In America Needs its Nerds, Leonid Fridman uses vivid diction, syntax and sentence structure, and comparison to express his disgust with the inequality of the nerds and geeks. He uses these techniques to call America to change their ways.
Fridman uses diction to enforce the contrast of the nerds of reality, and how nerds are viewed in America. For example, he defines the term geek. He states that “A geek, according to Webster’s New World Dictionary, is a street performer who shocks the public by biting off heads of live chickens” (paragraph 2).
Fridman makes the audience realize how Americans are making the “pursuit of knowledge” decrease. By defining the word geek as “a street performer who shocks the public by biting off heads of live chickens”, the audience will realize that a geek is seen as an outcast of society due to the inequality they are facing. Fridman also repeats the word ostracized. He gives this sense of difference by saying that “nerds are ostracized while athletes are idolized” (paragraph 3).
Nerds and geeks are always excluded when they were young and when they are adults, they are still excluded. In the U.S anyone who is smart are excluded while athletes will be well liked even though they are not intelligent.
To help develop his argument, Fridman creates syntax and sentence structure. For instance, he asks questions such as “how can a country where typical parents are ashamed of their daughter studying mathematics instead of going dancing, or of their son reading Weber while his friends play baseball, be expected to compete in the technology race with Japan or remain a leading political and cultural force in Europe” (paragraph 9). The speaker is urging the readers to think and pick a side in the war for nerds. Asking questions like “how can a country where typical parents are…” emphasize his belief that intelligence is an extremely reputable trait. He also uses conjunction and words to balance out his sentences. For example, he says “…like nerd and geek for the intellectually curious and academically serious” (paragraph 1), “enough is enough” (paragraph 5), and “nerds and geeks must stop being ashamed of who they are” (paragraph 6). The use of balancing in Fridman’s essay helps enforce his descriptions of smarter people in society in the first paragraph. Balancing out sentences makes things straight to the point, and foreshadows the main point. The use of balancing lets the reader know that something should be done about the social views of modern America.
Finally, he displays a comparison of America to East Asia. For example, Fridman says that “In most industrialized nations, not least of all our economic rivals in East Asia, a kid who studies hard is lauded and held up as an example to other students” (paragraph 7). He informs the reader that East Asia our economic rival and the reason for that are because nerds are the people who advance things such as technology. This comparison informs the reader that mistreatment of the intelligent needs to end. Fridman also compare the professors to professional ballplayers. He tells the reader that in America, “average professional ballplayers are much more respected and better paid than faculty members of the best universities” (paragraph 8). By giving this parallel comparison, the speaker is mirroring the equality that needs to occur between intelligence and social or physical skills because currently, the faculty members are not equal and they get less than ballplayers.
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