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Functional Styles of Speech in Greater Detail



Part 2

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Gentlemen! My Lords', (in the House of Lords); Mr. Chairman: Highly esteemed members of the conference.'; or. in a less formal situation — Dear Friends; or, with a more passionate colouring — My friends/

As the speaker/author attempts to reach closer contact with the audience, he may use such devices as asking the audience questions:

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, he trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him ? (Th. Jefferson)

or making an appeal to the audience:

Let us then, with courage and confidence, pursue our own federal and republican principles! (ibid.).

On the other hand, as different from colloquial style, the vocabulary of speeches and printed publicist works is usually very elaborately chosen and remains mainly in the sphere of lofty (high-flown) style. See examples below:

a) Friends and Fellow Citizens:

Called upon to undertake the duties of the first executive office of our country, I avail myself of the presence of that portion of my fellow citizens which is here assembled, to express my grateful thanks for the favor with which they have been pleased to look toward me, to declare a sincere consciousness that the task is above my talents, and that I approach it with those anxious and awful presentiments which the greatness of the charge and the weakness of my powers so justly inspire (Th. Jefferson. First Inaugural Speech)

b) The method which Mr. Burke takes to prove that the people of
England had no such rights, and that such rights do not now
exist in the nation ...is of the same marvellous and monstrous
kind with what he has already said; for his arguments are,
that the persons, or the generations of persons, in whom they
did exist, are dead, and with them the right is dead also.
(Th. Paine. Rights of Man)


Like colloquial style, the publicist style is usually characterized by emotional colouring and connotations, butthere is a difference. The emotional colouring of publicist style is lofty: it may be solemn (as in example a) above), or it may be ironic/sarcastic (as in example b)), but it cannot have the "lower" connotations (jocular, endearing, rude or vulgar, slangy) found in colloquial/familiar colloquial speech.

The syntax of publicist style is often characterised by repetition of structures (syntactic parallelism) — a device used to rouse the audience emotionally:

'It is high time this people had recovered from the passions of war. It is high time that the people of the North and the South understood each other and adopted means to inspire confidence in each other (from a public speech made at the end of the Civil War in the USA).

What do we see on the horizon? What forces are at work? Wither are we drifting? Under what mist of clouds does the future stand obscured? (from Lord Byron's speech in Parliament)

Syntactic repetition may be combined with lexical repetition (periphrasis):

Robert Burns exalted our race and the Scottish tongue. Before his time we had for a long period been scarcely recognised; we had been falling out of the recollection of the world ... Scotland had lapsed into obscurity ... Her existence was almost forgotten (all those different phrases simply repeat the idea "nobody knew us, Scots, before").

Some Particular Genres of Publicist Style

The Essay

This genre in English literature dates from the 16"' century, and its name is taken from the short "Essays" (= experiments, attempts) by the French writer Montaigne, which contained his thoughts on various subjects. An essay is a literary composition of moderate length on philosophical, social or literary subjects, which preserves a clearly personal character and has no pretence to deep or strictly scientific treatment of

4* 23


the subject. It is rather a number of comments, without any definite conclusions. See an extract from Ben Johnson (16lh century):

Language most shows a man; speak, thai I may see thee. It springs of the most retired and in most parts of us, and is the image of the parent of it, the mind. No glass renders a man's form or likeness so true, as his speech, and, as we consider feature and composition in a man, so words in language. Some men are tall and big, so some language is high and great. Then the words are chosen, the sound ample, the composition full, all grace, sinewy (жилистый) and strong. Some are little and dwarfs; so of speech, it is humble and low; the words are poor and flat; the members are periods thin and weak, without knitting (связь) or number.



Nowadays an essay is usually a kind of feature article (те­матическая статья) in a magazine or newspaper. It is characterized by clarity and brevity of expression, by the use of the first person singular, by expanded use of connecting words (to express clearly all the logical relations in the development of thought), and abundant use of emotionally coloured words, of metaphors and other figures of speech.

NewspaperSpeech

English newspaper writing dates from the 17"' century. First newspapers carried only news, without comments, as commenting was considered to be against the principles of journalism. By the 19lh century newspaper language was recognised as a particular variety of style, characterized by a specific communicative purpose and its own system of language means.

The content of newspaper material is fairly diverse, it comprises news and commentary on the news, press reports and articles, advertisements and official announcements, as well as short stories and poems, crossword puzzles and other such like material for entertainment of the reader.


Newspaper style includes a system of interrelated lexical, phraseological and grammatical means serving the purpose of informing, instructing, and, in addition, of entertaining the reader. As a result of this diversity of purposes, newspapers contain not only strictly informational, but also evaluative material — comments and views of the news-writer (esecially characteristic of editorials and feature articles).

As the newspaper seeks to influence public opinion on various social, political or moral matters, its language frequently contains vocabulary with evaluative connotation, such asto allege (theperson who allegedly committed the crime), or to claim (the defendant claims to know nothing about it), which cast some doubt on what is stated further and make it clear to the reader that those are not yet affirmed facts. A similar idea is expressed by special grammar structures, e.g. The man is said to have taken part in the affair, or The chief of the police is quoted as saying... Evaluation can be included in the headlines of news items (Government going back on its own promises) and in the commentary on the news, in feature articles, in leading articles (editorials), where emotionally coloured vocabulary is widely employed. The characteristics mentioned are common to different genres of publicist style. Nevertheless, the informative content generally prevails in newspaper material as compared with purely publicist or oratory works.

On the whole we may single out the following features typical of newspaper style:

in vocabulary— the use of special political or economic terminology (constitutional, election, General Assembly of the UN, gross output, per capita production):

the use of lofty, bookish vocabulary, including certain cliches (population, public opinion, a nation-wide crisis, crucial/pressing problems, representative voting), which may be based on metaphors and thus emotionally coloured: war hysteria, escalation of war, overwhelming majority, stormy applause/a storm of applause, captains of industry, pillars of society (столпы), the bulwark of civilization (оплот; букв, бастион).




frequent use of abbreviations — names of organizations, political movements, etc.: UN (United Nations Organization), NATO {North Atlantic Treaty Organization), EEC (European Economic Community), UK( The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), FO (Foreign Office), PM (Prime -minister), MP (member of Parliament), etc.

the use of neologisms, since newspapers quickly react to any new trends in the development of society, technology, science and so on: sputnik, a teach-in (the form of campaigning through heated political discussions), black Americans/Afro-Americans (= Negroes), Latin Americans (emigrants from South America), front-lash (a vigorous anti-racist movement), stop-go politics (= indecisive policies), a shock announcement, to work flat out(= to work very hard), a frosty reception.

in grammar — the use of complete simple sentences, of complex and compound sentences, often extended by a number of clauses:

The Secretary to the Treasury said he had been asked what was meant by the statement in the Speech that the position of war pensioners would be kept under close review.

On the other hand, in newspaper headlines we find elliptical sentences, with the finite verb omitted or replaced by a non-finite form, and the grammatical articles also often omitted:

Price rise expected (=A rise in prices is expected); Witnesses silent in court (= The witnesses are silent during the court trial); Prime Minister on new tax (= What the Prime Minister said about the new tax).

Part3

Part 4

Name the device used below

"The day on which I had to take the happiest and best step of my life the day on which I shall be a man more exulting and more enviable than any other man in the world the day on which I give Bleak House its little mistress shall be next month, then ", said my guardian. (Dickens)

VI. Comment on the Phonetic Devices Used Below

'Sh-sh', shesaid. 'But I'm whispering!' This continual shushing annoyed him. (A. Huxley)

The moan of doves in immemorial elms,

And murmuring of innumerable bees. (Tennison)

VII. Miscellany: Point Out the Stylistic Devices Used

1) "You have heard of Jefferson Brick I see, Sir, " — quoth the

Co/one/ with a smile. "England has heard of Jefferson Brick.

Europe has heard of Jefferson Brick ". (Dickens) 2) but who would scorn the month of June,

Because December, with his breath so hoary,

Must come? (Byron)


 

3) He ordered a bottle of the worst possible port wine, at the highest possible price. (Dickens)

4) Stoney smiled the sweet smile of an alligator. (Steinbeck)

5) And yet will you tell me that I oughtn 't to go into society? I, who shower money upon it in this way ? I, who might be almost said to —to — to harness myself to a watering cart full of money, and go about, saturating society, every day of my life? (Dickens)

6) He already had a car — a large car an expensive car. In that car and no other he proposed to continue his journey back to town. (Christie)

7) Mother Nature always blushes before disrobing. (Y. Esar)

8) It's only an adopted child. One I have told her of. One I'm going to give the name to. (Dickens)

9) Richard said that he would work his fingers to the bone for Ada, and Ada said that she would work her fingers to the bone for Richard. (Dickens)

10) The mechanics were underpaid, and underfed, and overworked. (J.Aldridge)

11) Men 'stalk was better than women's. Never food, never babies, never sickness, but people, what happened, the reason. Not the state of the house, but the state of the Army... Not what spoilt the washing, but who spilled the beans. (D. du Maurier)

12) Swan had taught him much. The great kindly Swede had taken him under his wing. (E. Ferber)

VIII. Poetic Speech

Part 2

Functional Styles of Speech in Greater Detail

The Colloquial Style

This is the style of informal, friendly oral communication. The vocabulary of colloquial style is usually lower than that of the formal or neutral styles, it is often emotionally coloured and characterized by connotations (cf. the endearing connotation in the words daddy, kid or the evaluating components in 'trash', etc. in the examples of connotations above).

Colloquial speech is characterized by the frequent use of words with a broad meaning(широкозпачные слова): speakers

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tend to use a small group of words in quite different meanings, whereas in a formal style (official, business, scientific) every word is to be used in a specific and clear meaning. Compare the different uses of the verb "get", which frequently replaces in oral colloquial speech its more specific synonyms:

/ got (= received) a letter today; Wliere did you get (= buy) those shoes?; We don'tget (= have) much rain here in summer, I got (= caught) flu' last month; We got (= took) the six-o 'clock train from London; I got into (=entered) the house easily; Where has my pen got to (= disappeared) ?; We got (= arrived) home late; Get (=put) your hat on!; I can 'tget (=fit) into my old jeans; Get (= throw) the cat out of the house.'; I'll get ( = punish) you, just you wait.'; We got (= passed) through the customs without any checking; I've got up to (= reached) the last chapter of the book; I 'II get (=fetch) the children from school; ft's getting (= becoming) dark; He got (= was) robbed in the street at night; I got (= caused) him to help me with the work; I got the radio working at last( = brought it to the state of working); Will you get (= give, bring) the children their supper tonight?; Ididn 'tget( = hear) what you said; You got (= understood) my answer wrong; I wanted to speak to the director, but only got (= managed to speak) to his secretary; Will you get (= answer) the phone?; Can you get (= tune in) to London on your radio ?

There are phrases and constructions typical of colloquial type: What's up?(= What has happened); so-so (=not especially good); nothing much/nothing to write home about (= nothing of importance); How are you doing? (= How are things with you?); Sorry? Pardon ?( = Please, repeat, Ididn't hear you); Not to worry! (= there is nothing to worry about); No problem!(= This can easily be done); See you ( = Good-bye); Me too/neither (= So/neither do I), etc.

In grammar there may be: a) the use of shortened variants of word-forms, e.g. isn't, can't; there's ; I'd say ; he'd 've done ( = would have done); Yaa ( = Yes); b) the use of elliptical (incomplete) sentences — / did; (Where's he?) — At home; Like it? (= Do you/Did you like it?) — Not too much (= I don 't like it


too much); (Shall I open it'?) Don 't.'; May I?(= May I ask a question/do this?).

The syntax of colloquial speech is also characterized by the preferable use of simple sentences or by asyndetic connection (= absence of conjunctions, бессоюзная связь) between the parts of composite sentences or between separate sentences. Complex constructions with non-finite forms are rarely used. Note the neutral style in the following extract:

When I saw him there, I asked him, 'Where are you going?', but he started running away from me. I followed him. When he turned round the corner, I also turned round it after him, but then noticed that he was not there. I could not imagine where he was...

and the possible more colloquial version of the same: / saw him there, I say 'Where'ye going?' He runs off, 1 run after him. He turns the comer, me too. He isn 't there. Where's he now?/can't think.... (note also the rather frequent change from the Past tense to the Present, in addition to the absence of conjunctions or other syntactic means of connection).

Familiar-Colloquial Style and Slang (фамильярно-разговорный стиль, жаргоны)

Besides the standard, literary-colloquial (нормативная литературно-разговорная) speech, there is also a non­standard (or substandard) style of speech, mostly represented by a special vocabulary. Such is the familiar-colloquial style(a 'lower' variant of colloquial style) used in very free, friendly, informal situations of communication (between close friends, members of one family, etc.). Here we find emotionally colouredwords, low-colloquialvocabulary (просторечная лексика) and slang words. This style admits also of the use of rudeand vulgarvocabulary, including expletives/obscene words/four-letter words/swearwords (бранная лексика).

See some examples of familiar-colloquial/low-colloquial words (also called 'slang'):

3. 15


Rot/trash/stuff ( = smth. bad); the cat's pyjamas (=just the right/suitable thing); bread-basket (= stomach); grass/pot (=* marijuana, narcotic drugs); tipsy/under the influence (affluence)/ under the table/has had a drop (=drunk); cute/great! (Am) (=very good); wet blanket (^uninteresting person); hot stuff! (smth. extremely good); You're damn right! (= quite right); Where are those darned/damned socks? What the hell do you want?

The term slangis used in a very broad and vague sense. Besides denoting low-colloquial (familiar-colloquial) words, it is also used to denote special social jargons/cants,i.e. words typically used by particular social groups to show that the speaker belongs to this group, as different from other people. Originally jargons were used to preserve secrecy within the social group, to make speech incomprehensible to others — such is the thieves' jargon/cant. There is also teenagers' slang/jargon, school slang, army slang, prison slang, etc. See examples of American army slang: to take felt (= to retire from the army, literally — put on a felt hat); fly boy (=pilot); coffin (= unreliable aeroplane); Molotov cocktail (= bottles with explosive materials);

But often words from a particular jargon spread outside its social group and become general slang. See examples of general British slang: crackers (= crazy), the year dot (= long ago), drip (= uninteresting person without a character), get the hump ( = get angry), mac (~ Scotsman), mug (=fool), nipper (= young child), ratted (= drunk), snout (= tobacco).

Some examples of general American slang: buddy (= fellow), buck (= dollar), cabbage ( = money), John (= lavatory), jerk ( = stupid person) Juice (= wine); joker (= man); glued (= arrested); give smb. wings (= teach to use drugs); stag party (= мальчиш­ник); top dog ( = boss); like a million dollars (-very good); to nip (=steal), smash (= a drink).

There is also professional slang/jargon,i.e. words which are used by people in their professional activity: tin-fish ( = submarine); block-buster (= a bomb- in military use, or a very successfitlfilm in show business); piper (= a specialist decorating

к.


cakes with cream and using a pipe); see also some professional slang words for a 'blow' in boxing: an outer (= a knock-out blow), a right-hander (=one made with the right hand); an uppercut (апперкот); a clinch (position of boxing very close, with body pressed to body).

The Formal (Lofty, Bookish) Style (высокий, книжный стиль)

A formal (lofty, bookish) style is required in situations of official or restrained relations between the interlocutors, who try to avoid any personal and emotional colouring or familiarity, and at the same time to achieve clarity of expression (to avoid any ambiguity and misunderstanding). This style is used in various genres of speech, such as in official (legal, diplomatic,

~? etc.) documents, scientific works, publicist works or public

\ speeches, etc.

i

The Style of Official or Business Documents

Official (legal, diplomatic, etc.) and business documents are written in a formal, 'cold' or matter-of-fact style of speech, which requires the choice of a special kind of vocabulary, grammar forms and structures. Such documents often require the use of special formulas of politeness and cliches, e.g. I beg to inform you; I beg to move; I second the motion; the items on the agenda, the above-mentioned, hereinafter named; on behalf of; Dear Sir; We remain respectfully yours, etc. Official documents are frequently characterized by the use of abbreviations or conventional symbols. MP (Member of Parliament), Gvt (government), Ltd (company of limited liability), Co (company); ad (advertisement); AD (Anno Domini = since Christ's birth); ВС (before Christ's birth); USA; UK; $ (dollar); Lb. (pound), etc.

Official or business documents may require special patterns; see the structure of a business letter below:


Domby and Co. 24 South Street Manchester 7th February, 1985 (the address of the sender) Mr. John Smith 19 Green Street London (the address of the party addressed)

Dear Sir, We beg to inform you of a plausible opportunity of concluding an agreement on the issue on the following terms ...

Respectfully yours,

Domby and Co. The syntax of official or business style is characterized by the frequent use of non-finite forms — gerund, participle, infinitive (Considering that...; in order to achieve cooperation in solving the problems), and complex structures with them, such as the Complex Object (We expect this to take place), Complex Subject (This is expected to take place), the Absolute Participial Construction (The conditions being violated, it appears necessary to state that...).

The vocabulary is characterized by the use of special terminology {memorandum; pact; the high contracting parties; to ratify an agreement; extra-territorial status; plenipotential representative; proceedings, protocol, the principles laid down in the document, etc.) and generally by the choice of lofty (bookish) words and phrases: plausible (= possible); to inform (= to tell); to assist (to help), to cooperate (=to work together), to be determined/resolved (= to wish); the succeeding clauses of the agreement (= нижеследующие статьи договора), to reaffirm faith in fundamental principles; to establish the required conditions; the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law; to promote (= to develop) and secure (= to make stable) social progress; with the following objectives/ends (=for these purposes).


The Style of Scientific Works

The genre of scientific works exists for the most part within the bounds of the written form of language (scientific articles, monographs or textbooks), but it may also manifest itself in its oral form (in scientific reports, lectures, discussions at conferences, etc.); in the latter case this style already has some features of colloquial speech.

The aim of scientific speech is to present precise information, therefore it requires the use of special terminology which does not admit of polysemy or of figurative meanings, of emotional connotations (all of which is typical of colloquial and publicist styles). The author of scientific works tends to sound impersonal, hence the use of the pronoun "WE" instead of "I", of impersonal constructions, of the Passive Voice (which allows the author not to mention himself or any other subjective participants of the events described).

The syntax of scientific speech is characterized by the use of complete (non-elliptical) sentences (unlike the syntax of colloquial speech), the use of extended complex and compound sentences without omission of conjunctions, as these connectors enable the author to express the relations between the parts more precisely (as different from the asyndetic connection typical of colloquial speech); the use of bookish syntactic constructions, such as complexes with non-finite forms of the verb; the use of extended attributive phrases, often with a number of nouns used as attributes to the following head-noun (Noun + Noun construction). See some examples of grammar structures typical of scientific language:

Noun + Noun constructions:

the sea level; the time and space relativity theory; the World peace conference; a high level consensus; the greenhouse effect (парниковый); carbon dioxide emissions (эмиссия двуокиси уг­лерода): fossil fuel burning (сжигание ископаемых горючих веществ); deforestation problems (= problems related to the disappearance of forests on the earth).


Passive Voice constructions:

Water is not the sole variety of substance from which oxygen can be obtained'. Methane is produced by leaks from gas pipelines.

Bookish syntactic structures:

The compound type of predicate: These gases are easy to control but they are persistent once emitted (= // is easy to control these gases, but it is hard to stop them when they come out)'. Deforestation is probably even harder to change (= It is even harder to change the situation when forests begin to disappear).

The use of abstract nouns, gerundial, participial or infinitive phrases and complexes instead of the much simpler clauses with conjunctions: Apart from this, controllingemissions of greenhouse gases would require huge increasein energy efficiency(= Besides, if we want to control the gases which come out when the air becomes warmer, we shall have to produce much more energy); Agreement to implement such huge projects would require overcoming differencesbetween countries (= If we want to agree to carry out such big projects, we shall have to change the situation when every country is different from another); The measures suggestedare worth considering/require carefulconsideration (= It is necessary to think about the measures that we have suggested); Our planet is known to have been hot once and to have grown cooler in the course of time (= We know that once it was hot and then grew cooler).

Special emphatic constructions to lay a logical stress on some part of the sentence: It is not solely from water that oxygen is to be obtained (= we can get oxygen not only from water). It is on these terms that the UN would be prepared to intervene into the conflict (= The UN will intervene only on these terms).

Publicist (Oratory) Style

This is a style used in public speeches and printed publicist works, which are addressed to a broad audience and devoted to important social or political events, public problems of cultural or moral character. Such communication requires clarity in the presentation of ideas, its aim is to convince the readers/listeners


of the truth of the ideas expressed, and at the same time to produce an emotional impact (impression) on the audience. Thus the main features of this style are clear logical argumentation and emotional appeal to the audience. In this way the publicist style has features in common not only with the style of official or scientific works, on the one hand, but also with some elements of emotionally coloured colloquial style, on the other hand. Indeed, in this case the author has no need to make his speech impersonal (as in scientific or official style) — on the contrary, he tries to approximate his text to lively communication, as though he were talking to people in direct contact. Accordingly, the publicist style is characterized by the use of logically connected syntactic structures in their full form, i.e. complete extended sentences connected by conjunctions clearly showing the relations expressed, but at the same time, an emotional impact is achieved by the use of emotionally coloured vocabulary, just as in belles-lettres style (the style of fiction works) and in colloquial style.

Publicist (oratory) style requires eloquence (красноречие), and such works are often ornamented with stylistic devices and figures of speech (see Part 3). Some authors of publicist works may prefer verbosity (многословие), others — brevity of expression, often resembling epigrams.

There are various genres in which the publicist style is employed, such as public speeches, essays, pamphlets, articles published in newspapers or magazines, radio and TV commentaries, etc.

The oral variant of publicist style — the oratory style proper (which is used in speeches and mass media commentaries), is especially close to spoken language in its emotional aspect. It is aimed at logical and emotional persuasion of the audience. As there is direct contact with the audience, it allows the speaker to combine effects of written and spoken varieties of language. For example, the author can use direct address (the pronoun of the second person "You"), and often begins his speech with special formulas of address to the audience: Ladies and

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Gentlemen! My Lords', (in the House of Lords); Mr. Chairman: Highly esteemed members of the conference.'; or. in a less formal situation — Dear Friends; or, with a more passionate colouring — My friends/

As the speaker/author attempts to reach closer contact with the audience, he may use such devices as asking the audience questions:

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, he trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him ? (Th. Jefferson)

or making an appeal to the audience:

Let us then, with courage and confidence, pursue our own federal and republican principles! (ibid.).

On the other hand, as different from colloquial style, the vocabulary of speeches and printed publicist works is usually very elaborately chosen and remains mainly in the sphere of lofty (high-flown) style. See examples below:

a) Friends and Fellow Citizens:

Called upon to undertake the duties of the first executive office of our country, I avail myself of the presence of that portion of my fellow citizens which is here assembled, to express my grateful thanks for the favor with which they have been pleased to look toward me, to declare a sincere consciousness that the task is above my talents, and that I approach it with those anxious and awful presentiments which the greatness of the charge and the weakness of my powers so justly inspire (Th. Jefferson. First Inaugural Speech)

b) The method which Mr. Burke takes to prove that the people of
England had no such rights, and that such rights do not now
exist in the nation ...is of the same marvellous and monstrous
kind with what he has already said; for his arguments are,
that the persons, or the generations of persons, in whom they
did exist, are dead, and with them the right is dead also.
(Th. Paine. Rights of Man)


Like colloquial style, the publicist style is usually characterized by emotional colouring and connotations, butthere is a difference. The emotional colouring of publicist style is lofty: it may be solemn (as in example a) above), or it may be ironic/sarcastic (as in example b)), but it cannot have the "lower" connotations (jocular, endearing, rude or vulgar, slangy) found in colloquial/familiar colloquial speech.

The syntax of publicist style is often characterised by repetition of structures (syntactic parallelism) — a device used to rouse the audience emotionally:

'It is high time this people had recovered from the passions of war. It is high time that the people of the North and the South understood each other and adopted means to inspire confidence in each other (from a public speech made at the end of the Civil War in the USA).

What do we see on the horizon? What forces are at work? Wither are we drifting? Under what mist of clouds does the future stand obscured? (from Lord Byron's speech in Parliament)

Syntactic repetition may be combined with lexical repetition (periphrasis):

Robert Burns exalted our race and the Scottish tongue. Before his time we had for a long period been scarcely recognised; we had been falling out of the recollection of the world ... Scotland had lapsed into obscurity ... Her existence was almost forgotten (all those different phrases simply repeat the idea "nobody knew us, Scots, before").

Some Particular Genres of Publicist Style

The Essay

This genre in English literature dates from the 16"' century, and its name is taken from the short "Essays" (= experiments, attempts) by the French writer Montaigne, which contained his thoughts on various subjects. An essay is a literary composition of moderate length on philosophical, social or literary subjects, which preserves a clearly personal character and has no pretence to deep or strictly scientific treatment of

4* 23


the subject. It is rather a number of comments, without any definite conclusions. See an extract from Ben Johnson (16lh century):

Language most shows a man; speak, thai I may see thee. It springs of the most retired and in most parts of us, and is the image of the parent of it, the mind. No glass renders a man's form or likeness so true, as his speech, and, as we consider feature and composition in a man, so words in language. Some men are tall and big, so some language is high and great. Then the words are chosen, the sound ample, the composition full, all grace, sinewy (жилистый) and strong. Some are little and dwarfs; so of speech, it is humble and low; the words are poor and flat; the members are periods thin and weak, without knitting (связь) or number.

Nowadays an essay is usually a kind of feature article (те­матическая статья) in a magazine or newspaper. It is characterized by clarity and brevity of expression, by the use of the first person singular, by expanded use of connecting words (to express clearly all the logical relations in the development of thought), and abundant use of emotionally coloured words, of metaphors and other figures of speech.

NewspaperSpeech

English newspaper writing dates from the 17"' century. First newspapers carried only news, without comments, as commenting was considered to be against the principles of journalism. By the 19lh century newspaper language was recognised as a particular variety of style, characterized by a specific communicative purpose and its own system of language means.

The content of newspaper material is fairly diverse, it comprises news and commentary on the news, press reports and articles, advertisements and official announcements, as well as short stories and poems, crossword puzzles and other such like material for entertainment of the reader.


Newspaper style includes a system of interrelated lexical, phraseological and grammatical means serving the purpose of informing, instructing, and, in addition, of entertaining the reader. As a result of this diversity of purposes, newspapers contain not only strictly informational, but also evaluative material — comments and views of the news-writer (esecially characteristic of editorials and feature articles).

As the newspaper seeks to influence public opinion on various social, political or moral matters, its language frequently contains vocabulary with evaluative connotation, such asto allege (theperson who allegedly committed the crime), or to claim (the defendant claims to know nothing about it), which cast some doubt on what is stated further and make it clear to the reader that those are not yet affirmed facts. A similar idea is expressed by special grammar structures, e.g. The man is said to have taken part in the affair, or The chief of the police is quoted as saying... Evaluation can be included in the headlines of news items (Government going back on its own promises) and in the commentary on the news, in feature articles, in leading articles (editorials), where emotionally coloured vocabulary is widely employed. The characteristics mentioned are common to different genres of publicist style. Nevertheless, the informative content generally prevails in newspaper material as compared with purely publicist or oratory works.

On the whole we may single out the following features typical of newspaper style:

in vocabulary— the use of special political or economic terminology (constitutional, election, General Assembly of the UN, gross output, per capita production):

the use of lofty, bookish vocabulary, including certain cliches (population, public opinion, a nation-wide crisis, crucial/pressing problems, representative voting), which may be based on metaphors and thus emotionally coloured: war hysteria, escalation of war, overwhelming majority, stormy applause/a storm of applause, captains of industry, pillars of society (столпы), the bulwark of civilization (оплот; букв, бастион).


frequent use of abbreviations — names of organizations, political movements, etc.: UN (United Nations Organization), NATO {North Atlantic Treaty Organization), EEC (European Economic Community), UK( The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), FO (Foreign Office), PM (Prime -minister), MP (member of Parliament), etc.

the use of neologisms, since newspapers quickly react to any new trends in the development of society, technology, science and so on: sputnik, a teach-in (the form of campaigning through heated political discussions), black Americans/Afro-Americans (= Negroes), Latin Americans (emigrants from South America), front-lash (a vigorous anti-racist movement), stop-go politics (= indecisive policies), a shock announcement, to work flat out(= to work very hard), a frosty reception.

in grammar — the use of complete simple sentences, of complex and compound sentences, often extended by a number of clauses:

The Secretary to the Treasury said he had been asked what was meant by the statement in the Speech that the position of war pensioners would be kept under close review.

On the other hand, in newspaper headlines we find elliptical sentences, with the finite verb omitted or replaced by a non-finite form, and the grammatical articles also often omitted:

Price rise expected (=A rise in prices is expected); Witnesses silent in court (= The witnesses are silent during the court trial); Prime Minister on new tax (= What the Prime Minister said about the new tax).

Part3






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