The Use of Rhetoric to Obscure a Lack of Meaningful Content

The case under inspection, which, to a dramatically marked extent, has been thoroughly investigated by the most qualified experts in this obscure field, is now shown, by empirical, rational means, to be false.

First, the case lacks clarity. Even when the case was presented before the most intelligent, capable judge, who had solved many problems liked this one before, it confounded the judge upon first impression. So arcane was its topic that, even if the judge had the power of hindsight, which would normally solve problems in cases as convoluted as this one, the case would have appeared just as enigmatic, just as obscure, just as meaningless. Perhaps, to ground our own investigation of this case, we may start by asking ourselves the question, What are the origins of this case?

In this case, the origins are exceedingly difficult to find. They may lie anywhere, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from the deserts to the rainforests, from Cambridge to Oxford. Was it, perhaps, discovered by a mountaineer? Or uncovered by an archeologist? Or simply invented by a time-traveler? Where did the elegantly transcribed manuscripts of this case come from? There is, at the moment, no way of finding the location of the case’s birth.

But what about the time? Certainly, if we do not know the spacial origins of the case, we may attempt to ascertain to a degree, if you will, its temporal signature. After a painstaking, technological method that took process over two days, analyzing the concentrations of various particles found within the lofty confines of the case, three experts gathered that this case was made some time in the last two-thousand years, with a percentage error of about give or take thirty-two-point-three-three, repeating of course, percent. As broad as this conclusion may sound, it does eliminate a vast group of historical figures from consideration, including Homer, if we assume the conservative side of the time estimate. Perhaps the most well-known, and perhaps the most likely, of all the figures remaining to choose from is Oscar Wilde. This man once passed customs at an international boundary saying, “I have nothing to declare but my genius.” If, on the other hand, he had some manuscript of non-genius quality, he must, of course, have left it the customs office. This could promptly explain why the case was found where it was, in a highly obscure place, and why its quality level was remarkably non-genius.

Now, the purpose of the case is, at the moment, still indeterminate. Regarding the topic of the main manuscript found inside, did the author intend to make an argument, clarify a previous stance, describe an ironic situation? It would not seem easy for one to find the purposes without first knowing its origins. However, as for another entirely separate point, the impreciseness of the written manuscript marks its source as possibly an immature writer, an amateur writer lacking in the wit and style of English grammar. Thus, the list of possible authors may be narrowed down dramatically by the elimination of all graduates from Harvard University, for in that idealized society, there is one required course quite concisely named Expository Writing, and it is most clearly evident that the writer of the manuscript had not taken, or at least had not had passed, such a course.

What does this expose about the purpose of the manuscript? Simply, the only revelation is that the manuscript was not meant for submission in the Harvard Review of Rhetoric, for if it was, then it must have been the most cursed, abominable, loathsome, bloody treatise ever submitted to any any somewhat reputable institution whose age exceeds three-hundred years but falls short of four-hundred.

A final point of investigation is that the values and limitations in this case are to be taken into consideration.  After carefully examination of the manuscript, I have deemed it of no value, especially if considered as a piece of dejectable rhetoric to whoever would suppose of it that way. However, it really has no limitations. It is, the magnificently crafted work, a true masterpiece of visual art, for there is nothing degrading, lacking, nauseating, deteriorating, harming, sickening, outrageous, lowering, humbling, offending, breaking, or otherwise false in it. Thus, while the manuscript is certainly regarded with a questionable value, it possesses, for sure, as demonstrated by its pure genius of composition, no limitations.

So, as the reader may ask, The case is incomprehensible, but so what? There are a number of ways of rendering this question an irrelevant one, but due to laziness, I will not, and will instead make an honest effort to answer it. You see, the case itself is quite irrelevant. Would it matter whether the manuscript was written by Oscar Wilde, or Ernest Hemingway, or Albert Einstein, or worse yet, someone who had gone to Harvard University and passed Expository Writing? Well, that does, I suppose, cause one importance in the otherwise insignificance of the case. Suppose Ernest Hemingway did compose this wonderful manuscript. Then he would have demonstrated, as Oscar Wilde put it, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” But, in the somewhat more likely case that the writer was not Earnest, then the case would be rendered quite irrelevant.

Even better yet, would the meaningful content, if ever uncovered despite in the perceived lack thereof, have any impact, however profound? Probably not, for it seems to have already made its sharpest contact with the world when it caused the minds of many experts to muddle around in its winding sentences, and thus it had already exerted more influence on a human scale that it ever likely will again. That said, if the content, if any, is suddenly realized, as if by eventual epiphany, and it has a sufficiently shocking message, then it is at least probable that some persuasion will be made.

Finally, any knowledge of the true purpose of the manuscript seems equally as unintelligible a quality. In the case of this manuscript, any data that could be found has probably already made some impact upon the world, despite what the perceived purpose is, even if the purpose is as urgent as a call to save the lives of millions of ants in a dying dirt pile close to you, not two blocks away from your home. For whatever purpose, the case has already been made.

The only glaring problem with the case is that it, by ordinary perception, appears too artificial, almost as if it were crafted by an insane mind, and not something of natural or divine origin. It is so unnecessarily complex that the only possible explanation, however unrealistic it may be, is that the case must be composed of both real and imaginary components. In all, experts and myself have thus concluded: The case is a lie.

11 thoughts on “The Use of Rhetoric to Obscure a Lack of Meaningful Content

  1. I find your use of rhetoric impressive, though your lack of substance in this stream of conciousness type literature is appallingly present.

    I find my use of rhetoric has diminished greatly after finishing this dreaded extended essay – I wish you best of luck with yours.


    1. Your compliment has been greatly respected. 🙂

      Heh, the extended essay certainly seems to do such a thing to rhetoric, although I guess it would majorly depend on the subject. A math paper, in my case, did not really sharpen my rhetoric at all, other than giving me some experience at extremely concise writing. Thanks for the wishes; good luck with yours too.


  2. Oh, try an english EE written at 3 in the morning the day before it was due – it wrecks havoc on one’s use of rhetoric. Sadly enough, I believe my essay was coherent.

    Concision? Is that a word? By that I mean conciseness, but that is most certainly not a word. Aside from that – A math EE would frighten me. Higher Level Math, if I may assume?


    1. Actually, an English EE sounded fun to do, especially because the scope is pretty much unlimited. The IA papers, on the other hand…

      Yep, I’m taking Higher Level Math, though my EE is not on a topic covered in class. I originally was going to write an expository paper, but my supervisor said that it would be more impressive to do something original, however difficult that may be in the math field. Hence I invented a new function to investigate.


      1. English was fun – I loved my book, only time management seems to elude me.

        That sounds impressive – I’m definitely not a math person, so the idea of creating a math function, is, to be quite honest, downright frightening. I think there was one math EE in our school this year, out of the 112 kids who are in IB2. He investigated e, I do believe.

        Which IA are you refering to?


      2. Math does seem to be among the more uncommon EEs. This year we have 2/72 math papers; last year 0/60. That’s also quite ironic: an EE on e.

        The English A1 and A2, World Literature assignments. Our book choices were actually fine – no, excellent – but, one of my essays is noticeably worse then the other. Still have two months though.


  3. It was quite amusing – Have you finished your EEE yet?

    Oh WL! I’m done my first one – my second one is in process. Right now, in fact, as I dutifully procrastinate. I wasn’t a huge fan of our book choices for the first one – Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, Like Water for Chocolate and A Doll’s House – but my first essay is definitely going to be worse than my second. I’m doing the creative choice for this one, so it should be interesting, at least. Are you testing in May 2010?


  4. Yep, 2010. I’m doing the creative choice for the second too! And the book I examined for that one is none other than Waiting for Godot. Yeah, my comparative analysis is definitely worse than the creative piece right now.


    1. Nice. I’m writing a monologue from Three Sisters, by Chekhov. My comparative analysis may go through a rewrite before it gets sent off – if I find the time between all this other stuff. My coordinator wants my CAS binder next week and I definitely haven’t been keeping up with that. Well, I’ve been doing the extra stuff, just not writing the “rhetoric” that goes along with it.


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