Tim Cook’s recent rhetorical flourish

As I’ve been studying rhetoric in more detail, I immediately notice it being used.

Here, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, edits a well known phrase that has negative connotations, “Military-Industrial Complex” and uses it to bind the inherent negative attributes to Facebook, Google and others who’s business model relies on data.

The technical name for this is “portmanteau”.

“A word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two others, for example motel or brunch.”

I’m not sure if this technically counts as Tim is editing a phrase, rather than a word, but it’s the same kind of thing.

This is just one little trick, but there are many.

When I go on podcasts, I make sure to use succinct pithy phrases that that people will easily remember.

“B2B doesn’t have to stand for Boring-2-Boring.” (Not my own, but I use it, and I’ll admit this when delivering it.)

“The Right Words in The Right Order to the Right People can get you anywhere in life.”

And there’s plenty more where that came from.

Being able to succinctly make a memorable point is powerful.

It means people not only remember your message, they can spread your message too.

And when they do that, the next person will share it, and so on.

And this message you are spreading, in it’s pithy form, also makes you sound sort of clever and sharp.

When all you’ve really done is condense and use some pretty word tricks.

It turns out that is an incredibly powerful skill.

I’m starting a series of posts in the Charm Offensive Professionals group that covers this kind of rhetorical wizardry.

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