Dialogismus


Dialogismus (di-a-lo-giz’-mus): Speaking as someone else, either to bring in others’ points of view into one’s own speech, or to conduct a pseudo-dialog through taking up an opposing position with oneself.


Me 1: There’s a time and a place for everything.

Me 2: There you go with the two-bit cliches again. Just because it’s been said a million times, since the beginning of time, doesn’t make it true. This is neither the time nor place you bent-brained bozo. This is just what is, deal with it.

Me 1: Although it’s apocryphal, Ecclesiastes tells us:

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

Me 2: There’s a time for off and time for on. Click! Click! Ha ha! Just because something has an opposite, not every time and place is the time and place for something to be its opposite, and especially, does not mean it is permissible.

M1: Precisely. We—you and me—in the realm of human community, contingency, and politics, and in all our relations with others, struggle to bring our preferred half of a given dichotomy into being. What is certain in this life-adventure we’re on is we are bound to disagree, and while there may be a time and place for everything, now and it may not be. We must be persuaded, establish solidarity, and now, let it be together.

Me 2: You sound like some kind of preacher.

Me 1: No, no. I’m just a student of rhetoric.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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