Analyse how language is used in these three texts to present views about the nature of language change.

Text A is an online sports blog from BBC that is aimed to inform and entertain others who take an interest in language change and sport enthusiasts. The perscriptivist view is portrayed from the start with the noun “plea” which has connotations of the adjectives strong and begging. This implies that there is a strong feeling against language change as people are almost begging to preserve the word ‘medal’ as a noun, not a verb. The personification of English language and the opinion that people are “inflicting cruelty” towards it further suggests that changing it is violent and even ‘ugly’ (Mackinnon 1996). The theory of the crumbling castle by Aitchinson (2013) is supported by the idea presented that we should “maintain standards” as if we let language change towards this one word, then language will crumble.

Also Aitchinson’s theory of infectious diseases is shown through the opinion that it came from “Americanisms” as the English language take words from countries like the spreading of a disease which hurts the English language and is seen as a bad habit. However some descriptivists may say that people are seen to choose to take words from other countries as they are seen as more prestigious and would rather speak similar to them. . The perscriptivist view is shown through negative adjectives such as “rude” “ugly” and “unpleasant” when describing the verbing of ‘medal’. A sense of bathos is created throughout as it is seen to be presented as an important issue but then humour is created at the end “we’ll try to make sure the offenders don’t podium.”

Text B is an online Guardian newspaper article by David Marsh which also sets forward a persciptivist view as it portraysthe descriptivistswho accept language change as “linguistic barbarians.” The hyperbole “undermining our very way of life” shows the extreme views that people have against language change and the extremes they go to so English language is preserved.Text A and B both display a prescriptivist view due to the fact that they are very important news establishments and would like to convey their thoughts on the ‘correct’ English language. Passive voice is used as they do not exactly say who the perscriptivists are “to the outrage provoked” which creates the effect that there is a mass amount of people on the side of the Guardian, who have a well educated older audience. Sarcasm is used to create humour as they would expect their audience to know how to ‘correctly’ use language and to prove the point that they agree that language needs to be kept the way it always has been. This is similar to text A where they create humour to exclude those who do not agree which strengthens their perscriptivist view.

Text C displays a different view to Text A and B due to the fact that they would be enhanced by language change and are only commenting on this topic due to the mass amount of people who have strong feelings about it. Text C is a blog post from Oxford Dictionaries which sets up a descriptivist view as they understand that language changes and therefore want words to change so that they can sell new dictionaries. The title uses the homophones “meddling with nouns: who’s medalling now?” which add a sense of humour and gives examples of the ways that ‘medal’ can be used. Aitchinson’s theory of infectious diseases relates to their views as all “citations here are all from the US” as we have taken words from America which are harmful to the English language, however others could see taking words from America as a good thing as they have a higher status in society.Perscriptivism is shown through Mackinnon’s theory as the verbing is seen to be “awkward and abominable” and is ‘useless and ugly’. All these texts create a sense of bathos as the audiences would be well educated and want to conserve the English language.


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