In launching this site, I figured Iâ€™d start with a new domain name.
As I am a PhD student in rhetoric and composition, my first thought was to type in every rhetorical term I could think of into whois. I had high hopes for synecdoche and enthymeme. But practically every term available is taken. One wasnâ€™t – runningstyle.com – and itâ€™s actually highly appropriate for a blog. But it would sound like Iâ€™m a long-distance runner to most.
I am a great admirer of Patrick Oâ€™Brianâ€™s novels, and noted stephenmaturin.com and diseasesofseamen.com were available, but I might get sued for the first, and as for the second, I imagined myself cheerfully telling someone the name of the site and them picturing a miscolored glop of semen. I already have enough trouble at parties.
Composition terms were also unavailable. Firstdraft was taken. Seconddraft was taken. Thirddraft was taken. Fourthdraft was not, but by that point I was disillusioned.
What about my name? mikeduncan.com = taken. michaelduncan=taken. mduncan=taken. mgduncan and michaelgaryduncan were available, but not snappy enough.
I returned to rhetoric. What about goodrhetoric.com? Available. Positive, too. Badrhetoric.com? Available. Iâ€™m an iconoclast (also taken) so it didnâ€™t look bad (cough) either.
I also thought about meansofpersuasion, which is a play off of Aristotleâ€™s definition of rhetoric. â€œavailable means of persuasionâ€ is too long, alas. It also has a moderate/mathamathical subtext from â€œmeansâ€ and there is a economic â€œmeans of persuasionâ€ as well. But itâ€™s also fairly obscure.
So my best choices after an afternoon of searching were runningstyle, goodrhetoric, and badrhetoric. Of the three, the first has a problematic double meaning and Aristotle didnâ€™t favor it anyway. The second sounds a tad pretentious, as would bestrhetoricâ€¦
â€¦but badrhetoric, however, has a edge to it. Especially since the difference between â€œbadâ€ rhetoric and â€œgoodâ€ rhetoric is hard to define. One manâ€™s â€œbadâ€ rhetoric is another manâ€™s â€œgoodâ€ rhetoric, and so-called â€œbadâ€ rhetoric can be more effective than a classical speech that dots the â€˜iâ€™ in Aristotle. Plus, I kind of like starting at the bottom.
Well! I have just talked myself into badrhetoric. Both domains will work for the foreseeable future, but the title is officially now Bad Rhetoric.