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“English rates first in Latino families” by pengxiuhui


									Stephanie Trum
Mrs. Davis
AP English 11
11 April 2007
                            Dialectic Journals Marking Period 3

                        “Opposing view: Rejecting their request-
              Satellites don’t deserve bailouts for bad business decisions”
                                     By Jimmy Shaeffler
                              [USA Today : February 3, 2007]

        In this article, Shaeffler informs the public about a deal in the works between
Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio to combine into one super-company. It is
Shaeffler’s belief that if such a monopoly is unnecessary and would yield extensive
adverse affects on society. The quote reads as follows: “their request should be rejected,
as was a similar monopoly merger proposed by satellite television providers DirecTV and
DISH Network in 2001.” He uses the fallacy of argument from age to relate this case the
one a few years back to produce a precedent, arguing that since that case worked out for
the better, so will this one if the same verdict is given.
        Furthermore, when Shaeffler states, “(Sirius and XM) ask consumers to settle for
considerably less choice, which is what monopolies do,” he is exaggerating quite a bit. It
is not as though ten companies are fighting to join as one, the debate is only over two.
Going from two choices to one is clearly not “considerably less choice,” and besides, if
the two companies combined, it is most likely that they would put combine their
technology creating a better product than was available previously.
               “Gulf Coast’s halting recovery leaves much to be done”
                                   By Charles Dharapak
                              [USA Today : March 2, 2007]

       This article argues that Bush has not done all that is in his power to help in the
rebuilding and recovery of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Author
Charles Dharapak uses the fallacy of prestigious jargon to support his claims and appear
to be the superior intellect. His statement, “the 10% mandate has turned the process into
a bureaucratic quagmire,” could have simply been stated, “the 10% order has turned the
process into a common, routine dilemma.” The majority of readers will not know what
“bureaucratic quagmire” means, resulting in the misinterpretation of Dharapak’s
       Another fallacy in this article is the fallacy of argument to the future. In the
beginning of the article Dharapak tries to gain the reader’s support by rattling off
statistics, including one that could not be proved for years to come: “as many as a third of
residents are thinking of leaving within the next two years, according to a University of
New Orleans survey.” This statistic, although performed by a university, cannot be
proved or disproved for 2 years, at which point populations can be compared. Until then,
readers must assume that such a great population decline will occur.
 “Our view on the value of employees: Circuit City's harsh layoffs give glimpse of a
                                        new world”

                                       By Chris Rank

                                [USA Today : April 3, 2007]

        Rank makes use of the fallacy of rhetorical question numerous times throughout
the article, but more specifically towards the end. The questions are offset by asterisks
and followed by a brief response giving them a greater sense of importance. Some
examples include when Rank asks if the direction of the American economy and society
is politically sustainable, as well as if the “service economy” will result in death of
service. This allows him to incorporate personal opinion and voice, giving readers
someone to relate their ideas to.

        Another fallacy found in this article is stolen concept found at the end of the
article, reading:

        Many economists and business experts say that in a brutally competitive world,
        companies have little choice but to pay workers as little as possible. They have a
        point. Companies aren't in the business of altruism. But since when has debasing
        customer service in a service industry been a model for business success? The
        airlines have tried that approach, and see where it has gotten them.

He incorporates the opposing argument just so he can quickly shoot it down. By making
the opposition look stupid he, in turn, makes himself look better. It is in this way that he
rallies support for his argument, without even producing a new rationale of his own.
                     “Curbside appeal: Please don’t run me over!”
                                        By Craig Wilson
                                   [USA Today : April 4, 2007]

       Probably the most obvious fallacy throughout this article is argument by personal
charm. Wilson has a writing style that is very conversational making the text all the more
relatable. He speaks in a sarcastic, humorous tone, which can be seen in this, his opening
       Yet again, I was dodging a car running a red light, and as usual, when I yelled at
       the driver as he sped away, I could see him raising his hand in the air. And, no, he
       wasn't waving goodbye.
It’s really hard to read that story and not snicker at the fact that you have (most likely)
experienced something similar in your life.
       Toward the end of the article, Wilson combines the fallacy of ad hominem to his
aforementioned writing style and makes crack at New York City drivers:
       Des Moines. It's the No. 1 city with the best drivers. An A+. It's followed by
       Jersey City and New York City. Yes, that New York City. It, too, got an A+, third
       best on the drivers list.
Here he uses his sense of humor to express his opinion of the results of the study. By
including “too” and then repeating New York City’s position on the list, he is conveying
what he is saying in his head (most likely “Hard to believe, huh!?”), without blatantly
insulting anyone.
                           “English rates first in Latino families”
                                         By Raul Reyes
                                 [USA Today : April 6, 2007]

        At the beginning of the editorial, Reyes includes an anecdote to not only draw the
reader in, but to play up the fallacy of argument by personal charm. He states that his
“older brother's interest in Spanish began and ended with curse words”, adding humor to
the piece and making it relatable to the younger generation. It is likely that many who
read this article will be current language students possessing a similar grudging attitude
towards education. Reyes is able to come across as the “good guy,” as opposed to some
professor or specialist rattling off statistics.
        Also, Reyes utilizes the fallacy of non sequitur in his jumps between paragraphs 3
and 4. In paragraph 3 he speaks of the death of the Spanish language in America,
claiming that “among third-generation Chicanos, 96% prefer to speak English in their
homes.” He appears to be arguing that the language is fading away in America and
possibly that families should begin placing more emphasis on maintaining the culture, but
then he throws readers for a loop. In paragraph 4 Reyes jumps to a quote from Newt
Gingrich which reads, “People (should) learn the common language of the country… the
language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.” Reyes continues,
proclaiming the xenophobic nature of the quote and arguing how Gingrich is wrong in his
claims. The issue at hand switches suddenly from preservation of culture to a fickle fight
over which language is better.
                                  “Look Beyond the Fat”
                                      By Robert Lipsyte
                                [USA Today : April 11, 2007]

        The fallacy of argument by emotive language is used numerous times in the
article to make the reader feel a deeper sense of compassion for the author. Lipsyte tells
of his childhood when he too was overweight, capturing all of his inner turmoil in a
single question: “Who wants to remember shame, sneers, avoiding scales and mirrors,
jamming down food to smother the pain and then hating yourself for being out of
control?” Having once been “the fat kid” himself, he is able to connect on an emotional
level with any overweight readers and create sympathy in the hearts of those not affected
by obesity.
        However, this article can also be interpreted as a repeated use of the fallacy of
appeal to pity. As Lipsyte’s view of fat people changes as the article progresses, it
becomes more and more of a sob story. The final paragraph appears to almost be an
attempted tear jerker:
        The self-hating helplessness that often accompanies obesity keeps people in thrall
        to bullies and to demagogues. Too fat to fight, too fat to run, you're in a prison of
        yourself. If you can't see your toes, you probably can't raise your leg. And if you
        can't raise your leg, you'll never kick butt.
Reading this I just felt like it screams “FEEL SORRY FOR ME!” While I have no
prejudices against the obese, I felt annoyed by the depressing direction Lipsyte took with
the article.
                “As kids get savvy, marketers move down the age scale”
                                    By Jayne O’Donnell
                               [USA Today : April 11, 2007]

       All throughout the article there are examples of the fallacy of argument by
generalization. This fallacy is clearly presented in the titles of the subsections claiming
to tell all about “tween girl traits.” The sections include the following: They’re driven by
imitation; They want more of everything; They are environmentally aware; They like
attention, sort of; Looking for attention. Just simply by starting each section with “they”
it creates the false illusion that all tweens are like this, when one clearly sees after some
thought that such is not the case. The author generalizes for the sake of her argument,
because if she were to start every section with “some girls,” the believability of her
argument would plummet.
       O’Donnell also makes use of allusions to pop culture, such as when she says that
tweens would “drop a brand faster than you can say Hannah Montana if the clothes
become anything close to dorky.” Hannah Montana, a popular show on the Disney
Channel, has an enormous audience comprised mostly of “tween” girls. She is seen not
only as a role model, but a fashion icon of sorts for these young girls. By including this
allusion O’Donnell conveys a sense of sarcasm and witty mockery of the tween craze.
                                      Works Cited

Dharapak, Charles. “Gulf Coast’s halting recovery leaves much to be done.” Opinion. 2
       Mar. 2007. USA Today. 7 Mar. 2007
Lipsyte, Robert. “Look Beyond the Fat.” Opinion. 11 Apr. 2007. USA Today. 11 Apr.
       2007 < >
O’Donnell, Jayne. “As kids get savvy, marketers move down the age scale.” Money. 11
       Apr. 2007. USA Today. 11 Apr. 2007
Rank, Chris. “Our view on the value of employees: Circuit City’s harsh layoffs give
       glimpse of a new world.” Opinion. 3 Apr. 2007. USA Today. 3 Apr. 2007
Reyes, Raul. “English rates first in Latino families.” Opinion. 6 Apr. 2007. USA Today.
       8 Apr. 2007 <>
Shaeffler, Jimmy. “Opposing view: Rejecting their request- Satellites don’t deserve
       bailouts for bad business decisions.” Opinion. 3 Feb. 2007. USA Today. 8 Feb.
       2007 <>
Wilson, Craig. “Curbside appeal: Please don’t run me over!” Final Word. 4 Apr. 2007.
       USA Today. 9 Apr. 2007

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