How does the Catherine Tate sketch use language?
Catherine Tate uses a wide variety of linguistic techniques and lexis throughout the comedy sketch with the Prime minister. The effects these techniques have on the audience are focused as they effectively engage the audience whilst being humorous and tactile. The tenor used is strong and inappropriate. Our expectations of a girl participating in work experience with the Prime Minister are somewhat obedient and well mannered, yet the complete opposite is depicted. An example is when Lauren is asked to deliver tea and biscuits however asked to be quiet as the PM is taking an important phone call. Our expectation would be that she would obey and be cautious; nevertheless she does the exact opposite thus engaging the further audience by her striking attitude towards someone with such high importance. The register used is by no means suitable to the context. She uses phrases such as ‘alraaght’ rather that ‘good morning’ and her general attitude towards some one of such significance is by no means ‘fit for purpose’. Her register is that of what you would expect Lauren to use towards her peers or in her local community. Laurens register lacks the use of Standard English, which is another expectation, shattered. Instead she uses ‘slang’, typical to her upbringing, which loses the audience almost immediately as she begins to speak so fast with words so unknown. Example such as: ‘Pikey’,’numpty’ and ‘bretheren’ are all specific to her specialist register / class and therefore virtually anonymous to the rest of us. Laurens idiolect depicted in the sketch is generic to most Cockney-speaking teenagers, the only reason it stands out so much is due to the incongruous context is used in. ‘Am I bothered, though?’ – this is a form of language the Prime Minister would use and is therefore idiosyncratic towards Laurens ‘linguistic fingerprint’. Finally at the end of the sketch we are presented with a response from the Prime...
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