Compare the use of language of the two editorials Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 7 July 2017

Compare the use of language of the two editorials

Compare the use of language in the two editorials, considering in particular how far the fact that they were written at different times is reflected in the language of the two texts The two texts are extremely contrasting in their use of language and it is apparent from the dates that they were written as to why this is the case. The first editorial was published in The Daily Mirror (broadsheet) in 1912 and is based upon the fatal disaster of the Titanic. The second editorial was printed in The Sun (tabloid) in 1999 and comments about the train wreck that occurred in the channel tunnel.

The graphological features of each text are quite differing, even though they both have the discourse structure of an editorial. The Titanic article’s text is split unevenly into five conjoined, long paragraphs and is of a slightly smaller font, yet also features significantly more words, indicating a more sophisticated reader. In comparison the article on the train accident has very little text and features each sentence to be a separate paragraph, replicating the format of a list/bullet points.

This makes the text much more accessible to the reader as it can appeal to a wider range of intellects and age groups when considering audience. The article on the Titanic’s only typographical variation of font is the bold, capitalised and center-underlined title “one touch of nature” and also the dropped capital of “Draughtsmen” to begin the editorial, showing that the piece is quite old fashioned in style as a dropped capital is a very traditional technique that dates back to monastery writing.

The article in The Sun however portrays a lot more typographical variation as the beginning, middle and end sentences/words are in a bolded, underlined font and the “Why” for each question as well as the title “The sun says” and the “The” to begin the article are also all bolded and capitalised to add emphasis and focus importance and attention. There is also an italicised sentence that claims “this is clearly not true”, this has most likely been italicised to stress the point of persuasion into agreeing with The Sun’s overall opinion, as this is not a fact so it has to be empathised with for it to gain status as a reputable opinion.

The use of ‘Chunnel’ at the end of The Sun’s article, is a blend word made up of the two words ‘channel’ and ‘tunnel’, indicating a more modern, up to date audience. The Daily Mirror article is extremely descriptive and is much more formal in tone, imitating he narrative of a story as it proceeds in chronological order, referring to the disaster in a poetic manner whilst using long complex and compound sentences to engage the reader and enhance escapism, leading the reader to feel as if they were actually present at the time as they are taken through this journey.

Each sentence is particularly well crafted and precise to also further exemplify that of a story, as there is no spontaneity and the words put in place to capture emotion have been very well structured and created. The ‘story’ is split into four stages of the journey, the first being the planning of the ship, the second the actual building of it, the third the launching of the Titanic and the fourth the sinking.

Even though the ‘sinking’ of the Titanic is supposed to be the main topic of the article as it is the end, shocking result, there is no indication of this when reading through the piece and only after having read the entire article does the title ‘one touch of nature’ seem to fit. This may be for overall impact and to embody the ‘story’ like structure as without preconceptions the reader would not know that this was to be the outcome.

There is a technique of parallelism in the first article which makes up the second paragraph with the sentence ‘work of the disciplined hand was to follow labour of directing mind’ creating a balanced sentence. There is also the literary use of opposites (antithesis) supporting the notion that the text is well crafted with the sentence ‘A permanent population is appointed to live here, with the changing passengers ready to begin the voyage…

‘ the opposite words being ‘permanent’ and ‘changing’ as they juxtapose each other. The vocabulary used is extremely archaic in nature e. g. ‘At once, with formidable din of ringing blow’ and this is reinforced throughout with the high detail of description, whereas in The Sun (the more recent dated newspaper article) it is shown that the main focus is on the actual matter at hand and that becomes the full body of the text, there is very little description to aid it and the purpose and subject is exploited promptly.

The article from The Sun is extremely critical of the fire in the Channel Tunnel and seeks to point blame, acting as if it was someone’s fault whereas in the article on the Titanic, the fault seems to be ‘our stepmother nature’ of whom is a natural occurrence so no blame can physically be put in place. The Sun appears to put the blame on everything but nature – ‘The train’, ‘Eurotunnel’, ‘the driver and train chief’, ‘the staff in general’ and ‘the sophisticated ventilation system’.

The Sun’s article is based upon a ‘near disaster’ where no one died or came to any immediate harm and it acknowledges this within the article ‘happily, everyone survived – but it could all have been so different. ‘ Yet the overall air of it personifies an ‘angry/heated’ tone. Whereas, in the article based on the Titanic, even though masses of people died, there was no blame directed and it was merely accepted as ‘nature’s doing’.

However, this greatly reflects on the period that the article was written as recently, people have been trying to find blame for this great disaster and making assumptions of poor craftsmanship etc, so maybe at the time that the article was published (1912) people were less ready to point blame and more accepting of what they were told.

The Sun seems to demand answers through rhetorical questions (e. g. the constant and bolded use of ‘why’ to highlight six main questions, taking a very direct approach and using a major public campaigning aspect) and proceeds to group the reader into asking these questions themselves through its high use of persuasion and collectives. For example, ‘the one thing everyone feared…

But we were assured… ‘, ‘the public deserves… ‘, all of these sentences are persuading and trying to engage the reader through the use of possessive pronouns ‘we’, ‘our’ and collectives ‘everyone’ and even commenting that the public ‘deserves’ an explanation, taking an extremely personal yet quite informal tone to connect with the reader and attach with their apparent views.

The opening, second heading ‘Black Hole’ is a pun/metaphor which also ends the article and shows how newspaper headlines are written at this present time (they have to be catchy, short and are usually in some form of a pun) as opposed to when The Daily Mirror article was written as the heading mimics a story like title. Overall, the language and techniques used in each editorial greatly highlight and portray their differing published times and although their subjects are quite similar, the portrayal of each is very different through numerous aspects of language and lexical change.

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  • Date: 7 July 2017

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