Throughout her article, Payton sounds like a mix between an angry parent reprimanding an unruly child and a moody teenager admonishing a friend via social media. When Payton says, “Is that clear? You. Are. Privileged. It is OK to admit that,” her use of rhetorical questions, punctuation, and capitalization make her intentions abundantly clear (3). Payton’s statement exudes anger and resentment towards Fortgang. In the question, it is clear that Payton does not want an answer but rather, is attempting to scold Fortgang. Moreover, her use of punctuation speaks volumes; periods after each word are the equivalent of Payton raising her voice, out of frustration, to drive home a point. Even her emphasis of the word, “OK” is a sarcastic way of suggesting that Fortgang knows, and is afraid to admit, that he is privileged (3).
Payton’s unprofessional use of rhetoric is not exclusive to a single example — a plethora of...
... middle of paper ...
...ional use of rhetoric undermines the merits of her arguments. The anger that spills from every rhetorical question, sarcastic comment, and personal attack serve only to discredit Payton’s own contentions. While some may argue that Payton’s tone is justified given her personal connection with privilege or the lack thereof, nothing is an excuse for personal attacks and unprofessional language. Regardless of whether or not readers were persuaded by Payton’s arguments, her tone is enough to, at the very least, make readers question her intentions. As a result, if she would reform her language to be more polite, her readers would receive the content of her arguments better. Conversely, those who identify with Payton racially, politically, or socially may be able to identify with her emotions towards Fortgang. If this were the case, Payton’s arguments would be far stronger.
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