An Exercise in Rhetorical Analysis

An Exercise in Rhetorical Analysis September 24, 2014

In this case, a guide to reading apartment ads in New York City. This is not, in fact, though you might think so, exaggerated very much. The interesting thing, to me anyway, is that the people who write these things lie, but they try to lie by exaggeration so they can pretend they’re telling the truth, though they often just lie.

It begins:

Cozy = How attached are you to your full-size bed? Or any bed, really?

And includes:

Laundry = There is a coin-operated laundromat seven blocks away. Do not sit on the chairs there. Trust me.

Close to shops, bars, and restaurants! = Close to cell phone providers, bodegas, and nail-salons-slash-unisex-barbers where the curtains are always closed!

And ends with:

$50 application fee = The broker has decided that he or she would like to have $50. . . .

We have plenty more apartments available in the area! = This listing is 100% fabricated and the 20-year-old agent who refuses to communicate except by text will act confused/amused/angry when you ask about it before trying to sell you on something 30 blocks away, $400 more expensive, and roughly five times as sh*tty.

No broker’s fee = Enormous broker’s fee.

My thanks to our second, who lives in Brooklyn, for sending this. It is, he says, accurate.

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