Digital rhetoric is a term that rhetorician scholar Richard Lanham explains in his lecture of it. Rhetoric consists of persuasion within words. There are many uses for this tool and can be in multiple different forms: language, art, dance, and music. It can express itself through symbols as well. Digital, in its proper meaning, refers to anything curated with your digits. This takes away from its usual iteration which is technological.
When intertwining these two terms a new one forms: Digital rhetoric. Digital rhetoric can apply itself to many different forms and in a variety of ways.
It is a word that keeps unraveling like a flower continuing to bloom. He uses digital rhetoric in a lecture that proceeds to be published in Literacy Online and in his own The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts. According to Eyman’s “Defining and Locating Digital Rhetoric”, Lanham could connect computer-mediated communication and rhetoric. To quote Eyman’s “Defining and Locating Digital Rhetoric”, “The term “digital rhetoric” is perhaps most simply defined as the application of rhetorical theory (as analytic method or heuristic for production) to digital texts and performances” (Eyman).
Eyman and His Scholars
Throughout the chapter “Defining and Locating Digital Rhetoric”, Eyman includes multiple scholars that contribute to the conversation of digital rhetoric. He uses them each to create an understanding of how controversial the idea of digital rhetoric was for many scholars. There are scholars who made the argument that digital rhetoric doesn’t apply to the computer itself, but the images and text itself.
This means that digital rhetoric doesn’t only have to apply to technology. You can interpret it in many forms like rhetoric itself. Digital rhetoric expresses itself in multiple formats as well. As stated by Buchanan, digital rhetoric comes in forms of “media discourse, online political campaigns and parody…” (Eyman, Digital Rhetoric). Understanding the similarities between the term ‘rhetoric’ and digital rhetoric itself makes it all that simple to discover its uses.