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Our foolish thoughts - Essay Example

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No one can deny the power of public speeches and patriotic slogans, especially their impact on people. This power stands behind words used in public speeches and patriotic slogans, which lead people to the way that people in power want…
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Our foolish thoughts
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Download file to see previous pages On the other hand, Gray Sloan in his essay "Sleuthing Patriotic Slogans" argues in satirical way about the words used in patriotic slogans. Since the time Sloan has been learning and teaching language, he has been also analyzing the grammar usage in today's patriotic slogans. Even though he finds errors in grammar structure of those slogans, he does not care much about that, because he concerns more about the meaning of those slogans. However, both authors are worried about the eloquence in today's public speeches and patriotic slogans would be used by people in power to hypnotize and fool American people. Jacoby uses the word "folks" as an example of the change in political terms. Politicians these days usually use the term "folks" to address Americans instead of “people or “ladies and gentlemen” like in the old days. Jacoby wonders why this term is used these days especially after she finds out that the term "folks" has never been used before as a political term. "The word "folks" was once a colloquialism with no political meaning" (395). She believes that using colloquial terms in today's public speeches is a way of isolating American people from political decisions, which downgrades them like if they were ineligible for such decisions. As she declares: The specific political use of folks as an exclusionary and inclusionary signal, designed to make speaker sound like one of the boys or girls, is symptomatic of a debasement of public speech inseparable from a more general erosion of American culture standards. Casual colloquial language also conveys an implicit denial of the seriousness or whatever issue being debated: talking about folks going off to war is the equivalent of describing rape victims as girls (395). Unlike today's politicians, former leaders were trying to use simple words to let people understand their speech but without debasement of a public speech. However, Jacoby also concerns about the change of the term "soldiers" to "troops" by politicians and media. Jacoby states that some people in media or military media claim that the term "soldiers" would be offensive for women who have joined the army as "Dimwits", since they claim that the term "soldier" sounds masculine that is not true. Jacoby believes that the reason behind the change of that term is to magnify the news about the war and its losses. She links the change in both terms "folks" and "troops" to the debasement of speeches as she states: “Like unremitting appeals to folks, the victory of troops over soldiers offers an impressive illustration of the relationship between fuzzy thinking and the debasement of everyday speech" (396). Just as Jacoby who does not define the debase speech as one that simply uses prosaic grammar structure, Sloan almost has the same concerns about the signs and billboards, posters and stickers emblazoned with patriotic slogans such as "United We Stand," "Support the Troops," "Pray for the Troops," "Let Freedom Ring," "Home of the Brave," "God Bless America" which can be met everywhere in his hometown. His main argument is about the way the slogans are written and what they really mean. He analyzes those patriotic slogans and criticizes them satirically. In addition, he finds some of them are contradictive and unrealistic. For example, “Let Freedom Ring” and “United We Stand”, he believes that those two patriotic slogans are conflict with each other, as he wonders “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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