Pennys

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Christian Robles

How many times have you walked by a penny and a hundred dollar bill, and picked up the penny instead? The answer that most American’s would give is none. Why do we still have the penny in circulation? William Safire, a columnist for The New York Times, proposes a simple yet complex question in “Abolish the Penny,” where he proposes that we rid America of the penny. Safires main claims are that the penny is”outdated',”almost worthless”, “bothersome.”Safire uses humorous yet scolding tones, rhetorical questions and compare and contrast structure to persuade his audience, the American people. Safire uses a humorous yet scolding tone to effectively deceive his intended audience. Safire begins his article by giving many humorous examples. Safire tries to appeal the emotion of audience which is why makes various jokes throughout his essay. He states, “Any vending machine? Put a penny in and it will sound an alarm.” This helps demonstrate the silliness of the penny. He creates jokes to gain the trust of his audience. Nevertheless, Safire makes another joke to humor his audience. He states, “if we can give up the barbershop shave it its steam towels, we can give up anything.” The reason Safire makes this joke is to demonstrate that if society can get rid of something as simple as steam shave. Then why not the penny as well. However, towards the end of Safires essay the tone drastically changes from humorous to scolding us. Safire changes the tone because now that he has the “trust” from the audience he can use his scornful tone to guilt the American people. He states,” Why is the U.S among the last of the industrialized nations to abolish the peskiest little bits of coinage? At the G-8 summit next week, the Brits and the French- even the French- who dumped there low denomination coins 30 years ago, will be laughing at our senseless jingling.” ( Why does he compare us) The author believes that by comparing us to other countries he will persuade...
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