From the Standard
To understand why this week’s government proposals to teach children to speak properly matter, think back to the US election.
Early on, one journalist came up with an original way of explaining why Barack Obama would beat Hillary Clinton. Read this speech on the web, he said. I did and registered a competent effort that, I thought, would never inspire anyone.
Now click this link and watch Obama deliver it, the journalist continued. I clicked and saw Obama using every rhetorical device to sway the audience.
If people talk of “rhetoric” these days, they mean it as an insult. “That’s just rhetoric,” they say, implying that the speaker is a snake-oil salesman.