Мы поможем в написании ваших работ!

Мы поможем в написании ваших работ!

Мы поможем в написании ваших работ!



Advertisements made their way into the British press at an early stage of its development, i.e. in the micHTth century. So they are almost as old as newspapers themselves.

The principal function of a d v e r t i s e>m en ts and announce-men ts, like that of brief news, is to inform the reader. There are two basic types of advertisements and announcements in the modern English newspaper: classified and non-classified.

In classified advertisements and announcements various kinds of information are arranged according to subject-matter into sections, each bearing an appropriate name. In The Times, for example, the reader never fails to find several hundred advertisements and announcements classified into groups, such as BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, DEATHS, IN MEMORI-AM, BUSINESS OFFERS, PERSONAL, etc. This classified arrangement has resulted in a number of stereotyped patterns regularly employed in newspaper advertising. Note one of the accepted patterns of classified advertisements and announcements in The Times:


CULHANE.—On.November 1st, at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, to BARBARA and JOHN CULHANE — a son.

All announcements in the 'Birth' section are built on exactly the same elliptical pattern. This tendency to eliminate from the sentence all elements that can be done without is a pronounced one in adver­tisement and announcement writing. The elliptic sentence structure has no stylistic function; it is purely technical—to economize space, expensive in what newspaper men call the "advertising hole." Though, of course, having become a common practice, this peculiar brevity of expression is a stylistic feature of advertisements and announcements which may take a variety of forms, for example:

TRAINED NURSE with child 2 years seeks post London preferred. — Write Box C. 658, The Times, E.G. 4.'

Here the absence of all articles and some punctuation marks makes the statement telegram-like. Sentences which are grammatically complete also tend to be short and compact.

The vocabulary of classified advertisements and announcements is on the whole essentially neutral with here and there a sprinkling of emotionally coloured words or phrases used to attract the reader's attention. Naturally, it is advertisements and announcements in the PERSONAL section that are sometimes characterized by emotional colouring, for example:

ROBUST, friendly student, not entirely unintelligent, seeks Christmas vacation job. No wife, will travel, walk, ride or drive and undertake any domestic,- agri­cultural or industrial activity. Will bidders for this curiously normal chap please •write Box C. 552, The Times, E.G. 4.

Emotional colouring is generally moderate, though editors seem to place no restrictions on it. See the following announcement in the PER­SONAL section of The Times:

Alleluia! I'm a mum.

(A jocular modification of the chorus of the well-known American song "Alleluia,

I'm a bum". A young woman is stating that she has become a mother.)

As for the non-classified advertisements and announcements, the variety of language form and subject-matter is so great that hardly any essential features common to all may be pointed out. The reader's attention is attracted by every possible means: typographical, graphical and stylistic, both lexical and syntactical. Here there is no call for brev­ity, as the advertiser may buy as much space as he chooses.

The following are the initial lines of a full-page advertisement of Barclays Bank carried by an issue of The Guardian:


A bank's business is with other people's money, so we want people whose integrity is beyond question. Money is a very per­sonal business, so we want people who like people. Banking is work that calls for accuracy, so we want people who can work accurately. Our staff has to have integrity, personality, accuracy, We want them to have imagination too,


The headline (the title given to a news item or an article) is a dependent form of newspaper writing. It is in fact a part of a larger whole. The specific functional and linguistic traits of the headline provide suf­ficient ground for isolating and analysing it as a specific "genre" of journalism. The main function of the headline is to inform the reader briefly what the text that follows is about. But apart from this, headlines often contain elements of appraisal, i.e. they show the reporter's or the paper's attitude to the facts reported or commented on, thus also per­forming the function of instructing the reader. English headlines are short and catching, they "compact the gist of news stories into a few eye-snaring words. A skilfully turned out headline tells a story, or enough of it, to arouse or satisfy the reader's curiosity." l In some English and American newspapers sensational headlines are quite common. The practices of headline writing are different with different newspa­pers. In many papers there is, as a rule, but one headline to a news item, whereas such papers as The Times, The Guardian, The New York Times often carry a news item or an article with two or three headlines, and sometimes as many as four, e.g.


Many Vehicles Marooned in Blizzard

(The Guardian)



Asserts Bookkeeping Errors Led Controller to Overstate Anticipated Revenues


Report Asserts Both Beame And Goldin Issued Notes Without Proper Backing

(The New York Times)


Cabin Filled With Smoke

Safe Landing For 97 Passengers

Atlantic Drama In Super VC 10

(The Times)

Such group headlines are almost a summary of the information con­tained in the news item or article.

The functions and the peculiar nature of English headlines predeter­mine the choice of the language means used. The vocabulary groups considered in the analysis of brief news items are commonly found in headlines. But headlines also abound in emotionally coloured words and phrases, as the italicised words in the following:

End this Bloodbath (Morning Star) „ Milk Madness (Morning Star) Tax agent a cheat (Daily World)

No Wonder Housewives are Pleading: 'HELP* (Daily Mirror) Roman Catholic Priest sacked (Morning Star)

Furthermore, to attract the reader's attention, headline writers often resort to a deliberate breaking-up of set expressions, in particular fused set expressions, and deformation of special terms, a stylistic device capable of producing a strong emotional effect, e.g.

Cakes and Bitter Ale (The Sunday Times) Conspirator-in-chief Still at Large (The Guardian)

Compare respectively the allusive set expression cakes and ale, and the term commander-in-chief.

Other stylistic devices are not infrequent in headlines, as for example, the pun (e.g. 'And what about Watt'—The Observer), alliteration (e.g. Miller in Maniac Aiood— The Observer), etc.

Syntactically headlines are very short sentences or phrases of a va­riety of patterns:

a) Full declarative sentences, e.g. 'They Threw Bombs on Gipsy Sites' (Morning Star), 'Allies Now Look to London' (The Times)

b) Interrogative sentences, e. g. 'Do-you love war?' (Daily World), 'Will Celtic confound pundits?' (Morning Star)

c) Nominative sentences, e.g. 'Gloomy Sunday' (The Guardian), * Atlantic Sea Traffic' (The Times), 'Union peace plan for Girling stew­ards' (Morning Star)

d) Elliptical sentences:

a. with an auxiliary verb omitted, e.g. 'Initial report not expected until June!' (The Guardian), 'Yachtsman spotted" (Morning Star)]

b. with the subject omitted, e.g. 'Will win' (Morning Star), lWill give Mrs. Onassis $ 250,00(Xa year'.(77iЈ New York Times);

c. with the subject and part;of-the predicate omitted, e.g. 'Off to the sun' (Morning Star), 'Still in danger' (The Guardian)

e) Sentences with articles omitted, e. g. 'Step to Overall Settlement Cited in Text of Agreement' (International Herald Tribune), 'Blaze kills 15 at Party" (Morning Star) ^

Articles are very frequently omitted in all types of headlines.

f) Phrases with verbals—infinitive, participial and gerundial, e.g. Tog^US aid* (MorningStar), To visit Faisal' (Morning Star), \Keep-ing Prices Down' (The Times), 'Preparing reply on cold war' (Morning Star), 'Speaking parts' (The Sunday Times)

g) Questions in the form of statements, e.g. 'The worse the better?' (Daily World), 'Growl now, smile, later?' (The Observer)

h) Complex sentences, e. g. 'Senate Panel Hears Board of Military Experts Who Favoured Losing Bidder' '(The New York Times), 'Army Says It Gave LSD to Unknown GIs' (International Herald Tribune)

i) Headlines including direct speech:

a. introduced by a full sentence, e.g.', 'Prince Richard says: "I was not in trouble"' (The Guardian), 'What Oils the Wheels of Industry?

Asks James Lowery-Olearch of the Shell-Мех and B. P. Group' (The Times);

b. introduced elliptically, e.g. 'The Queen: "My deep distress'" (The Guardian), 'Observe Mid-East Ceasefire—UThant' (MorningStar)

The above-listed patterns are the most typical, although they do not cover all the variety in headline structure.

The headline in British and American newspapers is an important vehicle both of information and appraisal; editors give it special atten­tion, admitting that few read beyond the headline, or at best the lead. To lure the reader into going through the whole of the item or at least a greater part of it, takes a lot of skill and ingenuity on the^part of the headline writer,


The function of the editorial is to influence the reader by giving an interpretation of certain facts. Editorials comment on the political and other events of the day. Their purpose is to give the editor's opinion and interpretation of the news published and suggest to the reader that it is the correct one. Like any evaluative writing, editorials appeal not only to the reader's mind but to his feelings as well. Hence the use of emotionally coloured language elements, both lexical and structural, Here are examples:

"The long-suffering British housewife needs a bottomless purse to cope with this scale of inflation." (Daily Mirror)

"But since they came into power the trend has been up, up, up and the pace seems to be accelerating." (Daily Mail).

In addition to vocabulary typical of brief news items, writers of edi­torials make an extensive use of emotionally coloured vocabulary. Along­side political words and expressions, terms, cliches and abbreviations one can find colloquial words and expressions, slang, and professionalisms. The language of editorial articles is characterized by a combination of different strata of vocabulary, which enhances the emotioiial effect, for example:


THE TOPMOST boss of the giant Bank Organisation, Sir John Davis, has sacked the lesser boss Mr. Graham Dowson, who gets Ј, 150,000 from the company's till as "compensation" for loss of office.

Were there screams of agony in the capitalist press or from the Tories about the size of this golden handshake? There were" not.

Fat gifts are the usual thing when big bosses go. The bigger and richer they are, the fatter the cheques. (Morning Star)


MRS. THATCHER has now arrived back from her American jamboree proudly boasting that she is now "totally established as a political leader in the international sphere."

This simply goes to show that the fawning American audiences drawn from the top drawer of US capitalist society to whom she spoke will buy any farrago of trite and pious platitudes.

When she arrived back brimming over with her new-found international fame, she regaled us all once again with her views on equality and the opportunity to be unequal.

One thing is certain. The capitalist system for which she stands can never be accused of denying the majority of the British people of this opportunity to be unequal. (Morning Star)


Local Government was once dull. But looming for ratepayers this spring are rate increases of an average of 25 per cent, outside London and above 60 per cent, within it. These follow last year's - stratospheric increases. Alas, if rapacious demands of this kind can emerge from them, what goes on in Britain's town halls can­not be so tedious. Chaotic, frightening, scandalous, yes; dull, no. ... (The Daily Telegraph)

The above quoted examples from English newspaper editorials abound in emotionally coloured vocabulary units. Along with neutral and literary (common and special) vocabulary one can find words used with emotive colouring: topmost, giant, screams (of agony) (1), fawning, pious, platitudes (2), scandalous, frightening, rapacious, alas (3); colloquial vocabulary units: to sack, fat(\), jamboree (2); slang: to buy (in the sense of 'accept') (2); "and instances of linguistic imagery: this golden handshake (1), the top drawer of US capitalist society (2), stratospheric increases (3), etc. All these lexical means are highly emotive and thoroughly evalua­tive.

Emotional colouring in editorial articles is achieved with the help of various stylistic devices,, both lexical and syntactical, the use of which is largely traditional. Editorials abound in trite stylistic means, espe­cially metaphors and epithets, e.g. international climate, a price explosion, a price spiral, a spectacular sight, an outrageous act, brutal rule, an astound­ing statement, crazy policies. Traditional periphrases are also very common in newspaper editorials, such as Wall S//^(American financial circles), Downing.Street (the British Government), Fleet Street (the Lon­don press), the Great Powers (the five or six biggest and strongest states), the third world (states other than socialist or capitalist), and so on.

Most trite stylistic means commonly used in the newspaper have become cliches.

But genuine stylistic means are alsor sometimes used, which helps the writer of the editorial to bring his idea home to the reader through

the associations that genuine imagery arouses. Practically any stylistic device may be found in editorial writing, and when aptly used, such de­vices prove to be a powerful means of appraisal, of expressing a personal attitude to the matter in hand, of exercising the necessary emotional effect on the reader. Note the following example:

"That this huge slice of industry should become a battleground in which public cash is used as a whip with which to lash workers is a scandal. ...

Yet it is the workers who are being served up as the lambs for sac­rifice, and it is public money that is used to stoke the fires of the sacrificial pyre." (Morning Star)

The stylistic effect of these sustained similes is essentially satirical. A similar effect is frequently achieved by the use of metaphor, irony, the breaking-up of set expressions, the stylistic use of word-building, by using allusions, etc. Two types of allusions can be distinguished in newspaper article writing: a. allusions to political and other facts of the day which are indispensable and have no stylistic value, and b. his­torical, literary and biblical allusions which are often used to create a specific stylistic effect, largely—satirical. The emotional force of ex­pression in the editorial is often enhanced by the use of various syntac­tical stylistic devices. Some editorials abound in parallel constructions, various types of repetition, rhetorical, questions and other syntactical stylistic means.

. Yet, the role of expressive language means and stylistic devices in the editorial should not be over-estimate.d. They stand out against the essentially neutral background. And whatever stylistic devices one comes across in editorials, they are for the most part trite. Broadly speaking, tradition reigns supreme in the language of the newspaper. Original forms of expression and fresh genuine stylistic means are comparatively rare in newspaper articles, editorials included.

However, although all editorials, as a specific genre of newspaper writing, have common distinguishing features, the editorials in different papeis vary in degree of emotional colouring and stylistic originality of expression. While these qualities are typical enough of the "popular" newspapers (those with large circulations), such "as the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail, the so-called "quality papers", as The Times and The Guardian, make rather a sparing use of the expressive and stylistic means of the language. Whatever stylistic "gems" one may encounter in the newspaper, they cannot obscure the essentially traditional mode of expression characteristic of newspaper English.


The language of science is governed by the aim of the functional style of scientific prose, which is to prove a hypothesis, to create new concepts, to disclose the internal laws of existence, develop­ment, relations between different phenomena, etc. The language means used, therefore, tend to be objective, precise, unemotional, devoid of

any individuality; thfcre is a striving for the most generalized form of expression.

"The proper medium of scientific expression," writes E. Sa-pir, "is therefore a generalized language that may be defined as a symbolic algebra of which all known languages are trans­lations. One can adequately translate scientific literature be­cause the original scientific expression is itself a translation." l

The first and most noticeable feature of this style is the / о g i с a I sequence of utterances with clear indication of their interrelations and interdependence. It will not be an exaggeration to say that in no other functional style do we find such a developed and varied system of connectives as in scientific prose.

A second and no less important feature, and perhaps the most con­spicuous, is the use of terms specific to each given branch of science. It will be wise to state in passing that due to the rapid dis­semination of scientific and technical ideas, particularly in what are called the exact sciences, we may observe the process of "de-terminization", that is, some scientific and technical terms begin to circulate outside the narrow field they belong to and eventually begin to develop new mean­ings. But the overwhelming majority of terms do not undergo this process of de-terminization and remain the property of scientific prose. There they are .born, may develop new terminological meanings, and there they die. No other field of human activity is so prolific in coining new words as science is. The necessity to penetrate deeper into the essence of things and phenomena gives rise to new concepts, which require new words to name them. As has already been pointed out, a term will make more direct reference to something than a descriptive explanation, a non-term. Hence the rapid creation of • new terms in any developing science. Further, the general vocabulary employed in scientific prose bears its direct referential meaning, that is, words used in scientific prose will always tend-to be used^in .their primary logical meaning. Hardly a single word will be^found here which, in contrast to the belles-lettres style, is used in,more than one meaning. Nor will there be any words with contextual meaning. Even the possibility of ambiguity is avoided. Furthermore, terms are coined so as to be self-explanatory to the greatest possible degree. But in spite of this a new term in scientific prose is gen­erally followed (or preceded!) by an explanation.

Likewise, neutral and cofnmon Hterary words used in scientific prose will be explained, even if their meaning is only slightly modified, either in the context (by a parenthesis or an attributive phrase) or in a foot-note.

In modern scientific prose an interesting phenomenon can be ob­served— the exchange of terms between various - branches of science. This is evidently due to the interpenetration of scientific ideas. Self-sufficiency in any branch of science is now a thing of the past. Col­laboration of specialists in related sciences has proved successful in

many fields. The exchange of terminology may therefore be regarded as a natural outcome of this collaboration.- Mathematics has priority in this respect. Mathematical terms have left their own domain and travel freely in other sciences, including linguistics.

A third characteristic feature of scientific style is what we may call sen tence-pa.t terns. They are of three types: p о s t u-l a to r y, a r g им entative and / о г т и I a t i v e. A hypoth­esis, a scientific conjecture or a forecast must be based on facts already known, on facts systematized and defined. Therefore, every piece of sci­entific prose will begin with postulatory pronouncements which are ta­ken as self-evident and needing no proof. A reference to these facts is only preliminary to the exposition of the writer's ideas and is therefore summed up in precisely formulated statements accompanied, if considered necessary, by references to sources.

The writer's own ideas are also shaped^in formulae, which are the enunciation of a doctrine or theory, of a principle, an argument, the re­sult of an investigation, etc. The definition sentence-pattern in a sci­entific utterance, that is, the sentence which sums up the argument, is generally a kind of clincher sentence. Thus, in his "Linguistics and Style" Nils Eric Enkvist concludes one of his arguments in the following words:

"The study of features not statable in terms of contextual probabilities of linguistic items, style markers, stylistic sets and shifts of style is not the task of stylistics but of other levels of linguistic or literary analysis." l

A fourth observable feature of the style of modern scientific prose, and one that strikes the eye of the reader, is the use of q и о t at ions and references. These sometimes occupy as much as half, a page.2 The references also have a definite compositional pattern, namely, the name of the writer referred to, the title of the work quoted, the publishing house, the place and year it was published, and the page of the excerpt quoted or referred to.

/ A fifth feature of scientific style, which makes-it distinguishable torn other styles, is the frequent use of / о о t - n о te s, not of the ref­erence kind, but digressive in character. This is in full accord with the main requirement of the style, which is logical coherence of ideas expressed. Anything that seems to violate this requirement or seems not to be immediately relevant to the matter in hand, but at the same time may serve indirectly to back up the idea, will be placed in a foot-note. ......

The impersonality of scientific writings can also be considered a typical feature of this style. This quality is mainly revealed in the fre­quent use of passive constructions.3 Scientific experiments are generally

described in the passive voice, for example, "Then acidmzs taken", instead of/7 (we) then took acid."

A correspondent of the Times Literary Supplement says that to write

"/ weighed 10 grams of aspirin and dissolved them in as little water as / could" would be 'deplorable' in a research paper. The desirable plain scientific statement, he maintains, would be "Ten grams of aspirin were dissolved in a minimum volume of water."

Another correspondent objects to this mode of expression and says:

"The terrible thing about that second sentence is that its . infection has spread in all its falsity beyond research—into pol­itics, religion, public statements, film scripts, journalism. It creates the bureaucratic impression that things "were done" and that nobody "did them." *

Leaving aside this unreasonable protest against the established and widely recognized models of scientific syntax, we must agree that an over-use of the passive, particularly in other styles, will create the "sen­tentious voice of boredom" as the writer puts it. And his statement, "A pen was not filled with ink this morning, but I filled my pen," will certainly be more appropriate in ordinary language. But this is not a valid argu­ment against using such constructions in scientific prose.

In connection with the general impersonal tone of expression, it should be noted that impersonal passive constructions are frequently used with the verbs suppose, assume, presume, conclude, infer, point out, etc., as in: 'It should be pointed out', 'It must not be assumed', 'It must be emphasized', 'It can be inferred', etc.

There is a noticeable difference in the syntactical design of utter­ances in'the exact sciences (mathematics, chemistry, physics, etc.) and in the humanities. -The passive constructions frequently used in the scientific prosevof the~ exact xs&iences are not indispensable in the hu-. manities. This, perhaps, is due to the fact that the data and methods of investigation applied in the humanities are less objective. The ne­cessity to quote passages under observation and to amplify arguments seriously affects syntactical patterns. In the humanities some seemingly well-known pronouncement may be and often is subjected to re-evaluation, whereas in the exact sciences much can be accepted without question and therefore needs no comment. v

Here are two samples of scientific prose, one from a linguistic paper and the other from a textbook on chemistry.

"The critical literature on Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is enormous, and much of it is extremely penetrating. It may therefore come as a surprise to maintain that there are several points in the poem which are in need of further classification, and that to do so may give us not only better knowledge of the poem, but hypothesis about method which can be tested elsewhere.

The criticisms fall into three main groups; those that take up some quite minor blemishes, or. possible blemishes, in the Ode; a very large group that discusses at great length the equation between Truth and Beauty; and a small group which gives extended, line-by-line discussion. It isime of this latter group which alone takes up the difficulty involved in lines 28 and 29, in the possible uncertainty in the reference of "That leaves a heart high sorrowful." *

Here is the second sample:

"351, Sulphur Trioxide SO3. It is very easy to decompose sulphurous acid into the anhydride and water. Gentle heating will effect it, and indeed, if the solution be strong, the decom­position is spontaneous. Sulphurous acid always smells of sulphur dioxide. The decomposition of sulphuric acid into water and sul­phur trioxide cannot be effected by any such simple means. The trioxideismade directly by inducing SO2 to combine with more oxygen. There, is always a slight tendency for SO2 to pass into SO3 in the presence of oxygen, but the process is too slow to be of much interest. The gases can, however, be made., to react much more rapidly by the use of a suitable catalytic agent, the best known * being platinum, and as the effect of the platinum depends upon its surface area it is necessary to arrange for this to be as great as possible. If a piece of asbestos fibre is steeped in a solution of platinum chloride in hydrochloric acid and then heated, the asbes­tos becomes coated with a thin grey coating of spongy platinum. In this way "platinised asbestos" is produced. If now a mixture of sulphur dioxide and oxygen is passed over heated platinised asbestos, the dioxide is converted into the trioxide, thus:

2S"Oa + O =

The apparatus is quite simple and ifcs shown in fig. 35. The va­pour of sulphur trioxide which comes off is condensed by means of a freezing mixture into colourless ice-like- needles. -If this can be stored, without access to moisture, it undergoes some sort of molecular change and turns to a white silky crystalline solid."2

The remarkable difference between the two samples lies in the fact that the second one requires a far greater amount of preliminary knowledge than the first one. Although both samples are impersonal in form, they nevertheless differ in the amount of objectivity, the first being less objec­tive in stating data. Further, in the first excerpf views and opinions are expressed. In the second none are given. In both samples the syntax is governed by logical reasoning, "and there are no emotional elements whatsoever.

However, emotiveness is not entirely or categorically excluded from scientific prose, There may be hypotheses, pronouncements and con-

elusions which, being backed up by strong belief, therefore call for the use of some emotionally coloured words. Our emotional reaction to facts and ideas may bear valuable information, as it itself springs from the inner qualities of these facts and ideas. We depend in no small degree upon our emotional reactions for knowledge of the outer world.

An interesting investigation was made by N. M. Razinkina into the emotive character of scientific prose of the 19th century. In some articles published in Nature, a journal which made its first appearance in 1869, there were many emotional words used, evidently compensating for lack of evidence and argumented facts. It was normal in the discussion on many fundamental problems to use such words as marvellous, wonder­ful, monstrous, magnificent, brilliant and the like to attempt proof of a hypothesis or a pronouncement. In modern scientific prose such emotional words are very seldom used. At least they are not constituents of modern scientific style. Nor can we find emotional structures or stylistic devices which aim at rousing aesthetic feelings.

In "Литературная Газета" №21, 1968 there was an interesting series of articles on the language of science entitled "On Science and its Lan­guage". The discussion emanated from many complaints reaching the pa­per that the language of much scientific writing is unintelligible to ordi­nary people uninitiated in the principles of the gi^en science. All the par­ticipants in the discussion agreed that science must have its own lan­guage (that is, its own vocabulary) and that the exposition of new ideas in science must rest on a very solid foundation of previously acquired knowledge. But what they actually meant was not only the knowledge of the terminology of the given science, but also an immediate recogni­tion of technicalities in the text, which predetermines understanding. These pre-requisites are confined exclusively to the lexical aspect of the language. So it is not the language itself that is special, but certain words or their symbols. This, perhaps, explains the fact that those who know the technical nomenclature of a given science can read and understand scientific texts in a foreign language even with a poor knowledge of its , grammatical structure.

The characteristic features enumerated above do not cover all the peculiarities of scientific prose, but they are the most essential ones.

Последнее изменение этой страницы: 2016-04-19; Нарушение авторского права страницы; Мы поможем в написании вашей работы! Все материалы представленные на сайте исключительно с целью ознакомления читателями и не преследуют коммерческих целей или нарушение авторских прав. Обратная связь - (0.02 с.)