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Ametica Needs Its Nerds

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Jaxson Sherwood

AP Lang


11 December 2017

America Needs Its nerds

In “America Needs Its Nerds” Leonid Friedman argues that modern American culture is anti-intellectual by utilizing rhetorical strategies such as comparisons to other nations, diverse sentences, and a scornful yet inviting tone. Further, he argues that if America does not change its attitude towards intellectuals, the nation may not be competitive in a global economy.

Friedman starts his essay with a very powerful periodic sentence showing his opposing side of the attitude to the people who are rigor with academics.  He later contributes to that by showing the Webster’s definition of the word “geek” and furthering his positions of the use of that word that people use to describe people who actually prioritize and enjoy academics and school.  This furthers his pathos in appealing for people to feel compassion for the geeks with the derogatory terms people use on them, and how many of the popular kids and jock pick on them. After that he relates to the higher college like Harvard about how the kids are ashamed when they are asked to reveal how much they study. This adds more importance makes us aware how this relates and shows us the effects that it has on some people.

In the middle of the text Friedman’s diction become heavier in their connotations. By utilizing the connotations, he successfully relays the overall message. He also plays to the pathos of the reader to feel for them. For example, social outcasts, and persecutors. These words provide a punch to the reader. These strong verbs and adjectives make the message clear. He also organizes his sentences and the length of them that plays a big role in the text. When he stated, “enough is enough”, he utilized this to break up the text and shifts the direction of the negatives. This emphasizes the ideas importance and that there are few people who still appreciate education and learning and may who are scared to admit that they are into it. The next paragraph categorizes what needs to happen and why it does.


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