Section C: Techniques of Irrelevance
0. No Technique
1. Appearance: Judging someone based on the way they lookExample: That girl exchange student from Denmark is really a sharp dresser. I’ll bet she’s smart, too.
2. Manner: Judging someone based on the way that they actExample: Melissa was bubbly and cool. She really handled those tough questions with confidence. She is a much better candidate for the job than Sally, who was nervous and jittery.
3. Degrees and Titles: Using a degree or title of a speaker to impress the listenersExample: “I like the perfect fit, the luxurious feel, and inner warmth of my Brady’s Leather Jacket,” says Laura Stern, President of the American Dog-Breeders Association.
4. Numbers: Using numbers to make a pointExample: Ad: “Use Galma-Mudd, the face cream preferred by eight out of ten women in the Cleveland area.”
5. Status: Using someone who is famous to endorse a product or support a positionExample: You should take 500 milligrams of vitamin C every day. The Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling recommended vitamin C to prevent and cure the common cold.
6. Repetition: Using the same word, phrase or sound repeatedly to capture the attention of the listenerExample: Wool carpet has everything that a carpet should have. Wool has a natural bounce in every fiber. Wool carpet has lasting beauty. Wool carpet has lasting color. Wool carpet resists flame. Wool carpet cleans easily. The answer is WOOL.
7. Slogans: Using a short, catchy phrase or sentence designed to be easily remembered by the general publicExample: Ad: “Open your mind to the world. Select Netscape software for complete and total access to the entire World Wide Web.”
8. Technical Jargon: Using technical language to impress or confuse the listenerExample: Ad: “This new dress from Janis Kaye’s Originals contains a new fabric, dureneum, which keeps the cloth from shrinking and resists dirt.
9. Sophistical Formula: Using an old saying or cliché as the main point in an argumentExample: Let’s not give up. True, we have tried everything. We have telephoned; we have knocked on his door; we have written to him. And we have not yet received a cent from him. But “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”