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In: English and Literature

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English Language Resit-Mock (Holiday Work)
‘Analyse the use of language in these texts’

The form of text A is a written interview, conducted for the magazine ‘French Property News’ (a subscription based piece giving information on property in France). The function of the piece is to inform the audience of a family’s experience moving to France, and given the positive opinion throughout the piece, it could also be said that the piece has a secondary purpose to persuade the audience that moving to France is favourable. The piece is somewhat aimed at young families, as the family interviewed have 2 children, however the piece could realistically appeal to families or individuals of any age range, as the concept of moving to France is certainly not condensed to a singular age group. It could however be said that the piece is aimed at families/individuals of a middle-high income, as it is specified that the family set up a hotel business once they completed the move, suggesting that relocation to France can be an expensive affaire. The register of the piece is formal, however typically of the genre, there are some aspects of informality throughout.
The writer includes an array of attributive adjectives such as ‘amazing’, ‘great’ and ‘fantastic’. These have positive connotations relating to the experience that the family are having in France. These lexical choices are generic, and add little literary value to the text, albeit this is conventional of the form of the piece, where families interested in purchasing property are simply trying to gather an opinion of a location, and conveying this opinion through a high frequency lexical choice is more than satisfactory. The writer uses parenthesis to juxtapose ‘winter’ and ‘summer’ in the oxymoronic compound clause ‘(ski holidays in the winter, mountain biking holidays in the summer). This sentence has positive connotations relating to the accessibility and broad seasonality of ‘St Pierre Dels Forcats’, suggesting to the typically family oriented audience that there is always recreational activity available. The writer includes this to inform the reader of information that is not necessarily relevant enough to be included in the text, but is necessary to mention in order to provide the audience with a satisfactory amount of quoted information regarding the specifics of St Pierre Dels Forcats.
The form of text B, like text A, is a written interview, conducted for the magazine ‘Q’ (a monthly publication specialising in the music industry, specifically older and more classic music, as it reflected through the band interviewed, ‘Take That’). Unlike text A, the function of the piece is to entertain, as the piece does not have any significant informative or persuasive value. Given the place of publication and subject matter of the piece, I would expect the audience of this article to be mostly males between the ages of 25 and 60, with a specific interest in the popular music industry, or more specifically, the band ‘Take That’. This differs from text A, as text A is more of a family oriented piece. Another distinguishable feature of text B is its mostly informal register, created through the regionally influenced band members of ‘Take That’, however there is some formality throughout which is notable and reflects the older audience of the publication.
Regarding semantics, the writer uses the metaphor ‘Jason Orange is an ethereal-voiced matinee idol’ in his introductory paragraph. This creates somewhat negative connotations of mockery, as despite the fact the writer is speaking jovially, he is implicitly referring to Jason Orange as a soft spoken and handsome actor, who is perhaps admired for his physical appearance, or so the hyphenated compound clause ‘ethereal-voiced matinee idol’ suggests. Similar to text A, the writer includes this introductory paragraph to give context to the interview that follows, albeit as opposed to the text A, the writer of text B does this to fulfil his entertaining purpose by adding comic value, whereas text A delivers a more informative opener. The writer of text B includes the colloquial non-standard spelling of ‘myself’ in the form of the adverb ‘meself’(in quotation of Mark Owen), and also the attributive low frequency adjectives ‘quaint’ and ‘svelte’, meaning ‘attractively unusual or old fashioned’ and ‘slender and elegant’ respectively. These lexis have differing connotations, with ‘meself’ creating an aspect of joviality about the text due to its informality in such a publication, whilst ‘quaint’ and ‘svelte’ are more formal and convey positive connotations of the professionalism of the writer and his knowledge of such lexis. It is clear that text B is, for the most part, an inconsistent text in terms of its register; albeit for the most part it retains a large degree of informality due to the subject matter and the band interviewed. This differs from text A, as text A retains its formality throughout, with no notable instances of informality affecting the overall register of the piece. The writer of text B includes this contrasting register throughout to retain his professionalism, and also perhaps to appeal to the older target audience, who will appreciate the formality of the text, but will have no complaints regarding the conventionally informal quoted aspects of the piece.

‘Analyse and discuss the use of language in this text to convey the attitudes of the writer towards the conquest of Everest’

The piece is a written account of an expedition up Mount Everest named ‘The Conquest of Everest’, written by James Morris around 1953, and extracted from the book ‘The Faber Book of Reportage’. The function of the piece is primarily to inform, as it is an account of what occurred during the expedition, however the writer purposefully conveys a sense of emotion throughout the piece, especially through his descriptions of the dangers of mountaineering, which consequently creates a secondary purpose, to entertain; furthermore, there is also a persuasive function to the piece, reflected through the writer’s strong opinion of the mountaineers ‘Hillary’ and ‘Tensing’, which is reinforced on many occasions throughout the piece. The audience of the piece is most likely fellow mountaineers, outdoor specialists, and other professionals and enthusiasts with a specific interest in the subject matter. Given the time of publication, around 1953, I would expect the age of the target audience to be primarily young men between the ages of eighteen and forty, as in 1953, such interests were considered only appropriate for males. The register of the piece is formal, which is unconventional of a written account, however this is due to the fact that the piece was reproduced, and has seemingly been re-formatted to appeal to a modern audience.
Semantically, the writer hyperbolically uses the simile ‘like a genie from a bottle’ to describe the way in which ‘a spiral of powder was driven upwards by the wind’. This has connotations of positive emotion, and deviates the piece from its conventionally informative purpose to one with a more prominent entertainment aspect. The writer includes this semantic choice to add convey his emotions of what is occurring, with ‘genie from a bottle’ suggesting that he perceives the spiral of powder being driven upwards as exciting, hence my use of the lexis hyperbolic, as powdered snow being driven upwards is typically not an exciting affair to the average person, however this is speaking from an increasingly modern perspective, and the 1953 audience that this piece is aimed at would have considered the prospect of mountaineering an exciting and hazardous notion, which adds to the entertainment value and the writer’s need to speak somewhat hyperbolically. To follow on from this point, the writer personifies the concrete noun ‘boulder’, describing that it ‘screamed down from the heights’. This creates connotations of peril, creating a sense of fear within the audience that the boulder poses some form of physical danger to the exhibition. The writer includes this imagery to fulfil the secondary entertaining purpose of the piece, and to deviate from the primary purpose, to inform. Writing with emotion in this manner also is also conventional of the form of the piece, a written first-hand account, as the writer is attempting to convey the both his emotions and the emotions of all those involved through his writing.
Regarding syntax, Morris includes the epithet ‘The masters of Everest, Hillary and Tensing’ as part of the opening sentence of his account. This has the effect of foregrounding Hillary and Tensing, creating positive connotations of career success and competence in relation to mountaineering. Although somewhat generic and cliché, this epithet conveys the writer’s strong positive opinion of Hillary and Tensing, suggesting that he personally admires them and considers them to be the best individuals in their profession. The writer is using this opening sentence to fulfil the minor purpose of the piece, to persuade, as throughout the piece he is eager to portray Hillary and Tensing as successful and competent. The use of an epithet in this context as opposed to an adjective is also reflective of the writer’s need to portray the mountaineers positively, given the fact that epithets are conventional of the Homeric age, where they would be commonly used with reference to the gods, an example of this being ‘Zeus, the Gatherer of the Clouds’.

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