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31. Schlagwörter und Leerformeln in der politischen Rede

From the book Handbuch Politische Rhetorik

  • Thomas Niehr


This article focusses on the rhetorical function of catch words and empty formulas. It is argued that catch words are an indispensable means for propagating political agenda with both the necessary brevity and sufficient vagueness. Further, the article deals with the specific utilization of the expressions catch word and empty formula: Both expressions have a defined scientific meaning, yet both are also used in political speeches to dismiss content (and individuals). In addition, the expression catch word is used to synoptically refer to political concepts without depreciating them. To describe the distinct utilizations of the expressions catch word and empty formula, it is essential to differentiate precisely between the contexts in which both expressions are used, as well as the specific manners of utilization associated with those contexts. In conclusion, on the basis of numerous examples, a utilization typology for both expressions in the context of political rhetoric is proposed.

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