Advertisers use it to influence purchase. Politicians use it to shape policies and win elections. Educators use it to teach children. Language to explain, inform, and persuade binds us together. Thus, was it always so, but the speed today with which information and TV/internet images spread is new. My concern is the degree to which people are unaware of how they are being manipulated and what the consequences are to our democracy and to our culture. Think the Iraq war, the coded meaning in "family values," even the euphemisms "pro-choice" and "pro-life." Isn't it time to revive rhetoric and civics courses in our schools and public discourse so that people can deal realistically with the critical issues facing us in the 21st century?