“Making a Case for Rhetorical Grammar”

Through her words and style, Laura Micciche brought to light the power of rhetorical writing. While it bothered me when I first began to read the excerpt, her use of rhetoric language and examples led me to a greater understanding of the power (or lack of) grammatical structures. This leads me to speak for the main points that I took away from Micciche’s words.

1.    Learning grammar and learning writing are not the same

Some of the most influential pieces of creative writing, from To Kill a Mockingbird to 1984 to Shakespeare’s poetry, do not follow what is known as correct grammar. Writing is about relaying a message in a way that connects to an audience, not about using perfect communication. To learn grammar is to learn fear of making mistakes. To learn to write is to explore creative means of expression.

2.    Rhetorical grammar provides writers with more adequate and relatable ways to express thoughts and teaches critical thinking skills

To write rhetorically is to think rhetorically. How can you get readers to understand what you are saying? How can you communicate your thoughts?

3.   Grammar competency is 100% socially constructed

Having perfect grammar does not make you a good writer. To a certain extent, it does not even make your words effective. Proper grammar gives you a status academically and socially. It’s reflective of being an upper class, intelligent person. However, the smartest writers are those who can communicate with everyone.

One thought to ““Making a Case for Rhetorical Grammar””

  1. How should we define grammar? Should we define it as a set of rules determined by a secret committee? Should it be everything that is socially acceptable or has impact?

    Do we have the power to defy rules of grammar, and when do we get that power? As a student writing for a teacher, we usually don’t. For fear of a bad grade, embarrassment, failure, we nod our heads and say yes it’s supposed to be this way or no it’s not supposed to be that way. If we never practice defying these rules, how will we ever know that we can make those changes, move outside the box?

    Who wrote those first books that weren’t written according to standard English? Did they do so purposely? How did they capture those new ways of saying things, using different dialects, phrases, structures?

    I’d like to learn how and when we get to bend the rules on grammar. How do you start experimenting? Does it have to be a consequence of your environment?

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