Monday, September 24, 2001  [!]

Rhetorical Ethnocentricism: Understanding the Rhetorical Landscape of Arab-American Relations. In a google cache, via JRobb. Now that there's a lot more attention focused on "what we're saying and what they're saying," it's helpful to understand the role that language plays in two cultural contexts.

For the American culture, language appears to be a medium of communication used to convey information. Emphasis is on function and by extension substance, meaning, and accuracy. A message may tend to be valued more for its content than style. For the Arab culture, language appears to be a social tool used in the weaving of society. Emphasis is on form over function, feeling over meaning, and effect over accuracy. Accordingly, content may be less important than the social chemistry a message creates.

This page on the Cantor-Fitzgerald site is unspeakably sad.