I’m teaching my kids rhetorical appeals as part of a unit on persuasive reading and writing.
As a very introductory example to the idea of pathos, I explained that I always purchase the brand of toilet paper with the picture of a puppy on the package. No, I don’t know the brand name offhand.
I put it to them like this —
I am very drawn to puppies. It makes me happy to purchase something with a picture of a puppy on it and to take that puppy home with me.
What my puppy attraction doesn’t address, though, is whether this particular brand and package of toilet paper has the right number of square feet for my household needs, whether the strength and softness are optimized for our wiping preferences (because, um, yes — wiping preferences are A Thing), or whether it’s the best value for the price.
I point out that by checking my facts, I am potentially sacrificing a lot of practical TP benefits for the emotional satisfaction of puppies.
And they are all like, “But miss, what about the kind with the cartoon bears?!?!?”