The creators of An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments return at last with a desperately timely guide to rhetoric.
Have you ever wondered how language shapes a story? How a politician can waffle their way out of a scandal, or a newspaper headline determine how readers think about an event? This adorably illustrated book demonstrates the ways in which language can be used to influence thought.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators packed the city’s streets on Friday. The actual count was 250,000. Why tens of thousands, then, and not a quarter million?
Rabbits zapped three badgers in an ambush last night, hours after six rabbits in a neighbouring town lost their lives. Were the six rabbits the sole participants in losing their own lives? Those silly rabbits ?
Old Mr Rabbit is your guide to these and many more examples of loaded language. He mines real reporting (by respected and rogue media alike) to unmask rhetoric that shifts blame, erases responsibility, dog-whistles, plays on fear, or rewrites history – subtly or shamelessly. It takes a long pair of ears to hear what’s left unsaid – but when the very notion of truth is at stake, listening for ‘spin’ makes all the difference.