While I know that the America culture is very different from France. I do know that the France school requires students to wear a uniform when they go to school. While here in America we can where however we want. The biggest factor of the difference is based on their education. A student would learn the value of eloquence at a very young age. While in American we learn to value and discipline. The French student then presents a topic that they want to talk about and explain their objections and sum its conclusions. It almost like the powerpoint presentation that we do in our high school, except at a different age level. Their reason behind is there education level is the analytical mode of reasoning which integrated into the entire school system of France. Even some of the textbooks are different from our American culture. For example, a history book is given to a student who is twelve years, it contains all of the summaries of the historical context in their original form. While in American, We have to use other sources for answers. In the society of French, they have standards which are very shocking different from American. One of the examples is the French can’t use the word I don’t know. When that happens, They need to learn t quickly. As it compares to America, They made an impression they want to learn new things in life. With that in mind, every society indifferent, which may agree we they said, but for sure, those people have a different set of standards.
Rhetoric in America is not as essential, sadly, as it used to be. Americans have lost the understanding of what rhetoric is. This can be seen in the presidential debates and even society now. When discussing topics, such as abortion, it easily turns heated and no longer resembles an argument but instead it is just two people yelling at each other. Defined, rhetoric is the ability in any given situation to find available means of persuasion. Based on the authors' experiences with the French, it is easy to see that they mastered rhetoric, while Americans do not know how to have a non-harsh discussion. Comparing the two cultures, the French begin to learn the art of rhetoric from a young age. While Americans will learn rhetoric in college if they take the right classes. The French seem very smart in their culture, the way their minds work is interesting to me because they even make movies that would make no sense to anyone but themselves. Movies that have no point other than to talk. Also, with education, the French were drilled a lot more with language than we were. Yes, we were expected to know our grammar but people still mess up their, there, and they're, as well as your and you're. In France, I feel that would not be acceptable.
I noticed that you focused on how rhetoric is not as focused on/seen as important in America as opposed to France. I think this is a worthwhile idea to point out. In America, our strategies are more so about insulting our opposition or seeing who can yell louder to get the point across. I think the French would be appalled at the way our debates go, as it basically turns into an insult-fest. I like that you also pointed out the stark differences in grammar emphasis between the two countries. Even in college classes, my professors often have to remind people to not revert to the way they would converse via text in formal emails and even in research papers. On a higher level, many try to speak as simply as they can, whereas (as the authors mentioned) the French try to use the words that best fit at all times, and seem to relish in picking the most complex terms. I definitely think conversations over in France are a lot more entertaining and certainly less mind-numbing as they sometimes are here in the US.
The Differences between the French, and American stance on rhetoric is due to how different the strategies that they use. The French prefer to give their opinions upfront, while Americans prefer to keep it as the underlying factor as Americans view it as a bias. Which means that it isn't a fact, while the French do consider it a fact. I was in a Catholic school most of my school days, we had to wear a uniform and had to be i can't really explain it. The French value a rhetorical strategy that is biting, and possible deflecting. Americans prefer straight facts that are not butchered by your view, and that it do be a understatement. Filipinos as far as I can tell, they are like Americans, just in a different nation and culture. The French also value being able to be seen as a intellectual, and to not show any ignorance. Which Americans view as being rude, and mean. While Americans value being sympathized with, and seek agreement, and sharing their views through understatements. The French view this as underhanded, sneaky, and ignorant. Other than that, they are still pretty much the same content, its just that the rhetoric changes how it is written.
In chapter 5, the authors explain the French concept of rhetoric (also referred to as eloquence), illustrate how rhetoric affects much of French education and culture, and contrast French and American rhetoric (noting how in the US, the concept of rhetoric is pretty much lost on most individuals). Rhetoric, for the French, is “not the mere science of persuasion” but rather “the art of eloquence, whether in writing or speech” (Barlow and Benoît 62). Rhetoric is taught to French students at a young age, and is continually revisited as students advance through the school system. In my own experience with the education system, rhetoric is often a second thought, something that only the Honors English classes get to explore when we participate in debates or Socratic Seminars. For the French, rhetoric is a major part of education, but for the US, it really is not. The French really treasure rhetoric and being able to eloquently plan out and discuss their opinions (it is discussed that the French press consider opinions to be fact, so long as the opinion is well-explained). In American education, there is often a push for math and the sciences. Even outside of education, rhetoric plays a large role in French culture. Writers are treasured and thought of highly; American writers are often looked down upon in American society, under the idea that ‘there are better jobs for you to pursue’. In France, there is a strong love for words and for using the best words every time you speak or write: this is not so, from what I have seen, in the US. Slang terms rule everyday speech and teachers constantly have to remind students to not use ‘text talk’ in their papers (even in college I hear this reminder on the regular). This chapter was definitely educational for me.I did not have much of an idea of French rhetoric and how it differed from the definition of rhetoric that we are taught in class (that it is something to be used in debates, and follows forms that were used back in ancient times, as opposed to something that makes up a part of everyday speech). I think it is so strange that there is such sparse emphasis on rhetoric, or even how to ‘correctly’ argue in the US public school system. I think that such a focus would be beneficial, at the very least to allow people to hold debates (in classrooms and the political realm alike) without feeling the need to personally attack the opposition. I think it would be interesting to be able to observe a rhetoric class as the French teach it, just to get an idea of the thought process behind it.
The french rhetoric is valued in the precision in the use of language. My favorite part of the chapter is page 65, "The term for speaking well is une langue chatiee, which literally means a 'punished tongue'." Children being in grammar schools in addition to being hammered with manners and etiquette from an early age is also part of the french and European culture. The authors state that most French "will not hesitate to correct each other, and especially foreigners...", some going as far as restating the sentence to them to ensure they say the errors of their ways, which is generally not done here in the states. I have seen that most inconveniences or errors are either avoided, dismissed or on more than one occasion, actually addressed. I took an etiquette class numerous years ago, but that was the extent of any finer skills that I feel the European countries take greater pride in, such as the rhetorical skills that seem to create a greater sense of belonging and being in a community. If Americans adopted a bit more for these rhetoric skills, who knows what improvements, or consequences, there make be.