“Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo [buffalo] Buffalo buffalo”

buffalo = doer, noun

[buffalo] = doing, verb

This heavily parsed but grammatically correct sentence, created in 1972 by William J. Rapaport, employs the various meanings and parts of speech for the word “buffalo”. It uses the word buffalo as the city, the animal, and the verb to bully. The sentence reads that buffalos who are bullied by buffalo are themselves bullying bison.

The [buffalo] from Buffalo who are buffaloed by buffalo from Buffalo, buffalo (verb) other buffalo from Buffalo.

Buffalo buffalo (subject and main clause) [that] Buffalo buffalo (subordinate clause) buffalo (verb and subordinate clause) buffalo (verb and main clause) Buffalo buffalo (main clause).

David Fleming concludes his City of Rhetoric by arguing that “education [should be] oriented to the ‘strong publics’ of decision making rather than the ‘weak publics’ of opinion formation” (205). For Fleming, then, composition courses, which traditionally have asked students to write as spectators, should instead have students problem solve.  In other words, education should teach students to use language to effectively present their opinions so they can then responsibly resolve conflicts that arise from their opinions instead of choosing people to resolve conflicts for them. By supplying students with what Fleming calls the procedural knowledge they can evaluate evidence and make coherent claims supported with reasons. For instance, students who posses these skills can effectively take William J. Rapaport’s heavily parsed sentence and evaluate how its form and what it means.  

I believe that Samuel R. Delany employs the use of Pathos in his documentary to explain why he has every student raise her hand when he asks a question. He tries to convince his audience of his method by creating an emotional response to the importance of recognizing self worth in the classroom. Watching the video rather than reading the prompt definitely gives the reader a clearer indication of this because in the video Professor Delany gets emotional when delivering his argument.

City of Rhetoric: Introduction Analysis

In David Fleming’s book: City of Rhetoric, Fleming argues in his Introduction that built environments that promote conflict and in turn language matter because our current anti-urban society promotes movement to superficial spaces where uniformity has painted conflict as the root of inequality, when if allowed conflict fosters harmony amongst inequality. In discussions of the relationship of language and the built environments in contemporary United States, one controversial issue has been how anti-urbanism has lead to privatism or communities of what the author calls the “like-minded” and how it has made cities anti-political and anti-rhetorical impoverishing political discourse.  One the one hand, anti-urbanists argue that as long as individuals with different views stay segregated conflict does not need to occur which means that they argue that avoiding diversity means harmony. On the other hand, Fleming contends the need for a public philosophy that says that difference is good and not bad and encourages conflict and enriches public discourse which brings us harmony.  In his Introduction the author not only outlines the three main sections of his book but he exposes that in order to achieve a political and rhetorically built environment current built spaces (which history demonstrates have exhibited plasticity over the years) must be re-designed to break privatism so that not only is public rhetoric encouraged but we have environments that make it unavoidable.

City of Rhetoric: Preface Analysis

In David Fleming’s book: City of Rhetoric, Fleming argues in his Preface that the revitalization of civic life or the redesigning of built environments is an essential project that will correct our increasingly impoverished political discourse. In discussions of the revitalization of civic life, one controversial issue has been the trend of anti-urbanism where people act on their secessionist impulses following the line of thought that a space should be apolitical and politics ageographical.  One the one hand, anti-urbanists (people who fled urban centers) argue that the urban forms of human contact, which promote sameness instead of difference, are the answer to the increase in “chaos” that the diversification of cities brings. On the other hand, Fleming contends that the anti-urbanist trend was and is a mistake because in order to “fix” the “chaos” it encourages built environments that are stratified by family status, race, age, and ethnicity and in turn this discourages collaboration and hinders public discourse which Fleming argues is ignoring the responsibility that we have towards the world and the people we cohabitate with.  Fleming maintains that for public discourse to flourish a space cannot be apolitical and politics cannot be ageographical because public discourse flourishes in built environments or spaces where individuals learn to deal with the chaotic world they hold in common collaboratively instead of separately. In his preface, Fleming sets the stage for his book by demonstrating the important connection between public discourse and built environments by explaining to the reader how the anti-urbanist movement is the cause and effect of our progressively impoverished political relations with each other and how the revitalization of civic life (redesigning diverse urban built environments that manage social differences without separation or assimilation but collaboration) is the way to correcting this impoverishment.