I.A. Richards defines rhetoric as the study of misunderstandings and their remedies. I argue in this paper that "A Common Word Between Us and You" (ACW) - a rhetorical letter coauthored by H.R.H Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad and 38 Muslim scholars - shares Richards' definition as its end and anchors his theory in practice. ACW is an attempt to avoid misunderstandings and to allow for understandings between Christians and Muslims about two of their common Scriptural commandments: love of God and love of neighbor. In Richards' call for a new rhetoric, he asserts that the core of rhetoric must be about how to use language and that words and their meaning must be studied to develop a strategy that seeks exposition over persuasion if remedies for a misunderstanding is the goal. My explication of ACW will reveal that the authors' invention and arrangement of arguments not only adhere to Richards' assertions but also employ some of the tools Richards utilized to achieve expository rhetoric.

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Rhetoric Commons