The Passage “America Needs Its Nerds” by Leonid Fridman
G compares athletes to nerds and geeks. Fridman made an analysis suggesting that society rewards the athletically apt for their skill while the “intellectually curious” as Fridaman puts it, are put down. Fridman’s passage was fluent and well written because of his range of writing techniques such as logos, tone, and his use of rhetorical questions to finish off the strong passage.
Throughout the passage Fridman uses logos to appeal to the readers logic and attempt to persuade the audience academically serious individuals deserve to be awarded with much more respect than they are given. One example of Fridman’s use of logos is “In most industrialized nations, not least of all our economic rivals in East Asia, a kid who studies hard is lauded and held up as an example to other students.”
This particular statement uses logos by loosely stating that East Asia is our “economic rival”; proceeding to say that individuals who take academics seriously are put on a pedistol, loosely suggesting this is the reason their economy is doing better than ours. This use of logos was successful because it makes you wonder if we did the same, maybe our economy would be better.
Fridman’s tone throughout the passage added to the overall strength of the paper by keeping a serious, valid, and respectable tone which made you take him seriously. He didn’t joke or use emotion without information to back up his opinion. The very first paragraph of the passage starts out “There is something very wrong with the system of values in a society that has only derogatory terms like nerd and geek for the intellectually curious and academically serious.” Fridman starts out with emotion and opinion by stating there is something wrong with the system of values.
However, he follows by explaining up why that is his opinion, i.e. the derogatory terms, then backs up what the derogatory term geek’s true definition is according to Webster’s New World Dictionary. His serious, valid and respectable tone makes the reader truly listen to what he has to say and sincerely consider the way society treats geeks an important issue.
Fridman’s use of rhetorical questions to finish the passage is vital to the persuasion of this passage. He begins the last paragraph in the passage by asking “ How can a country where typical parents are ashamed of their daughter studying mathematics instead of going dancing, or of their son reading Weber while his friends play baseball, be expected to compete in the technology race with Japan or remain a leading political and cultural force in Europe?” This rhetorical question is a crucial part of the passage.
It uses one of the world’s most technologically advanced countries, Japan, to make the reader consider if we don’t pushed our children academically rather than athletically and socially, how can we compete in the technology race with them?The rhetorical question makes the reader take into account that if around the globe children are being pushed academically while we are concentrated on social and physical skill, they will keep moving up and us, down.
All in all, Fridman’s range of writing techniques such as logos, tone, and the use of rhetorical questions to finish off passage are what made the passage fluent and stong.