The Rhetoric of Talking to Your Family

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s when I see the majority of my family all at once. Good food, great company, and the not-so-subtle avoidance of politics and other touchy subjects. The more I learn about rhetoric, the more I analyze every little thing my grandma says about my major. The more I rhetorically analyze a text, the more I rhetorically analyze my cousin’s expression – is it annoyance? disinterest? – when my uncle turns on the game and watches it on mute while the rest of us make small talk over cheese and crackers.

Whether we realize it or not, we all rhetorically analyze every word we hear and every expression we see. As Professional Writing and Rhetoric students, we know exactly what we’re doing when we listen to our grandpa’s conversation with our sister about her new job, and we know he wants to ask about her salary when he mentions how he started from the bottom of his company and worked his way up.

Thanksgiving is in two days, so get ready to defend your major and answer your favorite question, “What are your plans after graduation?”

Brace yourself

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