Anglo-American Speechwriting


Logos (logic) and pathos (emotion) are self-explanatory, but ethos is more elusive. Essentially, ethos means building a bond with the audience, so that the audience will trust the speaker and be receptive to the speaker’s message.

To illustrate, I gave two particularly appropriate examples, about 60 years apart, of how two very different British prime ministers used ethos when they addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress.”


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A Great King, a Great Actor and a Little Church


The best indicator of the reverence that the British people had toward the monarchy at that particular moment in time was the eulogy that Laurence Olivier delivered on the death of George VI, Queen Elizabeth’s father, the previous year.

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You Say Boots, I Say Rubbers

Boots.svgFreezing rain in an English village. My shoes were soaked. I ducked into the local pharmacy (Boots) to see if they might have something that could keep my shoes dry. “Boots” is to England what “CVS” is to the United States. I knew that.
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Old Wine, New Battles

1280px-Muammar_al-Gaddafi,_12th_AU_Summit,_090202-N-0506A-324Engaging in the Libya conflict in 2011 (without any plan for an outcome) was not morally or even tactically “wrong.” However, events have gone against American interests – and also, by the way, the beleaguered populations of the current Libya which is a threat to itself, to Europe, and sooner or later to American direct security interests as well.

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Lusitania: How the Unthinkable Happened

article-0-14059853000005DC-49_634x380One hundred years ago on May 7, just ten months after the start of the First World War, the British luxury liner RMS Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sank in just 20 minutes. Out of nearly 2,000 passengers and crew only 764 survived. The dead included 123 Americans.

To mark this tragic anniversary, I am reading the much-acclaimed new book by Erik Larson–Dead Wake: The Lusitania’s Last Crossing. Continue reading Lusitania: How the Unthinkable Happened