I think a rhetoric tag is warranted, based on some of the posts I've seen on creating tags.

  1. It is an important discipline within the study of writing.
  2. It is much more precise than the current available options of "style" and "technique".
  3. There are many questions to which it would apply, including:

Rhetoric vs Figure of Speech

Books and resources to help me understand the rhetoric of other people's writings better

What's the effect of placing “of course” at the beginning or at the end of the sentence?

Sometimes it is clear that the asker and answerers don't have the prior knowledge to use the term "rhetoric" or to identify specific rhetorical devices, and instead more generally discuss technique. In these cases it may be helpful to add the tag "rhetoric" to attract the attention of others who could weigh in on this topic. (I encouraged the asker of the second question, above, to add "rhetoric" to the question for this purpose.) A couple of other examples, found by skimming questions tagged "technique":

What literary techniques are evident in this quote?

What is this 'pretend dialogue' technique called?

So, I propose creating a tag called rhetoric, but I could use some help workshopping the tag wiki.

The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques. Use this tag for questions on rhetorical devices and techniques, or rhetorical analysis/rhetorical criticism.

Is that a useful description? Should this be done directly to the wiki once the tag is already created?

  • 1
    Tags are only created when they are added to a question. You can't create a tag without questions. Have you found any questions that need the tag? It's also important to have a tag wiki that explains what the tag is about. That's the thing you can see under "ilearn more" when you click on a tag. What would you say the tag is about in the context of this site? Here is a little guidance I use when I think about creating new tags. Thanks for coming to meta for this request! It's good to discuss the creation of new tags before creating them.
    – Secespitus
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 9:38
  • Yes, including this new question: Books and resources to help me understand the rhetoric of other people's writings better. There are at least 3 pages of results when I search "rhetoric" in Writing.
    – wordsworth
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 18:06
  • Well, I can see three pages when searching for posts that contain "rhetoric", but when searching for questions that contain "rhetoric" that number goes down to 9. Anyways, I think you have a good case here, please edit your post here on meta to include a few example questions that would be tagged, the search you used to find such questions and some guidance you would put into the tag wiki to make a case for the creation of the tag.
    – Secespitus
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 19:13
  • Just as a little side information: creating a tag is quite easy. Once you have the privilge, which you get at 150 reputation, you can simply add the tag to the tags of a question and thereby create it. You can then propose a tag wiki edit to help others understand what the tag means in the context of the site. But it's always a good idea to first ask the community about their opinion on creating a new tag so that it doesn't get cleaned up once someone else finds it without a tag wiki and without a discussion about it.
    – Secespitus
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 19:13
  • Edited. Please let me know if I should go ahead and make it!
    – wordsworth
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 19:56
  • I created the tag and added a simple wiki to it, plus I added some to the figures-of-speech. If you got any more ideas you are welcome to suggest an edit.
    – Secespitus
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 8:23
  • @Secespitus, thanks so much! I had a swamped schedule this week and put this on my back burner. I'll see what I can do with it this weekend.
    – wordsworth
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


Thank you for coming to meta with this request and for writing this up so good!

I agree with what you said. After reading your proposed tag wiki and the questions you linked I think the tag is useful and we should add it.

A little thing I found while browsing the questions you linked, which, by the way, is one of the reasons why this is such an important step: the first one currently uses the tag , which has the following tag wiki:

This tag should be used when asking a question about a figure of speech, such as when asking how to incoporate a certain type of rhetorical device in your writing or which kind of rhetorical device could help you convey your intentions to your .

Looking at the history I was the one who wrote that tag wiki. As you can see "rhetoric", or more precisely, "rhetorical device[s]" play a role here. I think we should update this with some of the information of the answer to "Rhetoric vs Figure of Speech" that you linked to:

Figures are a subset of Rhetoric, albeit a major subset, which is probably why you have equated the two. Nonetheless, they are different. Rhetoric is an over-arching framework for persuasive speech or writing that not only includes figures, but also includes topics like the appeals (ethos, pathos, logos), identifying the type of situation, the canons, and various other areas.

In fact the question itself could be linked in the tag wiki for either or both of the tags rhetoric and figure of speech. But your proposed tag wiki is a nice start and we can just add another edit once we have a better wording.

Little sidenote

Here a few things about what the process from here on could look like:

  • We should wait a couple days for others to chime in. Tag requests are not the most interesting thing to read, which is why it often takes a while for those interested in tagging efforts to come together - especially on weekends. I'd say on Monday around noon UTC we could simply go ahead if nothing happens here. Currently the question has been viewed 12 times - and quite a few of those are probably from us at this point :D
  • We need to edit the questions that need the new tag (needs someone with 150 reputation, though it's faster and easier if you can simply edit questions after 1,000 reputation). In order not to flood the frontpage with old questions it's preferrable to only edit a few questions in a batch and then wait a day or so before editing the next batch.
  • After the first question has been tagged with someone should propose the tag wiki edit (anyone can do that) or simply edit the tag wiki (4,000 reputation privilege).
  • Later someone should edit and so that they refer to each other and the question Rhetoric vs Figure of Speech in order to make it easier for others to find out what the differences are when seeing the tags.

So, basically: let's wait and if nobody comes around until, say Monday noon in the UTC timezone, and says "No" you can just create it. And if you need help don't hesitate to ping me by leaving a comment.

Update (roughly a week later):

I created the tag , retagged two questions with it and added a simple wiki to it, plus I added a bit to the . If anyone has any more ideas you are welcome to suggest an edit.

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