Can you believe someone wrote an academic paper about greeting cards…and was published??? Here we go! From “The Rhetoric of Sentimental Greeting Card Verse” by Frank D’Angelo “I suspect that many people who buy sentimental greeting card verse have the same preconceived ideas about such verse that I had before I began a serious study of it a few years ago. To my mind, greeting card verse was a trite and trivial form of poetry, filled with flowery language, poetic diction, and figures of speech, appealing to emotions in excess of the occasion—artificial, affected, and insincere. To my surprise, however, I discovered that greeting card verse, although often written in meter and rhyme, is not poetry, nor is it intended to be, but a rhetorical composition, a message transmitted from one person to another...At its worse, greeting card verse lacks freshness, originality, and taste. At its best, however, greeting card verse expresses basic human emotions and sentiments in a simple sincere, and conversational style.”
TYPES • “Because greeting cards are designed for use as the occasion demands, they provide the starting point and the exigency for the writer’s and the sender’s intention.” • BIRTHDAY • General • For or from a specific person (mom, brother, pet, friend) • Milestone • HALLOWEEN • Audience: kid, friend, family
TYPES ENGAGEMENT or WEDDING COPE/SUPPORT SYMPATHY THANK YOU NEW HOME ANNIVERSARY RETIREMENT Any kind of baby shower/new baby cards. We may look at some in our gender unit.
Step One: Meet with your group and choose a specific occasion. • Step Two: Annotate your own greeting card • Occasion • Format (free verse? Patterned verse? Prose?) • Sentence/phrase structures (ex: parallelism, anaphora, fragments, etc.) • Appeals • Tense • POV • Diction (slang/colloquialism/elevated diction, abstract,concrete, etc.) • Tone • Cliches • Gender/Age/Race/Economic/Intelligence implications • Visual choices (color palette, font, layout, figures/characters) • Other devices (pun, metaphor, etc.) • Relationship between sender and receiver • Step Three: You’ll analyze your cards collectively in your group based on your occasion. What patterns exist amidst (whatever occasion) greeting cards? Ex: commonalities in formats, diction, cliches, commonly utilized words, images, etc. WHY?!
“just a little” de-emphasizes the speaker; sender sounds humble Fragment: casual, informal note Also, focus is on feelings of love, not on sender Occasion: Valentine’s Day Heart: symbol for love Squirrel, as “speaker” hoards heart, or love for the recipient, as he would nuts Pun: nuts of squirrel’s cache to nuts as in crazy: this, coupled with the “humble” opening and “accusation” all reveal a comfortable, friendly, and fun relationship between sender and recipient INSIDE CARD Tone: Playfully “accusatory” Pathos: appeals to desire to feel loved on Valentine’s Day
Peeps as protestors: reinforces the humor associated with peeps/peace play on words and the absurdity of the call to try/ respect peeps Play on words: peeps instead of “peace” as a humorous appeal to try peeps/to respect peeps as an Easter treat Occasion: Easter Colors: bright pastels usually associated with the rebirth and hope of spring AND reflection of occasion AND lighthearted tone of card Imperative sentence: playfully mocks a call to action usually associated with protests Pathos: is silly calling upon our American belief in both civil disobedience and commitment to justice Alludes to protest marches of 70s and even John Lennon song to provide mock significance to the need for peep respect/equality
Diction choice of “advice?” YOU TRY! Link between muppets and tone? Pathos? 2nd POV…why? Why these 2 muppets (Statler and Waldorf?) Sentence structure is __________ because… INSIDE CARD What about their stance?