Culture, Logic, and Rhetoric
Logic, which is the basis of rhetoric, comes from culture; it is not universal. Rhetoric, therefore, is not universal either but varies from culture to culture. The rhetorical system of one language is neither better nor worse than the rhetorical system of another language, but it is different.
English logic and English rhetoric, which are based on Anglo-European cultural pattern, are linear – that is, a good English paragraph begins with a general statement of its content and then carefully develops that statement with a series of specific illustrations. A good English paragraph may also use just the reverse sequence: it may state a whole series of examples and then summarize those examples in a single statement at the end of the paragraph. In either case, however, the flow of ideas occurs in a straight line from the opening sentence to the last sentence. Furthermore, a well-structured English paragraph is never digressive. There is nothing that does not belong to the paragraph and nothing that does not support the topic sentence.
A type of construction found in Arabic and Persian writing is very different. Whereas English writers use a linear sequence, Arabic and Persian writers tend to construct a paragraph in a parallel sequence using many coordinators such as and and but. In English, maturity of style is often judged by the degree of subordination rather than by the degree of coordination. Therefore, the Arabic and Persian styles of writing, with their emphasis on coordination, seem awkward and immature to an English reader.
Some Asian writers, on the other hand, use an indirect approach. In this kind of writing, the topic is viewed from a variety of angles. The topic is never analyzed directly; it is referred to only indirectly. Again, such a development in an English paragraph is awkward and unnecessarily vague to an English reader.
Spanish rhetoric differs from English rhetoric in still another way. While the rules of English rhetoric require that every sentence in a paragraph relate directly to the central idea, a Spanish-speaking writer loves to fill a paragraph with interesting digressions. Although a Spanish paragraph may begin and end on the same topic, the writer often digresses into areas that are not directly related to the topic. Spanish rhetoric, therefore, does not follow the English rule of paragraph unity.
In summary, a student who has mastered the grammar of English may still write poor papers unless he/she has also mastered the rhetoric of English. Also, the student may have difficulty reading an essay written by the rules of English rhetoric unless he/she understands the “logical” differences from those of his/her native tongue.
Задания к письменному тексту
1. The author’s aim is to prove that
A. rhetoric is culturally specific.
B. foreign learners of English should acquire the rules of English rhetoric.
C. Asian and Spanish writers ignore English rhetoric.
D. English rhetoric is the best.
B. linear sequence.
C. degree of coordination.
3. Spanish writers tend to
A. neglect the central idea in the paragraph.
B. develop the topic in reverse sequence.
C. give a lot of examples.
D. wander away from the main topic.
A. their texts follow different rules.
B. the rendering of ideas is too difficult.
C. the paragraphs contain subordinate clauses.
D. there is no coordination in the text.
A. the rules of rhetoric.
B. other students.
C. logical differences.
D. foreign languages.
For items 6-15 read two texts about music. Fill the gaps (6-15) in the texts choosing from the list A – L the one which fits each gap. There are two extra sentences which you do not need to use.
Jazz started out with a mixture of many types of music. Its roots date back to the 1880's with African origins. Jazz combines elements of African music with elements of Western European music. The birthplace of that combination, which is Jazz, is said to be New Orleans. (6___) The Creoles were originally from the West Indies and lived under the Spanish and French rule in Louisiana. They became free Americans under the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The Creoles spoke Spanish and French and lived in the high society of the French district in New Orleans. The Creoles took pride in their formal knowledge of the Western European music and their social and cultural values that classified them as upper class. On the West Side of New Orleans lived the uneducated, culturally and economically poor American blacks. Their music was based on simple melodies and complex mixed rhythms. (7___) The songs were actually encouraged because the workers seem to work better with the soothing effects of the music. Their music was characterized more by memorization and improvisation, and not of formal training.
In 1894, the segregation laws were in effect in New Orleans, which forced the upper class Creoles to live on the West Side with the poor, uneducated American blacks. The mixture of the two styles of music and two cultures clashed and created the start of Jazz.
(8___) Jazz represented a break from Western musical traditions, where the composer wrote a piece of music on paper and the musicians then tried their best to play exactly what was in the score. In a Jazz piece, the song is often just a starting point or frame of reference for the musicians to improvise around. The song might have been a popular short song or blues that they didn't compose, but by the time they finished it they had composed a new piece that often bore little resemblance to the original song. Many of these virtuoso musicians were not good sight readers and some could not read music at all. (9___)
By the 1940's Jazz has developed into many styles of music. Jazz has a variety of forms, even today. (10___) It is becoming more and more popular these days. Jazz has such a great mixture of rhythm and beats that Jazz will never cease to exist.
Rock and roll.
Rock and roll (also spelled rock 'n' roll, especially in its first decade), is a genre of music that emerged as a defined musical style in the Southern United States in the 1950s, and quickly spread to the rest of the country and the world. It later evolved into the various sub-genres of what is now called simply 'rock'. (11___) From the late 1950s to the late 1990s rock was perhaps the most popular form of music in the western world. Rock 'n' roll is played with an electric guitar, a bass guitar, a drum set, and may be a piano.
There is much debate as to what should be considered the first rock and roll record. (12___) African Americans were protesting segregation of schools and public facilities. It can hardly be a coincidence, then, that a musical form combining elements of white and black music should arise, and that this music should provoke strong reactions, of all types, in all Americans.
The culture industry soon understood that there was a white market for black music that was beyond the stylistic boundaries of rhythm and blues and so social prejudice and racial barriers could do nothing against market forces. (13___) By the end of the decade, rock had spread throughout the world.
Elvis Presley was the first real rock and roll star. He didn't invent Rock 'n' Roll, but he did more than any other individual to popularize it. His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. (14___) One of the most influential music groups of the rock era were the Beatles. The Beatles had a major impact on the world. They brought the love of British rock and roll to the American public and after them many other British groups became famous in the United States. It is sometimes called "The British Invasion." The Beatles were famous during the time of the Vietnam War, and they used their lyrics to express their political, social, and spiritual beliefs. This music brought an entire generation together. (15___).
The members of the Beatles continue to influence the world today. For example, the tragic death of John Lennon taught people how truly important life is, and how people think differently.
The remaining Beatles still write and perform their music, and are among the most respected artists in music.
A. Nevertheless their playing thrilled audiences and the spontaneous music they created captured a joy and sense of adventure that was an exciting and radical departure from the music of that time.
^ One theory as to why New Orleans is the birthplace is contributed to the black Creole subculture.
C. As a result, "rock and roll" now has two distinct meanings: either traditional rock and roll in the 1950s style, or later rock and even pop music which may be very far from traditional rock and roll.
D. Rock and roll was an overnight success in the U.S. making ripples across the Atlantic, culminating in 1964 with the ‘British Invasion’.
E. They changed the way people dressed, the way people looked, and the way people felt about one another. And in the end, that is what music is all about.
^ Acid Jazz is the most recent form of Jazz.
G. All are readily received by English, however much some fogies may resist them.
H. What differentiated this style from other styles was the widespread use of improvisation, often by more than one player at a time.
I. Whatever the beginning, it is clear that rock appeared at a time when racial tensions in the United States were coming to the surface.
^ The songs they sang were mostly spiritual or sung to pass the time of hardship and hard labor.
K. Some authors, however, have questioned the fact that its spread is simply a natural and rational process in this global village.
L. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture.
Participant’s ID number
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