How Not to Use a Cellular Phone

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In Umberto Eco’s essay “How Not to Use a Cellular Phone” he discusses the different types of categories to which a cell phone user belongs. The categories described are handicapped, professional emergencies, adulterers, nonsense cell phone users, and complex business discussions. To express his feelings toward each category, he uses different varying rhetorical strategies. At the very beginning of the essay, the second and third paragraphs started with 2 very short sentences. The first sentence of the second paragraph was “First come the handicapped.” The first sentence in the third paragraph is “Two other categories remain.” Even though these sentences weren’t to complex they had an effect on the reader. The reason he does this is because he is talking to a mediocre audience. He is talking to everyone, not only the well educated. Although he doesn’t use very difficult sentences in the beginning they start to get lengthier as the essay progresses. For example in paragraph 5; “Now, helping to perpetuate the system of class distinctions is an atrocious mechanism ensuring that, thanks to some atavistic proletarian defect, the nouveau riche, even when he earns enormous sums, won’t know how to use a fish knife or will hang a plush monkey in the rear window of his Ferrari or put a San Gennaro on the dashboard of his private jet, or when speaking in his native Italian) use English words like “management”.” The different types of sentences vary. They can go from two word sentences to seventy three word sentences. Although some of his sentences were very long they weren’t hard to understand.

The tone of Eco’s essay is very friendly. He’s not hostile at all. He is very friendly and comical. He’s gets his point across in a friendly and non- antagonizing way so that the readers listen to him. He also uses humor to capture the audiences’ attention; however, some people may take his humor offensive or as “outdated”. This essay was written in Italy in 1994; therefore...
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