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MNsure Marketers Appropriate Local Icon

Marketeer enthuses, '"We liked Paul and Babe because everybody seems to recognize them," Kroening said. "They were easy to work with," he added with a smile.' One downstate paperupdates the icon's name to Bunyon in the url. Bemidji Mayor forgets that Bunyan and pal were invented as a marketing device in the first place, and so becomes target of facile downstate sarcasm. Local Senator Rudd takes issue with marketers's re-mix: "This portrayal does not reflect kindly on our communities who respect this treasured symbol as part of our great tradition and heritage." And blogger faces off with entire town: "These ads don’t make him look dumb, Bemidji. Do you know what makes somebody look dumb? Fighting for the dignity of a fictional character that you can’t even claim ownership on. Also, claiming that your town is the hometown of a fictional character when a dozen other towns are doing the same thing. Seriously, Bemidji. Lay off. This is the kind of shit that gets you on those dumb small town segments on the Daily Show."

Lesson: Know your rhetorical velocity.

A definition of rhetoric
Here's a fairly modest but pragmatic, easy-to-hang-onto definition of rhetoric from Stoner and Perkins:

The art and science of creating and analyzing "messages that rely on verbal and nonverbal symbols that more or less intentionally influence social attitudes, values, beliefs, and actions." (6)

  • occasion
  • exigence
  • the type of discourse: forensic, deliberative, epideictic
  • forum and genre
  • cultural and historical context
  • presuppositions of shared ways of thinking

  • page layout
  • page flow
  • text flow
  • navigation
  • text
    • paragraphs
    • sentences
    • register


Elements of Electronic Rhetoric

ENGL 3179/5179
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