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Language Issues in Public Discourse - Research Paper Example

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This essay will explore three ways in which the English language is changing, and the discourse around those changes, as they are being debated and discussed in the media. Political language and how it changed during the Bush era in the United States is being discussed widely in academic circles and this phenomenon will be examined and analyzed briefly. The printed media particularly in Great Britain raises the question of American terms and their effect on English worldwide. Contemporary magazine and newspaper articles form the basis of the discussion of the British attitude to American language in this essay. Current discussions regarding spelling are examined, from the perspective of young people, citing as examples a web forum, and the transcript of a high school debate. Finally, the trend toward politically correct language is the focus, with spoken and institutionalized language being examined. In short, this essay will comment on the changing language and how these changes are perceived across a reasonably wide spectrum of English speakers. (Not included in word limit) The Essay When discourse is analyzed, the linguistic output of someone other than the analyst is examined (Brown & Yule, 1983: 2). This implies that the analyst also contributes his/her own meaning to the analysis, and that the context of more than just the words, and the grammar of the language are at play. Brown and Yule (1983: 3) further contend that the language may contain features such as “… hesitations, slips and non-standard forms” so that an analysis of written text on its own is perhaps never altogether complete. It is, however, also true that “ … the task 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, ...Show more
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Topic Language Issues in Public Dis Language Issues in Modern Media institution/date/course supervisor etc can be either here or on a separate title page- could also include your name in the footnote of each page, on the left if you want to…
Language Issues in Public Discourse
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