Friday, January 15, 2021

"Bullcrap" rhetoric

During her speech on Wednesday, 13 January, at the hearings on the impeachment of President Trump for "incitement of insurrection", Lauren Boebert, the newly elected Republican Representative from Colorado who had already drawn attention to herself with her insistence that she would carry her handgun in Washington, called out what she considered the hypocrisy of her opponents: “I call bullcrap when I hear the Democrats demanding unity.” What a poor rhetorical choice "bullcrap" is here: if she'd said "bullshit", she'd have gotten the rhetorical punch of using a vulgar register in a formal setting, while the self-censoring expression "bullcrap" not only erases that register shift but makes her sound silly instead. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 15 January 2021)

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