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Assumptive Adverb Opener

 

Techniques > Use of language > Persuasive language > Assumptive Adverb Opener

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

There are two forms of this assumptive opening, which uses an adverb to make something trivially true:

  1. Start with a statement that you want be accepted without question, then follow up with a statement that is desirable and easily accepted. ('Obviously God exists, so you can relax and enjoy life').
     
  2. Start with a statement that is easy to accept and follow up with the statement you want people to accept. ('Of course you want to enjoy life, which is God's gift to you').

Assumptive adverb openers you can use include:

  • Obviously...
  • Naturally...
  • Evidently...
  • Clearly...
  • Of course...

There are two forms of this:

Example

Obviously you need peace of mind, and this insurance product will give it to you.

You're naturally unhappy because you're living with a fool.

Of course it's expensive, but only the best is good enough.

Discussion

Adverbs such as listed above trivialize the statement, effectively saying 'this is so obvious, only a fool would disagree. This assumptive suggestion puts the listener into a difficult position, where to contradict the statement is to tacitly admit stupidity.

This also works to get agreement. Once the listener has agreed to the opener, they are more likely to agree to subsequent statements. Having effectively been prevented from saying 'no', they are effectively inhibited from disagreeing with the next statement.

See also

Double bind questions, Assumption principle, Yes-set Close

 

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