If Thought Corrupts Language, Language Can Also Corrupt Thought

Topics: The Reader, Present tense, Grammatical tense Pages: 6 (2142 words) Published: November 13, 2012
IF THOUGHT CORRUPTS LANGUAGE, LANGUAGE CAN ALSO CORRUPT THOGHT (Orwell 1998). I am going to conduct an experiment by comparing and contrasting the linguistic choices between two newspaper articles with different views on the same event but different representations of the event and other aspects strategically placed to determine whether words have the power to manipulate or persuade ones thoughts through the ideologies of their own. Article 1’s headline is more elaborated and uses much more animated lexical choices, which paint more of a picture in the readers mind. Article 2 is more simplified and straight to the point, summarising bluntly. A1 is in the present tense to give a more dramatic effect and add impact. A2’s lexical choice “evicted” is in a past tense as if to say, the decision has already been made. The rest of the sentence is in a future tense, emphasising the certainty of the eviction. A2 is in a passive voice drawing attention away from the doers. A1’s in an active voice, drawing focus to the positive actions. A1s lead focuses the subject on the confrontation using lexical choices to create an effect of epicenes, representing the travellers like freedom fighters. A2’s lead focuses on the matter in hand and the Councils demands. Both leads reflect the ideologies of the writers. Both articles were selective on the choice of quotes ensuring they reflected the ideologies of the articles. A1 mainly uses sources considered with good credentials because people usually listen to and respect points from authority figures and therefore are more likely to agree or be persuaded by them, also because ‘elite sources are considered newsworthy by the media. The articles use unidentified sources to disclaim ideological responsibilities. The specific sources they use really reflect their overall ideological message. Both use representatives i.e. ”Council spokesman “and “a source” instead of specifying the actor, which indicates writers “doubts or contention over the facts’” (Bell. A 1991) or it may not suit the articles representation. A1 uses a human interest figure to put the matter into perspective because the travellers views may still be rather bias and propagandarish. A1 avoids labelling council sources with professional titles to devalue their quote, in one case they use a marital title instead in-order to derogate their authority. A2 uses qualifier determiner + noun phrase (the Dale Farm) to label travellers to subtly disclaim allegations of prejudice, emphasising dispute with that specific community. Both use a first name basis source to indicate their support. A1 qualifying labels represent the authorities negatively to demean them. A2s qualifiers were quite neutral, maybe because the writer was more focused on justifying their actions rather than belittling the travellers. A1 mentions support of respected public figures i.e. celebs, Bishop and UN worker. A2 mentions political figures as support, readers respect ‘elite’ views and might think ‘if they believe it’s right or wrong then it must be’. A1’s sequence of information is in an anachronical order, throwing the reader into the scene before elaborating and adding further cohesion. They lay down the ground work and build suspense before reaching the climax 1. Sets scene of confrontation to grab audience’s attention. 2. Celebration pictures.

3. Reasons for celebrating (injunction).
4. Pictures of traveller’s defence strategies.
5. Council’s response to injunction.
6. Issues – politics.
7. Opposing army pictures.
8. Preparations for war.
9. Supporter pictures.
10. Architecture eviction plans.
11. Finale – battle.
A2s sequence is more structured in the sense of ‘opening’, ‘body’ and ‘conclusion’, sought of an open and shut case. 1. Verdict – outline decision.
2. Dispute.
3. Support.
4. Negotiations.
5. Threats.
6. Remorse.
7. Selective traveller sources.
8. Resistance.
9. Plea.
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