A rhetorical device is a use of language that is intended to have an effect on its audience. Particularly in persuading them to a conclusion. The thing that is being said can be totally unreasonable or irrational, but the use of the device diverts the attention of the audience from logic to emotion.
It’s important that we learn this because we encounter rhetorical devices almost everyday. Whether it’s from politicians, the president, or even your family. So now, let’s go into a couple of examples of rhetorical devices.
Perhaps one of the most common devices is euphemism. The is substituting a negative word with a more positive one. For example, changing the phrase “Used Car” to “Pre-owned” or changing the word “take” to “borrow”.
Another common device is the opposite of euphemism. It’s called dysphemism. This takes place when a person takes takes a good or otherwise neutral word and twists it to something bad. For example, “Those rebels were really passionate about their cause” to “Those terrorists were really passionate about their cause.” Or change “Cigarette” to “Cancer-stick”.
Like I said earlier, we need to be able to identify these device in our lives. Advertisements for example might be able to use rhetorical devices, but it’s important to look past those devices and see if the product being sold actually matches reality and if it is actually worth buying.