Headphones

Tabitha Farthing

In the article “Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most of the World Doesn’t,” author Rae Ellen Bichell writes in a very casual conversational tone.  He establishes the tone by describing a scene where eggs are not refrigerated, including the pronoun “you” which directs the piece at the reader.  The author follows up with rhetorical questions which the reader can relate to.  The pronoun “we” further emphasizes the casual tone, such as when he writes, “But we’re oddballs.”  While the tone is laid back, Bichell appeals to ethos by quoting credible sources on the topic of eggs.  He structures his argument in a way that is effective and easy to follow by making a statement then backing it up with relevant evidence.  This style causes his argument and voice to prevail, while still including thoughts from experts.

In the article about wooden spoons, the tone is practical yet artistic, abounding with rhetorical devices.  The author uses personification to describe the spoon, calling it “trusty and lovable” and “a quiet ensemble player.”  The author often uses anaphora or parallel sentence structures to stress specific aspects of the technology, such as at the end of the first paragraph.  The pronoun “we” is also used often so as to establish a community mindset about the wooden spoon and show how it interacts with society as a whole.  Sensory imagery is used to set the scene and create a strong argument for the value of the technology, such as when the author juxtaposes it with a stainless steel spoon, writing, “It clanks disagreeably, in contrast to the gentle tapping of wood.”  All these elements aid in creating a practical and focused tone that develops a pointed argument while still crafting the words in a way that is appealing to the reader.

Recorded sound and the technologies through which it is projected have revolutionized society.  From the phonograph to bluetooth speakers, the ability to playback sound has generated a myriad of cultural effects.  One such technology that has altered the fabric of society is headphones.  The introduction of headphones initiated a dramatic shift in social interactions, personalizing the audio landscape and generating a unique cultural response.

For the majority of human history, sound, a sensory dimension of the universe, has been ingested in an open audio environment.  With the advent of recorded sound and the technologies through which it is projected, it remained accessible to all available ears.  Then along came headphones, allowing sound waves to penetrate a single brain, effectively altering the very fabric of society.  The introduction of headphones initiated a dramatic shift in social interactions, personalizing the audio landscape and generating a unique cultural response.

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