Archive for the ‘credibility’ Category


December 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Meiosis can also be found in our everyday speech and generally is.  We may use the term and not even realize this.  This is where I feel that this next example is sort of taken.  This example happens to be taken from another term for a profession.  As I have heard of and I am sure you have heard, the term “shrink” can be considered as meiosis.  The term shrink is used in place of psychologist in many places and instances.  The particular example that I have chosen here is actually in the title of the movie itself as well as in the trailer for the movie.  This film centers around a down and out psychologist, Kevin Spacey, who gets involved with drugs and has his own struggles that can be similar to the issues that his patients come to him about.  In the particular trailer, we here one of the other characters interviewing him and calls him, “the shrink to the stars.”  We can kind of guess what this movie would be about just by the title alone and as we analyze and view the trailer we realize that are assumption was correct.  The term shrink in this sense is very degrading to the profession and is a good example of meiosis for that reason.  It does not speak highly on his particular profession.  It is a very effective example as well because of this.  At times, even hearing this term makes one think of the credibility of the individual themselves.  It even gives us a short of description of the person himself.

Shrink. Dir. Jonas Pate. Perf. Kevin Spacey. Roadside Attractions, 2009. DVD. Also available:


Chleuasmos in the Film “8 Mile”

December 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Chleuasmos, as represented in the film 8 Mile, not only defines the result of a verbal battle; it also, metaphorically, symbolizes the main character’s coming of age.

The film 8 Mile stars Eminem as Jimmy ‘B-Rabbit’ Smith, a young, neophyte, white, rapper, trying to break into the predominantly black world of Hip-Hop.  The film expresses that one does this through a battle, not by way of a physical fight, but through a verbal sparring match.

At night, in the Hip-Hop clubs of Detroit, rappers “battle” one another with abusive and insulting rhymes aimed at theiropponent.  The contestant who inflicts the most damage upon his competitor rises as the victor.  The ultimate goal is to achieve Chleuasmos by leaving your adversary speechless.  Throughout the movie, B-Rabbit repeatedly loses these battles because his life is so open to scrutiny.  He lives in a trailer with his mother, he works a dead-end job, his girlfriend screws around on him, his best friend is the slow-witted Cheddar Bob, but worst of all, B-Rabbit is white.  All of these “flaws’ are used against him by the rival members of the Hip-Hop gangs, not just in these battles, but also in his real life.   B-Rabbit also views himself as flawed, but eventually learns to accept himself for who he is and expresses this enlightenment in a final battle scene.  In this scene, B-Rabbit beats his opponent, Papa Doc, by rhetorically exposing himself for what he is, white, trailer trash that lives with his mom, whose best friend shot himself with his own gun and whose girlfriend slept with someone else.  He then points out that Doc calls himself a Gangsta but went to a private school, has rich parents and comes from a wealthy neighborhood.  By doing this, he completely unarms Papa Doc leaving him with no ammunition to do battle.  B-Rabbit then tosses the microphone to Papa Doc and says, “Now tell them something they don’t know about me.”  Papa Doc just stands there holding the mic and B-Rabbit has achieved Chleuasmos.  With this newfound understanding of self, B-Rabbit also gains more confidence outside the Hip-Hop clubs, thereby, finding life a little more pleasant.

8 Mile. Dir. Curtis Hanson. Perf. Eminem. Universal Pictures. 2002. YouTube Uploaded by on Aug 8, 2011. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.

Categories: chleuasmos, credibility, film Tags:

Apoplanesis in “Indian Killer”

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Similar to political debates, police interrogations and testimonies commonly support examples of apoplanesis. If cornered by an unanswerable inquiry, one may seek to employ apoplanesis in attempts to conserve confidential information. Naturally, the prying party will be alert to the answering party’s response. Such alertness ensures that any unsatisfying response will not go unrecognized, as the following example shall illustrate. Therefore, any chance for a subtle use of apoplanesis becomes unlikely. Though such circumstances have the potential to exhibit apoplanesis’ awkwardness, the answerer can still maintain a sense of grace in his or her subject dodging by keeping a professional, unwavering attitude.

Cover Photo by Frank Oudeman

Evident in Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer, apoplanesis appears in the form of an interrogation. In this particular novel, a supernatural murder mystery, several scenes involve testimonies. One instance, while questioning the mother of a missing child, the policeman asks, “Mrs. Jones, do you know of anybody who might want to hurt Mark? Or take him?”; Mrs. Jones immediately responds with “No. Don’t you know?” (169). The policeman’s final remark on the situation holds the greatest example of apoplanesis: “Well, there are certain other crimes that may be connected to your son’s disappearance” (169). By not directly answering her question, he digresses the conversation but still holds the subject matter in place, thus providing apoplanesis. Nevertheless, the questioner, as mentioned previously, will not accept unsatisfactory responses. In this case, the questioner takes the form of a distraught mother inquiring over missing child; she, as expected, will not cease the discussion until receiving clarity. Though Alexie ends the chapter with Mrs. Jones’ response, “Listen, I want to know: what kind of monster do you think would take somebody’s child?,” the reader naturally assumes the interaction between these two characters continues (169). Though this example reveals apoplanesis’ ability to maintain confidential information’s concealment, it does nothing to enhance the device’s subtlety; if anything, this example exacerbates apoplanesis’ blatancy.  

Alexie, Sherman. Indian Killer. New York NY: Warner, 1996. Print.

Apoplanesis in Palin’s Foreign Policy

December 9, 2011 2 comments

If used improperly or in an unfamiliar manner, apoplanesis will prove awkward. In a politician’s case, such awkwardness may result in a diminishing of his or her credibility. As the following example illustrates, the politician creates an embarrassingly clumsy interview with her ineffective and unsubtle use of apoplanesis. If intending to respond to an inquiry through digression, the speaker should form cohesive statements that flow with impressive fluidity. By not doing so, the speaker provides no answer that is even remotely satisfactory, and—as the following will demonstrate—damages his or her reputation to critical levels.

Apoplanesis commonly manifests in politics, notably in political debates, speeches, etc. Without preparation and decent knowledge of his or her subject, using apoplanesis creates awkward situations. For instance, Sarah Palin’s interview with Katie Couric on September 24, 2008, on foreign policy reveals numerous failed attempts at apoplanesis. Rather than focusing on the entire interview, consider specifically the following portion:

Couric: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?
Sarah Palin: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundary that we have with Canada. It’s funny that a comment like that was kinda made to … I don’t know, you know … reporters.
Couric: Mocked?
Palin: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.
Couric: Well, explain to me why that enhances your foreign-policy credentials.
Palin: Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of. And there…

Each question Couric asks Palin merits an awkward digression; Palin never fully or satisfactorily answers the questions. In addition to, or rather attributing to, her ineffective use of apoplanesis in this interview, Sarah Palin demonstrates a general lack of thought articulation. Palin’s sketchy use this rhetorical device reveals her unpreparedness and general lack of knowledge on the subject, thus making her responses examples of apoplanesis’ potential clumsiness.

Sarah, Palin. “Exclusive: Palin On Foreign Policy.” Interview by Katie Couric. CBS Evening News. CBS. 24 Sept. 2008. Television. Also available at

Categories: apoplanesis, credibility, news

Apoplanesis in “The Deathly Hallows: Part 1”

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Demonstrated in The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, apoplanesis makes its way into the Harry Potter series. For convenience and illustration, a clip of the scene is embedded below; though the film clip is approximately three minutes long, the portion I have chosen to examine is only fifteen seconds, between the second frames of 0:58 and 1:13. Amongst his followers, Lord Voldemort addresses Pius Thicknesse, his chosen Minister for Magic. Apoplanesis comes into this scene with the mentioning of Harry Potter’s coming of age and loss of magical protection. Being a talented politician and knowing of Voldemort’s quick-tempered attitude toward the subject at hand, Thicknesse is undoubtedly aware that he must choose his response carefully. The script is as demonstrated:

Voldemort: “What say you, Pius?”

Thicknesse: “One hears many things, my Lord; whether the truth is among them is unclear.”

Voldemort: [Laughing] “Spoken like a true politician!”

Minister Thicknesse’s brief digression from the matter at hand reveals a use of apoplanesis. Because of its advantages, apoplanesis proves commonplace when dealing with politics; Minister Thicknesse’s vagueness here supports this theory. Thicknesse’s answer does not provide a direct answer to the Dark Lord’s question, but his digression keeps his credibility (and life) intact. Depending on its use, however, apoplanesis can function beneficially or harmfully. With Thicknesse’s response, apoplanesis’ effectiveness and advantageousness are demonstrated. Despite his successful use of the device, Thicknesse does not digress subtly. Though obviously unoffended by the response, Lord Voldemort recognizes Thicknesse’s unease toward the subject and general diversion from it. Even so, Thicknesse’s use of apoplanesis here does not demonstrate the device’s clumsiness. In fact, Thicknesse’s digression for the sake of self-preservation shows apoplanesis’ conversational fluidity. Had he used the device improperly or awkwardly, Thicknesse might have merited a different response from You-Know-Who; Voldemort’s rather nonchalant dismissal of the politician’s use of apoplanesis may have been replaced with a more violent, unforgiving reaction. Nevertheless, if used properly, apoplanesis can save a politician’s reputation, and—in this case—much more.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Dir. David Yates. Adapt. J. K. Rowling. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2011. DVD. Scene also available at

Categories: apoplanesis, credibility, film

Come on, Santa!

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

It is Christmas morning and you are so excited to rush to the Christmas Tree to open the presents that Santa has hopefully left you the night before, however; much to your dismay, all of the presents that Santa has left for you are not for a boy named Kelly, but for a girl including: finds several baby dolls, a stroller, a pink guitar-it’s a sea of pink in his living room.  A letter is immediately written to Santa:

“Dear Santa, Kelly is a boy’s name too.

Love Kelly”

The ending of the commercial says, “Getting it right matters, get the JcPenny gift card.”

The rhetorical concept of solecismus is extremely evident in this JcPenny commercial from the 1990’s. It represents ignorance from an authority figure- Santa Clause. He sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake-obviously not. How in the world did he not know that Kelly was a boy? Santa was ignorant to the fact that names aren’t as gender specific as they once were.  Kelly is now also a name for a boy, as well as a girl.

The moral of the story is that you can never go wrong when buying a gift card but this commercial has both a positive and negative effect. The positive effect is showing the significance of understanding that names aren’t as gender specific as they once were. You must be extra careful when selecting a gift or just assuming that a person is a boy or girl just by the name. Getting the right gender specific gift is very important and the easiest way to do that if you aren’t sure about the gender is to just give them a gift card. The second effect is a negative impact that you might have one someone, especially a young child if you are ignorant to the fact that there are many names that are now used for both boys and girls.

Wouldn’t you be broken hearted if you woke up to gifts that were not for you on Christmas morning? Santa, don’t be ignorant.

To view the commercial, follow the link below.

“Kelly’s a Boy’s Name Too – Cute Commerical – YouTube.” YouTube. JcPenny, 10 Oct. 2009. Web. 02 Dec. 2011.

Billy Madison

December 8, 2011 2 comments

Debate takes place in a multitude of settings beyond an argument or the debate tables. Even when taking a test or on a game show you are engaging in debate. After all, whenever you answer a question you are claiming that you know the answer to said question.

However, sometimes your argument is wrong, plain and simple, which manifests as an incorrect answer. In the film Billy Madison, Adam Sandler is on a game show and answer’s a question, however, it is evident that his answer is wrong on so many levels it can only be called Epic. And the host, in the video provided, lets Sandler’s character know just how wrong he is with one of the more extreme examples of Apodioxis we will be examining.

The effects, even from such an isolated and removed from context clip, are clear. The intelligence of the person the host is speaking to is call so much into question that it goes right around and goes to being completely known: as being nonexistent. Also, considering how gameshow hosts are expected to be professional, respectful and generally present themselves as nice guys all the time, the fact that the host presented not only breaks that convention, but shatters it with an air-fuel ordinance bomb means that the answer argued was just that wrong.

Video posted by user Bound4Earth

Billy Madison. Dir. Tamra Davis. Prod. Robert Simonds. By Adam Sandler. Perf. Adam Sandler. Universal Studios, 1995. Billy Madison – Ultimate Insult (Academic Decathlon). YouTube, 26 Nov. 2009. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.