Rhetoric was meaningless figures of speech stated with an exaggerated style intended as a means to impress or persuade. Social commentary was a form of rhetoric.

William T. Riker quoted to Zephram Cochrane in 2063 that "Someone once said 'Don't try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make its own judgments'." Cochrane called the comments "rhetorical nonsense", before learning that he was actually the man who would say it ten years later. (Star Trek: First Contact)

In 2367, Leah Brahms referred to Geordi La Forge's reasons for changing the MTBF unit's swap-out schedule as that same tired rhetoric; namely, that field observation trumped design intention. (TNG: "Galaxy's Child")

In 2369, Benjamin Sisko assured Vedek Winn Adami that when the "us versus them" rhetoric became old, Bajoran parents would bring their children back to Keiko O'Brien's school. (DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets")

In 2373, the Q Colonel rebuffed Q's attempts to protect Kathryn Janeway, saying "A very touching speech, Q. But as usual, your rhetoric fails to compensate for your irresponsibility." (VOY: "The Q and the Grey")

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