What Is Rhetoric?

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, November 2, 1911: Am now taking up the study of Rhetoric, so if my English is not all together proper now is the time to expect a change for the better.

Recent photo of building that once housed McEwensville High School.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Rhetoric is the art of writing and speaking. It includes the study of writing rules. I found a 1911 Rhetoric textbook and it includes sections on proper sentence structure (no dangling participles!) and punctuation (sentence structure must be understood to punctuate correctly!).

Oh dear—my English probably is not all together proper . . .

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