‘Top gear’ and ‘Classic Cars’ Essay
‘Top gear’ and ‘Classic Cars’
Magazines articles are a very common source of promotion; it has certain ways to reach its audience. Magazine articles on specific products can give help give it positive or negative advertising, so professional opinions on particular products like cars and electronic gadgets, have become increasingly important, it allows the reader to get the information that he wants from a professional, away from all the ‘glamorising’ through its normal advertising. It helps spread a sense of reality to the products which otherwise many people would not see.
From this a new breed of magazines aimed directly and overtly at a male readership, using masculinity as a marketing tool, has increased the popularity of magazines for male men, allowing the writers focus on male dominated interests, like cars sports and women. However certain magazines like Top Gear can be accessible for women although there market has a very high male audience.
For my English Project we have been asked to investigate a particular use of language. I have chosen to look at the content and style of two different stereotypical men’s magazines and to how they reach there target audience. I am going to look at whether the style of the article changes depending on what age it is being advertised to. I will be focusing mainly on the ‘male language’ used in the articles, how the author tries to make it appeal to its target audience. The depth of the content and it style.
I will be looking at two magazines, which stereotypically would have a male audience. An article from a ‘Top Gear’ magazine and one from a ‘Classic Cars’
Text A is a personal opinion and general review of the Porsche 911 GT3. The article on the Porsche 911 GT3 written by Jeremy Clarkson was obtained from a motoring magazine ‘Top Gear’. Being a motoring magazine it clearly defines its audience as those who are interested in cars, which is what top gear revolves round. The magazine it self would attract a male audience of 16-50, due to its general glamorising of cars and comedic value. However it would also interest girls from 16-30 due to its increased popularity on TV and its general over-hype of super cars.
The general articles in the Top Gear magazine, includes many super cars and fast powerful cars. Not really aimed for people who are looking for an average car, although it has the odd standard car. This particular article on the Porsche 911 GT3 will probably be aimed at a male audience of 16-40, specifically at the ‘boy racers’ and men having a ‘midlife crisis’ just wanting to feel younger, as that would be the common target market for a Porsche 911The reason behind this is that Porsche are seen as fast and powerful cars. He would be aiming to informing the reader about the car, and trying to persuade the reader by reviewing it. he also has to provide entertainment for the readers who may follow the show aswell.
Text B is a report on the Hackett Beaujolais Runs, which includes a selection of cars and people involved in the Hackett Beaujolais Run, a charity race that takes place in France, written by Mike Goodbun, obtained from a another motoring magazine, but specialising in older cars, and not the typical cars of this generation. The magazine itself would attract an older readership, possibly of 40-60, linking back to when these cars had been made so that the readers can relate to the article and the people in it.
It would be directed at a male audience, which can be seen by the magazine itself through the consistent use of men in the magazine. The magazine has a lot of older cars that are seen as benchmarks in the car industry, like the 1967 Mercedes-Benz ‘Pagoda’ or the DeLorean DMC12, The car from ‘Back to the Future’, which can help attract a wider audience. This particular magazine article, would suit the main target audience of the magazine, readers around 40-60, from when the event started in relation to the age of the readers. The author’s main aim would be to inform the readers about the event, and about the cars that were used at the event.
Aims and Hypothesis
I already have perceived ideas about what I will find in my investigation, but I am hoping to find out if my predictions are true. I am comparing how the language in both of these articles reaches their target audience and how it can be seen it is a male related topic. I am expecting to find a lot of stereotyping within the advertisements; the car would be advertised as fast, powerful machines and the technical terminology used to reach a male audience.
I will also be exploring what kind of impression they give to their target audience and whether the language alters depending on the audience and how the cars are perceived
I predict that Text B, will have a significant use of technical terminology and will be more formal not only due to the widespread popularity of Top Gear, who have to aim at a wider audience, from a younger to and older audience, but also down to the fact they are both targeted at a different age group, with very different views on cars. This will then help me see how they aim to reach and make it accessible for their target audience through language choices. I also expect to find the Text B would be more drawn to focusing on the cars and being focusing on the cars whereas Text A will rely more on entertainment than facts.
For my investigation I decided to analyse two stereotypical male articles looking at the language. I decided to go with a magazine which on certain aspects can relate to a female audience but generally has a high male audience, and then look at a magazine which is aimed directly and clearly at an older male readership although may interest some of the younger audience
The more neutral magazine, I picked was Top Gear as it allows me to see how authors try and make it appeal to a wide audience, although it clearly has a high male audience due to its topic. The other magazines I picked was more difficult, I picked a magazine which was genuinely linked to an older target readership, possibly one of 40-60. For this I picked ‘Classic Cars’ as, both magazines aim to provide the reader with information on cars which each generation can enjoy. The younger audience more interested in speed and beauty, whereas an older obviously interested in speed, but would interested in its history and what it represents for them. ‘Classic cars’ seemed to fit with the target audience of the article I was looking for.
From this, I will begin my analysis by working through both articles and annotating both of the articles, looking at the male discourse features and other linguistic features linked to males. I will look at the discourse structure and how the article is relevant to my investigation.
I will use the following levels of language:
* Graphology – this will show me what kind of images they use for to appeal to their target audience. Whether the overall layouts of men’s magazines in general, assert a sense of masculinity and affect the stereotypical readership.
* Lexis – this will enable me to look at why certain words and phrases are used, and what effect they have. The lexis used will help me identify male speech in both the articles and how they appeal to their audience.
* Grammatical and syntax – a very important part of my investigation, this will show how sentence structures generally will affect readers and how they affect the male audience.
* Semantic – this will tell me what kind of connotations the language in the article suggests, and whether it is focusing on a specific topic in the article.
* Orthography – Looking at the Spelling and punctuation and how it affects the reader.
Text A, the Jeremy Clarkson article on the Porsche 911 GT3, is printed in Black and white, giving it a very sophisticated and serious look to it. It brings out a darkness of the article which seems to be hidden. The picture of Jeremy Clarkson in the right hand corner of the page, which is the most eye catching feature in the article, helps brings out a sense mysteriousness and subterfuge to the article and at the same time keeping the look very simplistic, he seems to have a look of old frail look possibly to emphasises wisdom, as this is a topic that he can relate to.
The rest of his body in shadow also helps create a sense of mysteriousness and makes it very spy-like. He has a very sophisticated look, at the same time keeping a very serious look, maintaining the view that men regard topics like cars and sports very important. From the way he looks, very smart but casual at the time, with a look of wisdom to himself, and looks like he know what he is on about, it can appeal to his target audience which would set out to be a male reading audience of 16-40. Also Jeremy Clarkson looking directly at the reader with a thoughtful expression engages the reader and brings the reader towards the article.
The proper noun ‘Clarkson’ to the left of the page, in very simplistic writing gives makes it very formal and gives him a sense of authority, and a voice of authority make him much more powerful, this way setting him apart from the reader and can be quite intimidating. Also the quote in the middle of the page, “my relationship with this brain-child of Hitler” in large writing, sets out the importance of that specific line. Making reference to Hitler, a controversial historic figure engages the reader’s interest to the article, making them want to know what the author is talking about.
In Text B, Mike Goodbun article on the Hackett Beaujolais Run, the article is positioned over two back to back pages, possibly already showing the lack of importance of it, by not giving a full two page display. The first page is laid out in a very simple manner, as the target audience for this article would perhaps be more interested in the content rather than the display. The picture of The AC Cobra just above the middle of the page is very symbolic in the nature that it is a representative of British cars, as well as American ‘muscle’ cars.
It is the gentlemen’s sports car, and has a touch of sophistication to it, and clearly associate it with an older market, as younger readers would be more interested in fast and powerful cars like the Porsche in Text A. In the centre of the page is the title ‘Wine, women & sports cars’, highlighting what men stereotypically hold important as conversational points. ‘Wine’ in place of alcohol in general, however wine adds a sense of sophistication and class, focusing and reinforcing the’ Gentlemen’ target audience.
The next page tells the reader what the occasion is all about, the race, the route, the guy in the picture with a funny wig, marks the occasion, as does the wine bottle and the sports car, it represents what the race it hold and advertises it for other people to get involved, the next year. Furthermore the quote I the middle of the page highlights the stand out of the race ‘we have a mini-convoy of Cobra, Elise and 550 Maranello.’ Associating this with the race will put the race in better light to the audience and hopefully take part in it.
Both are very simplistic, and look unfussy, yet it allows them to draw the readers in through this technique.
The extract taken from Top Gear magazine on the Porsche 911 GT3 uses a lot of informal language. However the picture he presents of himself gives the text a sense of seriousness, ‘Engle’ noted men regarded their topics as more serious and important and for this fact; the lexis used has a lot of bearing to it, “…as good as any Ferrari and at a whisker…” Men would regard his opinion highly, from what he is trying to put through. The first line on the top of the page ‘is the original always the best, ponders Clarkson?’ Also gives it a sense of formality and seriousness, by posing a question which involves the reader, and clearly sets out to be controversial as this would bring divided opinions. It also brings out the overall topic of what he’s going to write about.
The text also uses a lot of informal lexis like ‘offering brain pate and crackers to all and sundry’ and ‘in a shit am going to die sort of way’ as this suits the primary audience of males between 16-40. The language he uses helps him reach his target audience and relate to them better, it is important that he is seen as one of them as well as a professional so that his opinions are valued, and the use of humour and taboo language, being funny and anecdotal with a serious topic allows him too reach his audience, although this would be seen as a serious topic, it is important that he doesn’t impose his opinions on the reader, and this goes opposite of what male men are meant to do, to be competitive and show they are right. This shows that the Jeremy Clarkson has a purpose with the language he is using; it helps attract the reader in to his article, and relate to them and in turn informing them.
Contractions can be found in this text quite often. He uses it in different parts of the extract, ‘he’d sawn the…’ and ‘I’ve always enjoyed…’ giving it a sense of discourse which makes it sound a little informal as the text is in first person and this will let him say how he feels and talk about his own experience, this will help him appeal and engage the reader, as it is easier for the easier to read an focus on the article itself. By doing this, it also helps Jeremy express his feeling and actions easily to his audience.
Moreover the use of colloquialisms helps evoke a feeling of informality, and this informality helps him relate to his target audience, and make the article more attractive and interesting for the reader, as more formal language may be off putting.. In the text they come in as a form of slang like ‘biggish’ and ‘wiggled’, the words do not have to be used by males but the informality will helps his relate to them as being one of them and making sure he doesn’t force a difference between him and his readers, using slang and colloquialism socially will help the readers attention. Keeping topic interesting and to the point will allow Jeremy dominance as he’s not flouting the maxims, and therefore keeping the readers attention.
In this text a lot of car related jargon can be identified, words like ‘gearbox’, ‘Michelins’ and ‘traction’ are used which are directly linked to cars and its different aspects. The purpose behind this is that it identifies the subject of the content, and the reader can see this clearly. This simply links the text back to its social context and informs the audience about the main topic of the text.
Text B, the article on the Hackett Beaujolais Run, is informal to an extent but is much more complex than the Jeremy Clarkson article; due to the audience they are both trying to aim at. The title ‘Wine, women and sports cars’, highlights what men stereotypically hold important as conversational points. The use of these words expresses masculinity as it is what men not women talk about more often. The cars semantic field again reinforces what find important in conversational topics. There is a mixture if informal text and formal, appealing to its readers who would be much more mature and older than the Top Gear readers. ‘The kind of road you wouldn’t take a tractor down…’ and ‘The Cobra’s open Cockpit makes for an invigorating ride…’
A lot of different types of jargon and specialist vocabulary can be found in this extract that help describe the race. Geographical terms are used, mostly names of places such as ‘Beaujeu’ ‘Macon’ and ‘Great Ormand’. These proper nouns are found throughout the entire text and are used to take the audience along with him on the race from one place to another and to provide greater details of where he has been and where he is going.
In this text a lot of car related jargon and technical language can be identified, words like ‘2000 RPM’, ‘Ferrari’ and ‘bonnet’ are used which are directly linked to cars and its different aspects. There is certainly more use of technical language in this article, as the author is not aiming at a wider audience as Jeremy Clarkson is in the Top Gear Magazine, It allows the author to focus on readers who are interested in the car and its different aspects. The use of technical language simply links the text back to its social context and informs the audience about the main topic of the text.
The language the author uses helps the author keep the reader informed of the events, and makes it more interesting by giving important information. The jargon and specialist terminology is clearly needed as a lot of readers would expect this from a car magazine, with an Audience who have more interested in details of cars than entertainment.
The use of the proper noun, Clarkson brings about a sense of authority and with a voice of authority makes him much more powerful. The use of just his surname Clarkson helps him set apart from the reader, as it brings about a public school education, which gives him a sense of importance and respect from the reader.
Some of the proper nouns used in text A, also make the article seem very dark and murderous, using ‘Hannibal Lecter’, the character from the ‘Silence of the Lambs’, gives it very dark connotations, when relating back to the context of the article it would seem that the author would refer to the Porsche as very dark and possibly murderous, emphasising that the car in generally is not very normal, as the Porsche 911 GT3 looks very different from a typical Porsche, and its monstrosity with its sheer power and speed may attract the target audience to the car. Referring to Hannibal Lecter, helps him put out the car itself is monstrous, cars which are said to be dark and murderous, also emphasises the speed of the car, that the Porsche could actually kill the driver, which would interest the ‘boy racers’ interested in the car.
To associate Hitler, controversial historic figure, with the car, makes the car seem very dark and gives the same connotations as would Hannibal Lecter, and would keep the reader’s interest in the article. Using James bond, helps gives the reader an imaginative approach to the Porsche; it suggests the Porsche being sophisticated, adventurous, and glamorous. Using James Bond and Hannibal Lecter, bring about glam and evil feel to the article and would attract a male audience generally and sums up the male psyche. Although both of these not having much relation to the Porsche at the beginning shows that he has been given a certain freedom to write as well as fitting in perfectly.
The use of Gloucestershire and London, sets the place of the article, and gives the reader a bit of background knowledge of the car. Both of these can be seen as good target markets for the Porsche.
The use of the proper noun ‘Godfather’ and ‘Mad Max 2: Road Warrior’ also suggests aggressive connotations, the Godfather is symbolic in Italian mafia, where ‘The Godfather’ is seen as the leader, the most important person, the one that everyone looks up to and the one respected. The movie is also seen to be as one of the best of all time, and using this is the article shows that Jeremy does clearly respect the car, although he doesn’t like Porsche cars. The use of ‘Road Warrior’ specifically warrior has connotations of a fighter, some who will fight for good and helps associate bravery and courage to this car. Using the topic of movies helps Jeremy attract a wider audience, than if he had just talked about cars. The use of movies as a starting point helps make the article appeal to a wider audience, and is used as an entertaining read.
A lot of the common nouns used are for is technical language related to car jargon specifically to do with cars. The noun used the most was ‘car’, which is expected as the main topic of the article is the Porsche 911. Other nouns that are found often are all hyponyms under this theme, like ‘tyres’, ‘wheel’ and ‘gearbox’. This car semantic field also links back to the content and the context of the article and lets the reader know what the main topic of the article is.
The article also has a semantic field of murder and killing as this will attract his target audience and again sums up the male psyche. The author is trying to link the semantic field of the article with the car and that it can be extremely dangerous. It builds up a sense of fear and associates it with the car. Common nouns like ‘murder’ and ‘death’ gives these connotations.
Furthermore the use of ‘villain’, ‘terrorist’ and ‘brainchild’ all give negative connotations. In essence it brings out the dark side in the car, the use of terrorist give connotations of violence and killing, whish goes with the semantic field of the article perfectly. Moreover ‘brainchild’, implicates cloning of something. In this context emphasises the darkness in the article, it associates it with Hitler and makes it a product of his thinking and work, therefore as Hitler was seen to be evil this would mean the same for the car. Doing this it makes thae article much more interristing, and helps entertain the reader by using, non-significant but very contreversial and interesting topics.
Clarkson also uses a few similes ‘…but I find them as emotionless as limestone’. He uses very vivid associations. This simile attaches negative connotations, he’s giving his opinion on how he feels about the car, that he thinks it’s not very exciting and the cars themselves (as he is talking about Porsche in general) do don’t jump out at the reader as may other cars do. Also he uses a simile to describe the car, ‘a spoiler big enough to serve as a landing strip for a small aircraft.’ This allows him to emphasise the size of the spoiler and the car itself, he is describing as a sports car, and not a car for that self loving, business man who just want to look sophisticated.
In Text B, the proper noun, ‘Beaujolais Noveau’, a French wine made in 1973, expresses a deal of sophistication to the text, stereotypically, the French culture is seen to be romantic and sophisticated. Its sets up the tone of the article with a sense of sophistication and sets it apart from the readers in Text A. Its repetition creates cohesion in the text sets its history and importance in the article.
The use of ‘Ferrari’ also gives positive connotations, it is seen as one of all time classics or a modern age super car, either way it sheer class is admired by all and would attract a lot of the readers by using a popular modern day super car. This would be the author trying to make is accessible for a wider audience, although not to the extent of Text A which uses a different topic. The use of Ferrari, with its power and speed, would interest the male audience. Then the use of ‘Ac Cobra ‘, a classic British car, is symbolic to the readers, being a English car emphasises is importance by the author and by its repetition, even though it is not one of the best cars in the article, the audience may be able to relate to it, as it could be a car that is seen to be admired by the reader. The repetition of ‘English’ emphasises this.
The proper nouns, ‘James Bond’, ‘Scooby Doo’ and ‘Batman’ shows the child side to it, its stressing the point of it being a charity and just for fun, as does the use of ‘Damon Hill’ and ‘Steve Berry’, possibly used to gain the readers interest, it suggests enjoyment and exuberance of the people taking part, showing the readers who is involved in the charity event. This allows readers to see the enjoyment and the author trying to make it an enjoyable read. His main focus is trying to emphasise the fun in the charity race, and possibly attracting potential contestants.
Like Text A, the article includes a lot of car information, related specifically to the cars. The noun used the most was ‘car’, which underline the main topic of the article, and an aim to reach his target audience. I also found hyponyms under this theme, like ‘seat’, ‘windscreen’ and ‘dashboard’, all ordinary but necessary to attract his target audience. The light hearted and fun semantic field is emphasised, by the use of ‘women’, ‘wine’, and ‘pleasure’ it underlines it as a fun event, all in the name of charity, to attract the audience to the article and maybe the event next year and can be seen as a subtle advertisement to the readers, not for the target market but the general public.
There were a lot of adjectives in text A which is to be expected in a review for a magazine as he is expressing his opinion, its gives a better understanding to the reader and it helps give better detail and vivid images thus a better understanding of the context and setting. The most common adjective in this text was ‘new’, it relates back to Porsche emphasising it as a new car.
This is why people look to him for information on the car, and why this attracts the reader to the article. The use of ‘exotic’ and ‘glamorous’, to describe places, both give very positive connotations and seems to go against the article, which has made it to seem very dark and murderous, but then relates to the association with James Bond. However the use of ‘nasty’ and ‘horrid’ contradicts what has been said, which shows he has mixed opinions on the Porsche, which is further shown by ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘exciting.’ It shows that he clearly isn’t a big fan of Porsches, which he has said in the article, and may not be giving credit where it is due.
Moreover he uses ‘white’ to describe the car towards the end of the article, white represents purity and possibly good, and it is a bit ironic that under the dark and subterfuge semantic field he describes the Porsche in this way and shows he might have changed his opinion on the car as his day went on.
‘…Emma Fitzgerald-Lombard have sized-up the back seat of the white 911…’ The use of ‘white’ to describe the 911 in Text B , like in text A, highlights the importance of that car specifically, white holds the connotations of good, this fits in perfectly as it is the only female team in the competition, helping them stand out to the reader. The further use of ‘sculptured’ gives connotations of beauty and what a lot of the male audience would associate with beauty and cars. It helps gives to the reader a better description of the car itself and attracts readers to the topic in conversation.
The use of ‘wet’ and ‘uncomfortable’ sets the weather and feeling of the article, it’s this that makes the race interesting, and forces people to take part. Although the weather may not be appealing this makes the race more appealing. This may be ways to attract more readers or possibly more people to enter the competition.
The adjective ‘frenzied’, at the end of the article, helps put out to the reader how the audience feel, and has connotations of excitement, over the event. It also implies that a lot of people had come to see in the crowds, and puts it out to be a big event. From this it can be seen the author thinks it is the perfect market to aim the product at.
Overall the adjectives in Text A, describe it as dark setting and fits to entertain and inform the reader, the adjectives help target a wider audience, whilst Text B gives the reader a lot of information, on the event, setting a classy and fun semantic field both of these help relate to the audience in hand, and from the adjectives used it can be seen it is a more of a male audience he is looking for. Text A informs as well as entertain the reader, Text B, informed the reader and uses more description of what had happened, allowing both audiences to relate to the article. The article allows a certain amount of fun to be seen and can help with a subtle advertisement.
Some of the verbs play under the dark and murderous semantic field. Words like ‘kill’ and ‘die’ give very negative connotations and plays with the whole setting of the article and fit the semantic field of the article. This further is setting the audience to think one way of the car, although the end he changes this way of thinking.
The verb used most often in text A is ‘like’, very simple and childlike. Which doesn’t fit in the dark setting that Jeremy Clarkson has put in place, he doesn’t want to force the reader to struggle with reading his article as this may put them off. The setting seems very negative so the use of ‘like’ contradicts this feeling, which emphasises the positive view he holds the car in.
Furthermore the use of ‘admired’ provides positive connotations and has given it his approval. It also shows he may be resentful in giving a better compliment, dues to his general dislike for Porsche cars, which is duly noted in the article. Most of the verbs used were in the past tense which is done with an aim to simply fulfill the purpose of the text to inform the audience of actions that have took place but switches to the present tense when talking about driving the car. There are also quite a few present participles in this text such as ‘vomiting” to put the event in motion, make it more realistic and therefore keeping the readers interest.
There were a few modal auxiliary verbs in this text such as ‘could’ and ‘would’. The most common one used in this text is ‘would’. These modal auxiliaries give a sense of possibility but also uncertainty. Over all Jeremy is generally very assertive and confident and rarely expresses doubt, this shows he know what he is on about, which is why people respect his opinions and look for his articles.
The verb repeated the most in Text B, is ‘turn’, as it involves the race and put in to perspective, they have to use the shortest route they can, and turning before others plays a huge part on the race, its emphasizes it importance by it repetition. Text B, involves verbs like ‘pursuing’ relating to the view, that cars are seen as important of their lives, to try and achieve there goals. The further use of ‘slithering’ gives a snake-like view on the car, and helps describe its characteristics, in being very slick and quick.
In text A I found a few adverbs that were used to describe a verb, like in the phrase, ‘shouty styling’ where the adverb ‘shouty’, although not a real word, showing again his freedom to write, and use of slang to reach his audience, is used to support the adjective ‘styling’. It places extra emphasis on the verb and makes it stand out to the reader. The use of ‘worst’ then places the car in a negative context, but shows his clear dislike for Porsche cars.
Text B allows the author to emphasise his point. The adverbs in Text B were linked with distance, with ‘longest’ and ‘shortest’ helping the readers understand the charity race.
Text A uses a lot of personal pronouns to provide facts and information to the reader – they are a lot in first person, as stories about the authors are generally always written in first person like ‘I’ and ‘me’. There were also pronouns in second and third person, allowing Jeremy to bring the reader in and help them relate to him, words like ‘he’, ‘we’ and ‘you’. The use of ‘we’ and ‘you’ particularly bring the reader in to the article as he tries to share his experience with the reader, bringing in the reader in to the article, helps him fulfilling his aims and purpose of entertaining the reader, making it more realistic and then helps the reader relate to his audience.
The most common pronoun which was used was ‘I’ and creates cohesion in the text; there is a significant use of personal pronouns rather than possessive pronouns. This shows the author is trying to keep the reader interested through out the article. Personal pronouns will help the reader make a judgement themselves instead of being forced an opinion. It depend on how he perceives his audience and his purpose in the article, his purpose is to inform rather than persuade, as many articles in the magazine are, as people interested in the car would not be put off by an article.
Text B uses the subjective pronoun ‘it’, at a more frequent rate in to the article, the author focuses on the object a lot more than the people, focusing on the important part of the article and keeping the readers interested. The use of ‘I’ brings the author in to the article, while ‘we’ and ‘you’ bring the readers in to the article, forcing them to take part, and making it much more interesting.
Grammar & Syntax
In text A there is more or less an equal share of simple, complex and compound sentences. This is well suited to the audience as it would make it easier to understand. The use of simple sentences like ‘Or was he eaten by a pig?’ It lays focus on the verb ‘eaten’, which has nothing in relation to the car topic, but it allows him to make small anecdotal comments to make the reading more entertaining. Complex and compound sentences both allow the delivery of information easily through fluent and easy to structure of the sentence, and helps the reader keep focus on what is being said. ‘So you get a roll cage instead of back seats and a massive fuel tank…’
However, I noticed looking more closely at the syntax that most of the sentences in this text are declarative sentences. This is very effective in fulfilling the purpose of the text, to inform the reader by giving him the facts of the car in a clear and authoritative way, settings his view apart. A declarative sentence helps the author give and inform the reader, and doesn’t really force the reader in to the article as he is merely informing the reader. An example of a declarative sentence would be ‘I’ve always enjoyed driving them and always admired there quality but I find them as emotionless as Limestone.’ These declaratives also effectively help give a good in-depth account of every little detail, which is why people turn to articles such as this.
He also uses interrogative sentences, as he is posing questions to the reader, although a lot are merely rhetorical, in order to bring the reader in to the article and helps the reader feel more part of the article so that they can relate to it better. It can also make the reader think and keeps their interest in the subject matter, on the question he is posing. ‘Is the original always the best, ponders Clarkson?’
There is little evidence of imperative and exclamative sentences, which shows he is not trying to force himself or his opinions on the reader, and is trying to relate to his audience
Text A is more or less in the present tense, with the verbs having -ing endings, this helps the Text feel much more dynamic and positive, it gives a feel of Jeremy’s opinions. It is a tactic to help emphasise the dynamic characteristics of the car, its power and speed. For example, “exciting” “buying” and “going.”
In text B there is considerably more complex and compound sentences in the article. The lack of simple sentences defines the audience so as not to make the article sound so childish. Where as the use of complex and compounds helps the author to give more information and blocks to the reader, this helps the article to be aimed at a much more mature audience who want to know the details, emphasising how the author is trying to make it appeal to his target audience. “The Scroots Cobra was the first CRS built and has a 225bhp fuel…”
Also in text B, there are a lot more declaratives, ‘there’s no prize money or speed…’ helping to deliver the information to the reader, again very useful in its purpose as it can be used to inform the reader. A few imperatives are also used in the text, ‘turn right, now…’ helping the audience understand what the race involved and it was co-ordinated, to give a better feel of the race, and a taste for potential participants next year. The lack of interrogative sentences showed, the authors aim to merely inform the reader of the event and not an aim to question the race in any sort of way.
One of the most important aspects of an article is the first line. The first line ‘I CAN’T QUITE REMEMBER…’ is used to catch the attention of the reader. It will stand out to the reader and will draw him to the article; this is another way Jeremy Clarkson has looked to draw the reader to the article. Starting off-topic will also help him make it accessible to a wider audience, some of whom may not be able to relate to the main topic.
He also uses Italics for the names of certain proper nouns, ‘Thunderball’, ‘Casino Royale,’ and ‘the Sunday Times.’ This helps him emphasise its importance, however it all fits in later on in the article. He used the movies in Italics to separate it from the main topic but it has a certain relation to the Porsche, as does the mentioning of the Sunday times. Jeremy Clarkson uses italics to help him focus on aspects of his article, to help the reader have a better understanding of his introduction of other topics.
The use of commas in betweens the sentences helps deliver the information to the reader easily, and will make it much easier for all the readers, making it a easier read makes it more accessible to all kinds of people, which Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear are aiming at, as it a major show what’s important is ratings from the public..
Text B uses a lot of quotations to make the race an active part of the article ‘turn right. Now’ making the article more interesting for the reader. Making the article active and relating it to the race helps make the reader feel it’s going on, and is more entertainment value while informing the reader. There also is a use of italics in the article, but for a different reason to Text A. The author uses italics when the word in related to the wine, this bring a sense of sophistication as he is emphasising the wine and attracts the audience he is aiming at. Furthermore like Text A, he also uses commas in between the sentences helps deliver the information to the reader easily, and will make it much easier for the readers.
Both of these articles are used as subtle advertisements and seem to attract and entice the reader to buy or to get involved with the race. It has certain techniques to bring the reader in to the articles.
The conclusion I have drawn from this investigation is that in many instances both writers have certain techniques, in an aim to attract their audience. Text A uses very obvious techniques trying to stand out to the reader and to draw the reader in to the article. Text B uses a conservative approach in order to bring the audience to the article, by the use of gentle colours and giving it a sense of sophistication. This helps it attract an audience they are aiming for.
Also what I found in Text A is that the Porsche seemed to have advertised as something evil, to emphasise its speed in relation to how it could kill you, which is an attractive prospect in fast cars. Whilst Text B relates to the cars involved with generic terms of speed, like ‘thunder’. It helps attract the audience they are aiming for and both articles have a clear aim to reach a male audience relating to the language used. Another one of my aims was proved upon, as Text B uses a lot of Technical language related to cars, 225 BHP. It focuses on the cars, and the beauty behind the car, i.e. sculptured although that it not the main topic of the article. The language use is much more complex and difficult than Text B, as the author was only appealing to a certain audience, whereas the Jeremy Clarkson article has a wider audience he can aim for and can attract.
Both articles were interesting reads, and both have certain characteristics, Text A is good for entertainment value and will help engage the reader to the article, and aimed at a wider audience who seem to be interested in modern day fast cars. It can also be said this type of article can be seen merely as entertainment for, and an escape for, the heterosexual male. Text B, however is aimed at someone who appreciates car and is interested in being part of something important, it may not interest the wide audience but however it brings about class and sophistication that Text A doesn’t come close to.
All in all I felt my investigation was a successful one; as I went on to prove my aims although there were many aspects that I could’ve improved upon. I felt I could have improved on time management, as I should have focused on the aspects that I felt I had to write about, and not have started to annotate the whole article, which was very time consuming.
The investigation is not a full representation of men’s car magazines, which means the analysis may not be totally fair as it only looks at a few magazines out of a very long range. I could have taken a larger sample and used more magazines, with differentiating characteristics like Nuts and GQ, which give a different view on men’s products than both these magazines. This would have allowed me to have a much broader and fair analysis. These would’ve been targeted to a different audience, although it may have been time consuming.
A further investigation could be done contrasting articles written by male and female authors, possibly about cars or maybe branching out to other products. This was the first idea that I thought up, however it was extremely difficult to find a car review in a magazines, written by a women for women. It would be interesting to see what king of language each of the authors use to appeal to a certain audience, and how women and men review cars.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 5 October 2017
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