Edited by Eliecer Crespo-Fernández
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 92] 2021
► pp. 103–128
The main concern of this paper is to gain an insight into two of the most common rhetorical strategies used by Daniel Defoe as a political journalist in the first decades of eighteenth-century Britain: boosting and hedging. I draw attention to these two different persuasive verbal devices employed by the writer in a sample of Defoe’s political essays published in 1709 excerpted from The Review (1704–1713), one of the leading journals during the reign of Anne Stuart, when political propaganda relied heavily on pamphlets and periodicals. The results obtained reveal that Defoe used language as a political weapon, resorting to boosting, on the one hand, to make his stance clear, add emphasis, confer certainty to his arguments, and convince the readership of the evidence of his statements; and to hedging, on the other, to soften potential conflicts produced by his assertions, connect with the readers, and attain persuasion.