[Ads-l] Persuasion = suasoria

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Feb 25 10:11:24 UTC 2015

J.I. Crump updated his excerpt translations of "Zhan Guo Ce" (戰國策, he 
uses the Wade Giles "Chan-kuo Ts'e") in 1998 with the title "Legends of 
the Warring States."

Discussing the word "persuasion," he says that in the Second Sophistic, 
Greek and Roman rhetoricians would give their pupils 
historical/legendary situations about which the students had to provide 
advice. Those exercises were called suasoriae (singular suasoria).

It is this tradition that he refers to in calling the stories in the 
book "persuasions."

1. Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/persuasion) has: An 
argument or other statement intended to influence one's opinions or 
beliefs; a way of persuading someone.
Example sentence: Sadie curses, weeps, then, infected by Mr. Hamilton's 
writhing persuasions, prays and becomes penitent.

I think this definition covers this meaning, though a persuasion in the 
Zhan Guo Ce sense (or a suasoria) would not be obvious from reading the 
meaning or the definition.

2. Merriam-Webster 
(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/persuasion) includes this 
definition for "persuasion": a persuading argument

Much pithier, this actually seems to fit better.

3. The Oxford Dictionary site lists "persuasion" as a mass noun in this 
sort of sense, so this meaning is not covered.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

Learn Ainu! https://sites.google.com/site/aynuitak1/home

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list