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Paromologia in They Say/I say

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein’s book, They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, used by many composition instructors to teach freshman how to write an effective argumentive essay, deals with the idea of paromologia in two separate sections. The book has an interesting format in that it provides students with templates or formulas to plug their on words into to help phrase their argument. In the section titled “Templates for Agreeing and Disagreeing Simultaneously,” the book demonstrates effective paromological techniques for students to integrate into their writing with example formulas such as “Whereas X provides me ample evidence that ____, Y and Z’s research on ____ and ____ convinces me that ____ instead” (65). The book entertains a paromological concept again in the section titled “Making Concessions While Still Standing Your Ground” giving formulas such as “While it is true that ____, it does not necessarily follow that ____” (89).

While the book does not recognize these approaches as paramological concepts, they clearly are, and the book is advocating their use. These approaches demonstrate to new writers that conceding another viewpoint can be very beneficial to their own argument. Perhaps this book and composition books that encourage a similar style in argumentation are what keeps paromologia circulating through culture.

Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say / I Say: the Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2010. Print.

Paromologia in “the Office”

December 6, 2011 1 comment

  In an episode titled “Branch Wars” of the NBC sitcom, The Office, Michael, the District Manager, uses paromologia in response to a question asked by a prospective employee, Ben, currently working at a different branch of the company:

Ben: Aren’t you the guy that hit the woman with your car?
Pam: [giggles]
Michael: [to Pam] Get out. [to Ben] Uh, yeah. I also saved her life, but I guess that’s not as grabby.

Michael’s use of paromologia is very straightforward, but perhaps his use is not very effective although it could have been. Michael’s admittance signals that he acknowledges that there was an incident, but he continues that people do not recognize his heroic life saving action that took place, but instead remember the perhaps more exhilarating negative aspect of him hitting a female pedestrian with his car.

Kaling, Mindy. ““Branch Wars”” The Office. Dir. Joss Whedon. NBC. 1 Nov. 2007. OfficeQuotes.net. OfficeQuotes.net. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. Transcript.

See the transcript here!

Paromologia in DiGiorno Pizza Promotional Materials

December 6, 2011 1 comment

 The DiGiorno pizza company implements paromolgia in their slogan, “It’s not delivery. It’s DiGiorno.”  This use of paraomologia in the company’s marketing campaign effectively targets consumers by saying that even though it isn’t delivery pizza fresh from the local pizzeria, it bakes up very similarly and could easily be assumed to be delivery pizza rather than a pizza from the freezer section of the local grocery store. This effect persuades consumers who want the pizzeria quality pizza to choose DiGiorno pizza over other frozen pizza brands.

 DiGiorno. Advertisement. DiGiorno.com. NestleUSA. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.

More information here!

Pennsylvania Congressman Lou Barletta’s statement on his website

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Pennsylvania Congressman Lou Barletta integrates paromologia in a statement on the contact page of his website:

If you can’t get an answer from a federal agency in a timely fashion, or if you feel you have been treated unfairly, my office may be able to help resolve a problem or get you the information you need. While we cannot guarantee you a favorable outcome, we will do our best to help you receive a fair and timely response to your problem.

 The congressman’s use of paromologia in the statement creates an interesting effect. While he cordially says that he may be able to solve the problem for you to begin with, he turns right around and clearly points out that you may not be happy with the response.  Perhaps this is the congressman’s way of saying he feels secure in his job and is not concerned about getting citizen’s votes. But perhaps, on a more positive effect, he is saying that he wants to help and will genuinely try, but he wants to make it very clear up front that he can not guarantee anything.

 “Congressman Lou Barletta : Help with a Federal Agency.” Congressman Lou Barletta. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.

Also available here

University’s Response to Professor Posing Nude with Faculty and Students

December 6, 2011 1 comment

A ruckus has surfaced in Michigan due to a Michigan State University professor’s risqué demeanor around students and faculty as he has been posing bare-chested with them for photos.  The school integrated paromologia into their response statement stating their stand on the issue:

While we understand the shock value of Professor Guthrie’s art, it is not sexual harassment and does not violate university policies. Whether students, as adults, choose to model for him is not something the university can or should control.

The university’s use of paromologia in the statement gains the attention of the offended by agreeing that the art is a bit shocking, but while the university has cordially acknowledged the viewpoint of the concerned, they make their position on the issue by stating they are keeping out of the situation.

Associated Press. “MSU Professor’s Nude Photos Prompt Questions.” TriCities.com. TriCities.com, 23 Nov. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.

Also available here

Categories: argument, news, paromologia

Obama’s Question Response at Facebook Town Hall

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

In the recent Facebook Town Hall, President Obama used paromologia in a response to a question asked by a young Facebook employee in attendance concerning a budget plan set forth by Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin:

I do think Mr. Ryan is sincere. I think he’s a patriot. I think he wants to solve a real problem which is our long-term deficit, but I think that what he and the other Republicans in the House of Representatives also want to do is change our social compact in a pretty fundamental way.

Obama’s use of paromologia is expected and effective as he gives the congressman credit and agreed that he genuinely wants to solve the financial problem but then continues with why he disagrees with the plan. His kind acknowledgement of the congressman’s plan is appropriate for Obama to gain respect himself from both sides of the issue.

Jackson, David. “Obama: Republican Budget Plan Is ‘radical’“ USATODAY.com. Gannett, 21 Apr. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.

Also available here

Categories: argument, paromologia, speech

MasterCard Ad Campaign

December 6, 2011 2 comments

MasterCard effectively integrates paromologia in its “priceless” advertising campaign launched in 1997. The slogan that goes along with the “priceless” campaign is “[t]here are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.” MasterCards campaign uses paromologia to deliver a sense of humility to its targeted audience, to demonstrate that there are some things in life that are truly “priceless” and can’t be purchased with your MasterCard. The campaign has obviously been successful for MasterCard considering the campaign has ran for nearly 15 years.

 Alfabetos – MasterCard Priceless. YouTube. MasterCard, 11 Mar. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.

“Consumer Marketing Initiatives | MasterCard.” Welcome to MasterCard Worldwide. MasterCard. Web. 26 Nov. 2011.

Also available here.

Categories: advertisement, paromologia