2

The President also knows that we have to stop blaming victims for these crimes. No one ever asks the person who got robbed at gunpoint in the street -- why were you there, what were you doing, what were you wearing? What did you say? Did you offend someone? We encourage people to come forward. We don't have to explain why someone took our money.

Source

I think the "No one ever [...]" claim is literally false, and actually obviously so. So, I understand it to mean:

The President also knows that we have to stop blaming victims for these crimes. No one in their right mind ever asks the person who got robbed at gunpoint in the street -- why were you there, what were you doing, what were you wearing? What did you say? Did you offend someone? We encourage people to come forward. We don't have to explain why someone took our money.

Supposing that I am right, what is this kind of rhetoric called?

  • Do you mean hyperbole? – Michael Owen Sartin Jan 25 '14 at 20:40
  • @MichaelOwenSartin Perhaps. Does it qualify as such? – We oath to creation Jan 25 '14 at 20:42
  • saying no one in their right mind rather than no one, i would normally call it hedging, because you are foreseeing a possible objection to your reasoning and dismissing it. e.g., if you said no one... then someone might say "well my friend Thomas thinks this way...*; using no one in their right mind... you foreclose this objection, because if Thomas thinks so, he is not in his right mind, and we are presumably restricting consideration to people of sound minds. – jlovegren Jan 25 '14 at 21:12
  • @jlovegren Sure. Bit he said "no one", not "no one in their right mind". What's the kind of rhetoric called that "allows" him to do that? (These speeches must be vetted, so there is a way out, presumably.) Also, in this case, I imagine "in their right mind" to be relative/subjective to the (intended) audience. – We oath to creation Jan 25 '14 at 21:18
  • i don't know that it would be considered a rhetorical device to not include a hedge. when addressing an audience that is willing to accommodate normal assumptions, you don't have to specify that when you refer to "someone", you mean "someone of sound mind." take the line from the movie Rear Window uttered by Grace Kelley: "a murderer would never parade his crime in front of an open window"; we are expected to infer that she is only talking about murderers who don't wish to get caught. i say it's not rhetoric to say things relying on unspoken (but uncontroversial) assumptions. – jlovegren Jan 26 '14 at 3:56
2

This is an example of generalisation.

  • Agreed. And maybe a slight exaggeration. – Jim Jan 25 '14 at 22:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.