Language Intelligence Book Summary - Language Intelligence Book explained in key points
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Language Intelligence summary

Joseph J Romm

Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga

4.2 (122 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

Language Intelligence by Joseph J Romm helps readers understand the importance of language in communicating ideas and shaping public opinion. It provides practical advice on how to use language effectively in different situations.

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    Language Intelligence
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    Even a cursory knowledge of rhetoric will make you less manipulable.

    Modern society is awash with reason and empirical evidence; information abounds – and can be easily shared or double-checked online. In this flood of fact, it’s all too easy to forget the art of rhetoric and the power of language. Today, there’s hardly any place for rhetoric in the school curriculum, and academia is hardly more accommodating.

    For instance, 2011 marked the four hundredth anniversary of the King James Bible. Scholars, of course, had plenty to say. What’s amazing is that although this translation ranks among the finest compositions in English literature, not one of these scholars deigned to discuss figures of speech.

    In fact, the historical theologian Alister McGrath even insinuated that the translation’s expressiveness was mere accident.

    Such willful disregard of rhetoric’s centrality in the Bible is more than a mere academic quibble. It's representative of a cultural trend – a trend that should be resisted. After all, when we understand rhetoric, we can begin to resist its charms.

    Rhetoric hasn’t vanished, after all. Just think about how politicians and advertisers speak. An understanding of how rhetoric works makes it easier to recognize both a speaker’s motivation and his manipulative techniques.

    Advertising wouldn’t be the same without rhetoric.

    In 1992, Edward McQuarrie and David Glen Mick researched advertising spending among corporations. They found that billions were spent on language studies and that figures of speech were at the center of advertising strategies. Rhetoric played a central role in making ads as memorable as possible.

    If an ad uses a pun or a metaphor, the target audience is more like to remember the ad in question. For instance, Deere & Company, which, among other products, manufacturers diesel engines, uses the tagline, “Nothing runs like a Deere.” Not the cleverest pun – but it certainly sticks!

    Once you see through advertising tricks and recognize the crafty art of rhetoric, you’ll be able to make more rational purchasing decisions.

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    What is Language Intelligence about?

    Language Intelligence (2012) focuses on an aspect of language that is often overlooked or dismissed: the art of rhetoric. From the King James Bible to Shakespeare, from modern-day political campaigns to the lyrics of pop songs, rhetoric is a widely used tool – one that we all should learn to use and understand. After all, in words there is power and strength.

    This is a Blinkist staff pick

    “These blinks take you through history and around the world in search of answers to the age-old question of how the languages we speak affect the way we think and act. Really fascinating stuff!”

    – Erik, Editorial Production Manager at Blinkist

    Language Intelligence Review

    Language Intelligence (2012) by Joseph J Romm explores the power of effective communication and why it is essential in our personal and professional lives. Here's why this book is a must-read:

    • The book provides a wealth of research and insights into how language shapes our thoughts, beliefs, and relationships.
    • With practical tips and examples, it offers strategies for improving our language skills to become more persuasive, influential communicators.
    • Through its engaging anecdotes and real-life examples, the book unveils the captivating world of language, making it a fascinating exploration of human communication.

    Who should read Language Intelligence?

    • Linguists and grammarians
    • Politicians and marketing experts
    • Poets and singers

    About the Author

    Joseph J. Romm is a communication expert who works on raising awareness for climate-change issues in the United States. He runs a blog called Climate Progress and is the author of several books on ecological concerns, including Hell and High Water.

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    Language Intelligence FAQs 

    What is the main message of Language Intelligence?

    Language Intelligence teaches the power of effective communication and how it can shape our thoughts and actions.

    How long does it take to read Language Intelligence?

    Language Intelligence can be read in a few hours. The Blinkist summary takes just 15 minutes.

    Is Language Intelligence a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Language Intelligence offers valuable insights into language and its influence. Definitely worth reading!

    Who is the author of Language Intelligence?

    Joseph J. Romm is the author of Language Intelligence.

    What to read after Language Intelligence?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Language Intelligence, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Lessons in Stoicism by John Sellars
    • The Art of Rhetoric by Aristotle
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