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《Foreign Language Research》 2008-01
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Linguistic Memes and Their Rhetoric Effects

He Zi-ran(Guangdong University of Foreign Studies,Guangzhou 510420,China)  
From linguistic point of view,memetics can be used to interpret language phenomena,explore the origin of language,and serve as guidelines for learning and applying language effectively.This paper mainly deals with the relationship between memetics and rhetoric.In the process of using language,linguistic memes may bring about obvious rhetoriccal effects,and this paper introduces,first of all,the repetition and analogy as representations of memes in the course of their replicating and transmitting,then discusses the rhetorical effectiveness emerged during the spread of memes.The author holds that there is no need to talk about positive or negative effects of rhetoric,since it is the memes that are the main concern in the process of meme-spreading.It is imperative for rhetoricians to study the relationship between the spread of memes and the effects of rhetoric.This is not merely a matter of the effectiveness caused by rhetorical means,but a matter having to do with the normativeness and policy of language.Towards the end of this paper,the author points out that the effectiveness of rhetoric depends on longevity of the memes,their capabilities of being spread and used.As to the problematic usage in society,we should have a correct attitude towards its performance:show more tolerances,and less complaints.However,we should never let it spread unchecked.To study linguistic memes and their rhetorical effects will help us to take for granted the importance in the teaching reform of rhetoric.To meet the needs of the broad masses of people in using language effectively,we must be brave reformers on the basis of traditional theory of rhetoric.
【CateGory Index】: H05
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