Evil is a well-traveled word. It is a word that finds itself in many a discussion about many a subject. And it is not just an American trend; it is used in English-language countries in various ways, some mirroring its use in the States. And because evil is such a broadly used word, its rhetorical power can best be seen in part by its rhetorical scope. This is why this ethnographic study aims to analyze the uses of evil on the English language internet over the course of a day. The day chosen was October 24, 2016, situating the analysis with discourse about the 2016 American election, Halloween, but also other areas such as crime and religion. Such an analysis reveals the lack of elaborated definitions for evil but the powerful judgment it evokes in these different contexts.


Evil, Internet, 2016 Election, Clinton, Trump, Crime, Ethnography

Author Bio(s)

Matthew Boedy is an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at the University of North Georgia. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: matthew.boedy@ung.edu.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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