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Language Issues in Public Discourse - Research Paper Example

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Language Issues in Public Discourse

ask is this: to think more deeply about the meanings we give people’s words do as to make ourselves better, more humane people and the world a better, more humane place.” (Gee, 2005: 3). Hence it is necessary to examine many aspects of language if a fuller understanding of the meaning of social worlds as all individuals experience them is to be reached. There are certain aspects of language that are clearly of some concern to analysts and general public commentators. Media, both print and electronic, carries a significant amount of comment on the changing nature of English. Sometimes these aspects are serious and of great importance in the formation of the societies and their attitudes, values and behaviors; sometimes they are less serious but still interesting from a social and psychological perspective. One area which does carry great weight is in the leadership of societies. The leaders of communities worldwide do use language to form meanings and the understanding of the public. Hence it is necessary that everyone remain aware of the possible hidden meaning and unrevealed intentions of leaders and particularly politicians. When politicians speak, it is widely accepted that their motives are not always directly connected to the words and language they are using. Inevitably, their language has characteristics that show the real intention of their words: to persuade the public that what they say is correct, and that they should be voted for in the next election. Elena Mihas of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has examined and commented on the language used during the Bush era in the United States. She highlights specifically the metaphoric and euphemistic forms of language used by politicians in this period, in addition to examining the coherence, arguments,...
This paper approves that this kind of language usage presupposes that a certain group, and the individuals within that group, will be offended on some level by the use of particular words or phrasing of language. Very clearly, language which could be defined as politically correct (or by implication as politically incorrect) is tied to the social, cultural and especially political changes occurring in societies around the world. A democratic, and human rights culture is being adopted by more and more cultures and societies across the world, and English does reflect the thinking that goes along with such political and philosophical change.
Changing language and its use in this way is an attempt to remove all evidence of bias from the language, so as not to offend anyone.
This essay makes a conclusion that in the English speaking world, the print media and increasingly electronic media shape public discourse, and the responsibility for the formation of individuals’ and group attitudes can be placed firmly with the media. When politicians speak, when celebrities speak, even when the victims of disaster speak, the media communicates their messages to the public in pre-deigned, calculated ways. It is essential that the full meaning of such communication is understood.
If the world is to become a better, more humane place, and individuals are to become better, more humane individuals, then understanding public discourse is vital. ...Show more

Summary

According to the paper the use of modern English and language generally, is influenced by trends within a modern and constantly changing world. As communication media change, influenced by technology, it is clear that the use of language, its structure and its meanings do adapt and become more appropriate to the context it is found in. …
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Language Issues in Public Discourse essay example
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