I heard it said just this morning on the radio by a well known public figure:

"this situation (whatever it was) is right, wrong, good, bad, etc.

I know it, you know it, we know it.

This statement was made in a public forum.

The words, "you know it" are what I am honing in on.

The person saying it doesn't know me or you personally, yet as part of their language or speech, they often make these sweeping generalizations.

As I hear it again and again coming from this particular person, I find myself more and more alarmed because it seems that the public has allowed or is allowing themselves to be told what they know or what they believe by the repeated use of these words or words like them.

I tried to look it up rhetorically but I'm not sure it falls under that umbrella (as a specific rhetorical device).

I know that years ago there were books out that were geared towards winning friends and wielding power or simply put, ways to get people to do what you want - they were titled as such. I think such simplistic devices may be part of that whole ideology (as it were).

I'm just wondering what such a rhetorical style is called?

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  • I think this question is more to do with the specific phrase "you know it",and similar sentiments as a rhetorical device than it is to do with repetition – Dr Xorile May 12 '17 at 17:11
  • I think you mean homing in on – Phil Sweet May 12 '17 at 17:31
  • @DrXorile I might agree that the question is different but the answers to the other question are pertinent. I'm not sure it is productive for people to rewrite most the essence of those answers here? – Tom22 May 12 '17 at 19:13
  • @Tom22, I disagree. The linked question only has answers referring to the repetition (brainwashing, proof by assertion, propaganda etc). The OPs question is about the rhetorical device of saying "you know it". The meaning and effect of the phrase is important, not the fact that it is said multiple times. – Dr Xorile May 12 '17 at 19:21

In this context, it's being used more as an accusation than a statement of fact, though I'm sure the speaker hopes the listener treats it as fact and simply accepts it. (e.g., you know you want to mark this answer as the best one!)

This might help:

You Know

Used to imply that what is being referred to is known to or understood by the listener.

‘when in Rome, you know’

This is a type of persuasive speech; I don't know if there is a sub-type that deals with forcing ideas into someone's head -- perhaps marketing?

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