[KB] Editing Redux

Stan Lindsay slindsa at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 23 23:49:20 EST 2017

I appreciate the efforts to simplify (or humble) the Pentad.  After all, the book in which it is featured is called A "Grammar" of Motives.  Stripped of all its specifics, the Pentad functions something like the following (grammatical) sentence:  "The nominative noun (modified by adjective/s) verbed (modifiedby adverb/s) the accusative noun in the locative dative noun (modified byadjective/s) with the instrumental dative noun (modified by adjective/s) inorder to infinitive."  It is void of specifics.  In the "grammar" of the Pentad, the previous sentence would read, "The Agent Acted in the Scene by using the Agency in order to accomplish the Purpose."  Once again, void of specifics.  The grammar by itself is neither positive nor negative--those positive or negative elements are introduced by specifying what belongs with each Pentadic term.  It is not a taxonomy in any hierarchal sense, but in the sense that the terms of the Pentad (like Noun, Verb, Adjective, Preposition, etc. of linguistic grammar) name the categories under which other specific words may be classified.

 Dr. Stan A. Lindsay, Ph.D.  Teaching Professor  Professional Communication  College of Applied Studies  Florida State University  slindsay at pc.fsu.eduhttp://www.stanlindsay.comhttp://www.lindsayDIS.COM

      From: Jim Moore <jimmijcat at hotmail.com>
 To: "kb at kbjournal.org" <kb at kbjournal.org> 
 Sent: Monday, January 23, 2017 6:43 PM
 Subject: Re: [KB] Editing Redux
#yiv5221686486 #yiv5221686486 -- .yiv5221686486EmailQuote {margin-left:1pt;padding-left:4pt;border-left:#800000 2px solid;}#yiv5221686486 #yiv5221686486 #yiv5221686486 --p {margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;}#yiv5221686486 Jim Klumpp wrote:
"Let the humble pentad do its work well.  If 
we do, I think that we will have less chance of losing the point that 
the pentad was posited for in the first place: to capture ways that 
symbolic accounts carve up the world differently."

Jim Moore responds:
Back in the day, my Burkean prof put it this way:  the pentad is not a taxonomy.  Rather, it is a heuristic designed to function as Prof. Klumpp has adumbrated.  I agree with Jim K. that incorporating the term Trouble into pentadic analysis will add little, if anything, to the pentad's power as a heuristic.  The idea that "Trouble" is somehow "missing" from the pentad seems tacitly to attempt to give the pentad purely objective descriptive accuracy that Burke did not claim for it.
Burke's eventual division of Agency into Means/Attitude served a different purpose:  to emphasize the coexistence of instrumental and postural Agencies, which sometimes may be useful to construe as discrete.  "Trouble" seems to be an attempt put another scoop on the ice cream cone, a scoop that is already implied by the presence of the Agent (an actor, not just a mover) amid the other four or five scoops.  That needless scoop leaves the ice cream in danger of tumbling with only questionable benefit to be derived from the new scoop.
I love rocky road,
JimFrom: KB <kb-bounces at kbjournal.org> on behalf of James Klumpp <jklumpp at umd.edu>
Sent: January 23, 2017 1:57:41 PM
To: kb at kbjournal.org; edwardcappel at frontier.com
Subject: [KB] Editing Redux I am not certain that I disagree at all with Ed Appel.  But I do think
that we err when we try to overburden the pentad by loading all Burkean 
insights on it.  Trouble is one of those.  We need to remember that the 
pentad was a vocabulary designed to work with variety of accounts.  
"This book is concerned with the basic forms of thought which, in 
accordance with the nature of the world as all men experience it, are 
exemplified in the attributing of motives. . . We shall use five terms 
as generating principle for our investigation.  In a rounded statement 
about motives . . ."  Now when we accomplish this task of understanding 
the ways in which the symbol using animal attributes motives, provides 
symbolic accounts of situations, we have not said all that is to be 
said.  Very well. Why does the pentad need to capture all of the world's 
insight?  Let Ed say that the dramatistic process is necessary to a 
fuller statement about diachronic narrative (and to human conflict).  I 
am fine with that.  I agree.  And, drama is a natural metaphor because, 
Burke argues elsewhere, the state of Babel creates disorder and 
conflict, as Jim Moore adds.  But let us not lose sight of the necessary 
work that the pentad does so well -- illuminating the variety of motives 
that mark the Babel of human speech.  Let it do that work well and let 
other insights take that necessary work and proceed further in the human 

In short, the addition of Trouble into the pentad does not enhance its 
ability to clarify accounts, in my judgment.  Save the insights that 
flow from Trouble and the many other terms of disorder that Ed has 
cataloged for a fuller discussion of the rich complex of terminologies 
of which the pentad is one.  Let the humble pentad do its work well.  If 
we do, I think that we will have less chance of losing the point that 
the pentad was posited for in the first place: to capture ways that 
symbolic accounts carve up the world differently.

Jim Klumpp

James F. Klumpp, Professor Emeritus
Department of Communication, University of Maryland
409 Upper Haw Dr., Mars Hill, NC 28754
Email: jklumpp at umd.edu
Voice: 828.689.4456
Website: http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~jklumpp/home.htm

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