carefully or carelessly. Moreover, whatever we find really worth ...

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