Form


The compositions of the messages being tweeted are quite different yet very similar. Some tweeters appear to follow the definition of metacognition, where the rhetor is thinking about what their thinking. The rhetor crafts their language very concisely in an attempt to invoke a glandular reaction. Black’s explanation of a rhetorical message that invokes a spontaneous response is very apparent in the political messages posted on twitter. These rhetors too craft their messages in a way to invoke an almost shocking reaction like that of a loud noise or the sudden appearance of someone or something. Following the #teaparty and #gop there appears to be no time line. The time line became a real time tweet when President Obama was giving a speech in New York for Earthday. The tweets were of the tweeters reaction to the content of the speech.

Findings


The use of symbols, as suggested by Burke, has preoccupied the rhetor on twitter. There are a variety of symbols that have been created and more being created every day. The use of a symbol can demonstrate sends another rhetorical message to the audience about the sender. Symbols can represent a sexual, happy, mad, sad, ho-hum, excited, or any variety of other connotative meanings. The exigence of the message is created by how well the rhetor is at painting his or her message. The combination of language and symbols helps the rhetor in their attempts to communicate the message. It appears that the effectiveness of the tweeters, by the RT’s, are those that are able to hear and understand what their audiences appreciate.

Examples and Travels


Some tweeters make attempts to legitimize themselves by using negative actions and create categories for other tweeters. This is an attempt, using rhetoric, to lead the audience into acting or following the tweeter to other sites to legitimize the message being sent. If the tweeter is able to invoke the response the audience will begin to travel throughout the site reading from other tweeters who will continue the rhetorical message or enhance on it in other ways. The political tweets have many of these traits in them. The author may or may not be the creator of the message, but that is not what matters. The message is created and tweeted in that persons account therefore sending the rhetorical message that the tweeter is indeed the owner of the account. Reaction words are being used to vex the audience into a response of action which could be linking from negative message to the next in a series that never seems to quit. The action is like the wave that gets started in a stadium. The kairos is perfect because of the legislation that is being passed by one political party and the other is reacting. The Tea Party Platform (the wave) with all of the negative rhetoric.

Following these tweets created a response of wanting to continue and link to the next person to see what relation was being established with the next or previous rhetor. The messages had me following the location of the tweets and noticing what demographic was involved in the stream. The hash tags that are associated with the tea party are #gop, #teaparty, #liberty, and #patriots. I found rhetorical meaning in this since there are tweets from gop members and their discourse with the tea party movement. Yet another negative rhetorical situation. The use of the words was terse and argumentative and defined a niche within the gop for the tea party followers. The use of words like troll and monster as the tag names for the tweeters leads to the Ethos of the owner. The words are associated with dominance, disruptive, power, and male figures. There are two categories of followers, those that agree with the #teaparty and those that don't. Tweets are being RT for many reasons. There are those who find the humor in a tweet such as chernowa who RT the tweet from afaberman about SarhaP being bullied by a moose every time someone kicks a hippi. There are so many tweets to the #teaparty, it takes a great amount of time to search the site for tweets using this tag.

Surprise Findings


I don't know why, but I was surprised to find tweets in other languages. Those tweets are most definitely directed at a target audience. The way to secure a message would be to encrypt the message using symbols as mentioned before, using language that only few would understand such as lol, or crafting the message in a language other than English.

The fact that hash tags are used by others who are not involved in the original rhetorical meaning of the creation of the tag, but use it to target that audience to disseminate the opposite message creates an environment of discourse. This invokes a response from the audience that has been invaded by the outsider.
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