[eDebate] Reply to Mr. Stroube re: rhetorical criticism

Michael Antonucci antonucci23
Mon Apr 6 19:39:16 CDT 2009

"transcripts already exist. if someone will provide with me any ndt final
transcription, back when they were transcribed, i will provide an example of
the analysis mentioned starting with a concentration on speed as masking for
filler. the final rubenstein won with his partner for redlands in san
antonio would be great. or how bout a gordon mitchell final assuming they
transcribed way back then? "


There you go.  The transcript starts on page 50 on my version of the PDF.  I
advised you to make your own transcript because practice may have changed in
the intervening two decades.

"if you are genuinely interested, it's not really much work to obtain an
existing transcript and compare the quality of the speech to great
historical examples like "i have a dream" or numerous others. or possibly we
could look at the transcripts and imagine how terrible "i have a dream"
would sound if thoughtless NDT habits were intermixed with MLK's mastery of
style. "

I disagree.  I find all four debaters in this round rhetorically
impressive.  I also think that effective rhetoric adjusts to content and
context.  Directly transposing rhetorical patterns from Pericles' funeral
oration into this particular context would, to my ear, sound pompous and
misplaced.  The "I have a dream" version of Lennon's 1AR would be a
rhetorical traffic accident.

If you want to prove me wrong through detailed textual analysis - as opposed
to imperatives that I make your argument for you - I'm eager to read your
improved version.  Rewriting this 1AR Stroube-style would impress me, and
many would read it carefully.

Close reading, in this context, usefully distinguishes an individual willing
to work on rhetorical criticism from someone who would just like to make a
few passing observations.  It's easy to draw sketchy analogies to
medievalists because such comparison aren't falsifiable or even really
contestable propositions.  Improving a Rubinstein 2NR, on the other hand,
would be a feat.

Michael Antonucci
Debate Coach
Georgetown University
Mobile: 617-838-3345
Office: 202-687-4079
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