The Use of Language

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TheUse of Language

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TheUse of Language

Activity7.1: Comments on the Linguistic Features used by the Author

Somelinguistic features can be noted in the letter on immigration. Theauthor employs a dysphemismto express his anger on the issue of immigration. He terms immigrantsas “freeloaders.” He also refers to them using even harshpre-modifiers such as “bogus.” Dysphemistic expressions included:“Gangs of the so-called ‘refugees,`” and “Mobs of uncivilizedgypsy youths…because this lazy family…were too noisy and filthy…”The syntactical choices made by the author is mainly meant toemphasize on the anger he has on the issue of immigration and thefact that the government is welcoming the situation (Talbot,

2003).The expressions made, clearly indicate that the author despises thefact that refugees are allowed into the country. He insists on theirdeportation by using words like “our” and “now” in uppercase.The metaphors employed in the invectives picture the immigrants ascriminals and lawbreakers. This reading also provides us with theexamples of syntactical choices entailing the use of the affirmativeus and our- presentation and the negative they-presentation. In theletter, over-lexicalization is observed with the labeling of theimmigrants as they, which does not define the particular group.

Activity8.2: Broadcast Talk

Politiciansare known for their use of special language at specific events oroccasions. In the parliament, for example, a persuasive andargumentative style is applied, whereas in a television interview, anelaborative language is used. In parliament, a unique lexicon, suchthe use of the words backbench and forms of address are used, andthere are procedures for supportive and explicatory interventions.There is also submission to the arbitrations and the people of powerin the house such as the speaker of the assembly. Televisioninterviews are more of a conversation than a political speech andmight at times change into a chat between the interviewer and thepolitician. The chats may entail the changes in roles where thepolitician may tend to question the interviewee. The parliamentarylanguage, on the other hand, is usually authoritative containingassertions such as, “It is essential…” and such is supported bythe use of metaphors only relevant to the parliamentary setting(Fairclough. 2003).

Activity9.2: Differences between Sexes in a Conversation

Thefollowing conversation between a brother and sister discussing ricewas recorded.

Noel:Wild rice is very nice. You’ve never…

Joe:I never have, and will never eat such.

Noel:Why shouldn’t you, I have read that it’s very/

Joe:Well even the Indians don’t eat such why should you even try.

Noel:Indian do eat. I read that it is staple to them.

Joe:I know they don’t.

Inthe above conversation between Joe and Noel, there is evidence ofinterruption where the male interrupts the female gender. The malesex is more likely to interrupt and overlap the female’s speech.Men mostly prefer an aggressive style of conversation so as toexpress dominance and individuality in the conversation whereas thefemale gender prefers a collaborative conversation to show theirsupport and achieve solidarity and closeness (Fairclough, 2003).Females tend to use a soft language, which is free of harsh words andgive in easily as opposed to their male counterparts who tend toexpress their toughness.

Activity10.1: Story Telling

Fromthe readings in the book Fatherknows best, theprotagonist is the center of attention. Being a protagonist setsone’s narrative actions, conditions, feelings, and thoughts on thetable and becomes the center of attention as in the case of Jodie inthe narrative. The introducer acts as the co-narrator who takes therole of opening a narrative by either elicitation or directinitiation. In the case of the narrative in Fatherknows best,the mother is the introducer as this is an unelicited narrative. Themother takes the first step and helps Jodie speak out. The primaryrecipient a seen in yet another narrative in the book is theco-narrator to whom the narrative is mainly focused on. The bearer ofthis position is instantiated as the “family judge.” In somecases, this role seems to be offered by the introducer. Fathers tendto be the primary receivers as portrayed in the narratives, where thefather knows least about the children. The problematizer renders theactions of the protagonist problematic. In the narrative of Jodie’sfamily, the father is the problematizer as he problematized Jodie’sshots with mock disbelief using replies such as, “No, it couldn’tbe,” and “I don’t believe it.” The patriarchal power isdemonstrated in Jodie’s family as the father has to be notified allthe events of the family.

Activity12.2:Conversationalizationand “Styling” the Worker

Transcript: MS= member of the staff C = customer

MS:Good afternoon. Helen speaking. Can I take your reference number,please?

C:345782/AMS (keys the reference number into her computer): Mr.John Smith, 166 Wingrove Road, Newcastle?C: That’s right.MS:How can I help you, Mr. Smith/John?

C:Can I ship a parcel using your company, please?

MS:Sure you can. What is the size of the package?

C:About thirteen by ten inches and less than five hundred grams.

MS(keys the details into the computer): Mr. Smith, what is the parcel’sdestination please?

C:I want it shipped to France.

MS(keys in the information): Mr. Smith, the shipping will cost only $32and will be picked from your place tomorrow. Is that okay for you?

C:Yes. Thank a lot.

MS:You are much welcome and thank you for using our services. Goodbye.


Helenemploys the use of a standard opening greeting. And avoids using thesurname or title to prevent much formality.

Helenneeds to check on the identity and the address of the customer.

Helenwill go by the policy of the company on the on the use of IDprovided: more formality is employed in some companies compared toothers. But, unless the customer appeals her to change, she will usethe same name throughout.

Helenenquires on the type of service that the customer requires then goesahead to enquire for more details so as to satisfy the client’sneeds. She uses polite language as is necessary for any company whendealing with a client.

Helenprovides information to the customer concerning his needs andrequests for the client`s view.

Helenends the call by appreciating the customer. This is essential as itindicates kindness and creates a good relationship between thecustomer and the company.

BusinessStudents destined to work at the call center should employ courteouslanguage. They should develop an inclusive language usage and seek tohelp the customer meet their need. An example includes, “How may Ihelp you…”


Theappropriate title of study for the project will be ananalysis of the language used on a website for teenagers.&nbspThe language employed by the teenagers on internet sitescontains traditional linguistic forms and the modified forms thatcomprise of slang and non-standard forms that are sometimes employedin offline conversation styles. Their language contains acronyms suchas “lol for laugh out aloud,” graphical icons used to representemotions, often referred to as emoticons. The language used byteenagers evolves from time to time and forms an essential area ofstudy when considering the manner in which Internet users utilizelanguage in expressing their views. The language used on the internetdepicts an evolution of discourse, and the teenagers are part of therevolution. In most cases, the teenagers are not bound to use anyparticular form of language and might at times employ vulgar ordysphemisticexpressions to express their emotions.


Fairclough,N. (2003). Analysingdiscourse: Textual analysis for social research.London: Routledge.

Talbot,M., Atkinson, K., &amp Atkinson, D. (2003). Languageand power in the modern world.Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.