Swearing: How Bad Is It? Essay

1876 words - 8 pages

Rick Reilly, who is a Senior Analyst at Sports Illustrated, and Jim Johnson, a Senior Basketball Analyst at TerpTown.com, share one thing in common: their disapproval of students' swearing. Both Reilly and Johnson agree that the students' swearing during college games has become a nationwide problem and needs to be stopped. In their respective writings, they use various techniques to make their arguments more effective in order to persuade their audience. They both know their audience very well, and they efficiently use rhetorical strategies to appeal to their audience. Reilly's arguments established through his ethos, pathos, and logos are convincing in his effort to prove that swearing has become an epidemic among college students and needs to be restrained, especially during games; however, Johnson's arguments are even more effective in his attempt to bring an end to Maryland students' swearing during games because of the stronger exigence provided in his letter through his stronger intrinsic ethos, well-developed pathos, and concise logos.In Reilly's article, "Swearing off Swearing," his strong ethical character establishes instant credibility amongst his audience. Reilly's strong extrinsic ethos helps him build a level of trust between him and his audience. Since the article is published in Sports Illustrated, this instantly increases his argument's credibility among sports fans. Constant readers of the Sports Illustrated would likely know that Reilly holds the title of Senior Analyst and has been voted National Sportswriter of the Year eight times. He is also a frequent contributor to the Time Magazine; therefore many of its readers are also familiar with his work (Sports Illustrated). Reilly is a well known and respected writer in two of the most popular magazines published in the United States. All of his accomplishments have helped him build a good reputation among sports fans and readers, which make his extrinsic ethos strong. Reilly also uses testimony along with intrinsic ethos to further gain the trust of his audience. When he gives examples of the fans swearing, he does not just quote fans from one college, but instead he quotes fans from various colleges. Quoting several fans from different colleges show that he has done significant research, which should increase the sincerity of his argument. Reference to various colleges also indirectly validates that he has traveled to many colleges and attended numerous games, which further adds credibility to his assertion because he has had first-hand experience of the fans' behavior. Reilly's strong ethos helps him gain the trust of his audience and reinforces the evidence behind his assertion.In "An Open Letter to University of Maryland Students" by Johnson, he relies heavily on intrinsic ethos rather than extrinsic ethos to build the credibility of his argument. However, Johnson does have some extrinsic ethical character, but not as strong as Reilly's. Many readers from TerpTown.com would...

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