Monday, November 4, 2013

The Word Lab Discussion Questions, Week 10-Brendan Fellenz

Discussion Questions:
  • What do you think of the idea of the Word Lab?  Have you ever considered the idea of the Word Lab?

  • Do you find that much of a difference between phrases such as “tax cuts” and “ tax relief” or “climate change” and “global warming”?

  • Do you think Luntz’ “Schwartzian” technique is the most effective way to create words: deriving political language from average citizens, reprocessing it, and playing it back to the masses? Do you have any other ideas or methods?

  • What do you think of Luntz’ generalization of “right to choose” being the Republican definition of opportunity and “everyone gets a chance” being the democratic definition? What about the creation of the phrase “death tax” versus “estate tax” and the effect that it had on people’s views? 

  • Robert Merton questioned Luntz’ Word Lab and its accuracy. Do you find Luntz method effective, or do you agree with Merton’s method and his claim that the effectiveness of Luntz method is ultimately indeterminable? 

  • Upon watching The Persuaders, was the process of Luntz’ work what you expected?  And was Luntz himself anything like you visualized while reading Word Lab?

  • Lastly, in “The Persuaders” a question is raised that I want to pose to the class, which is whether you think the use of the Word Lab aids politicians in knowing what changes to make in order to give us what we want, or does help them figure out how to disguise the issues and make us want what they have to sell?

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