Language Analysis in a Text
An extract from chapter 18, ‘Population, health and ageing.’ By
Anthony Giddens (London Polity Press, 1993, pp. 602 – 605.)
This is a purely academic text. Its main aim is to inform and educate
its audience. To achieve this he employed features that are typical of
academic writing. The sentences are straight to the topic. He also
employed sequential development of the theme of the essay, leading his
audience through the history of health and illness. The references to
different curative measures and the different stages of development
were for the purpose of emphasis. He used words that are relevant such
as ‘medical diagnosis.’, ‘medical technology’, plague’,’ infectious
diseases’, ‘mortality’, ‘surgery’, ‘antibiotics’, ‘immunisation’, etc.
The carefully chosen words in the text are to enhance the theme.
The target audience are a higher education group of learners. The
sentences are regular and conventional. He also employed authentic
quotes and references, e.g. he referred to Ayurvedic medicines –
traditional healing practiced in India. He also quoted the biomedical
model of health. The term used by Ross Hume Hall.
The text is very effective. This is due to the careful combination of
factors that enhanced the effectiveness. Dictions are relevant. The
text is well structured. The development of the theme is systematic.
Charles Dickens, The Uncommercial Traveller and reprinted pieces.
In context the text is a typical early form of writing which is
particular to journalism. The first paragraph briefly tells the
audience the activities of politicians. Words and phrases such as ‘the
far seeing schemes.’
“Thisman and Thatman”, public blessing called party”, “degeneracy!”
These prepare the reader. Dickens adopts journalistic word play for
maximum effect. He began the second paragraph with the intent to
effectively build up the readers emotions. He achieved this by the use
of different figures of speech, e.g. adjectives, metaphors, etc. “Dark
street with a dead wall.” He engages in a vivid description of the
room and the inhabitants. Dickens qualified every aspect that he
wanted the reader to take note of... For example ‘the horrible brown
heap.’, ‘on the floor in the corner?’ All of this is for effective
description of the state of affairs.
The introduction of a particular language type, the mode of speaking
by the deprived group in the society was used by Dickens to emphasise
his point. E.g.
“Tis the poor craythur that stays here sur; and tis very bad she is
and ‘tis very bad shes been this long time and ‘tis better she’ll
Dickens audience is the society in general. At that time in literary
history, those that are likely to read the text are the elite and the
politicians. He deliberately...