Author Archives: Dr. E. Michele Ramsey

The Fightin’-ist Fightin’ Farmer I Know

Just over two weeks ago, LHS lost a great alum and friend in Clint Brown. I’d known him since we were kids and thoroughly enjoyed rekindling our friendship thanks to Facebook. There are three things about Clint that I remember most and while they make up more of a Venn diagram than a set memories pointing […]

26 Valentine’s Day Songs for People Who Prefer Halloween

No, this has nothing to do with rhetoric directly (well, there’s the rhetoric of music and sound, but that’s not what I’m thinking about today). Another snow day and a hundred happy-go-lucky Valentine’s Day posts on Facebook (not that there’s anything wrong with that) got me thinking about what an alternative Valentine’s Day playlist might […]

He Didn’t “Just Snap”

This was the headline at the top of the 6 o’clock hour tonight on CNN–the proclamation that the Navy Yard shooter, Aaron Alexis, who killed at least twelve people on September 16th–simply “snapped”.  In this quick post I’d like to highlight the rhetorical importance of choosing to identify the behavior of Alexis as just “snapping” […]

Don’t You Know That It’s Different for Girls?

I’ve read with great interest all of the responses to Mrs. Hall’s blog post, FYI (If You’re a Teenage Girl). There has been a lot of criticism of her “slut-shaming” (not my favorite way of naming the issue, I admit) as well as her incredibly unforgiving position of blocking these young women from Facebook on […]

There’s Something You Should Know: Seven Life Lessons Duran Duran Helped Me Learn

After reading Jennifer Makowsky’s “Ten Life Lessons I Learned from Being a Die-Hard Duranie” on Ape, I felt the need to respond as a fan from age 14, a feminist, and a communication professor who studies and teaches about gender and popular culture. I’m always happy to see people taking pop culture seriously. Too often, pop […]

The Rhetorical Power of “Support Our Troops”

First published at in September 2007. In light of Bush s recent plan for a troop surge in Iraq and the ensuing congressional debate over the strategy and funding of it, Senator John McCain argued that a bipartisan non-binding measure to rebuke the troop surge amounted to a demoralizing “vote of no confidence” in […]

How False Choices Encourage Bad Choices

First published at in November 2007. Historically, political rhetoric has been awash with fallacious arguments meant to circumvent more rational thinking about political events and policies. One way we can break free from the tendency of fallacious arguments that move us toward poor political decision making is to understand the different types of logical […]