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					Language is a Manipulator
Student Worksheet
You should click on the context links to read the documents listed and fill in the gaps on the worksheet to help you build up an understanding of the features that speakers and
writers use to manipulate your thoughts and behaviours. This list is not an exhaustive one; you may see other examples and language features as you are working through this
exercise. You should record these additional examples/ features at the bottom of your sheet so that you can discuss these with your teacher and your class. 
 

Context                      Example                    Name of feature /             Purpose of the language feature           How is it intended to manipulate?
                                                        description of
                                                        feature
“Dulce et Decorum est”       “we cursed through         Connotative/                  To give a negative image of the           The writer wants his audience to feel sorry
(see                         sludge”                    emotive words                 environment                               for the plight of the soldiers
http://home.cogeco.ca/~
rayser3/dulce.txt)
“Dulce et Decorum est”       “like a devil's sick of    Simile(see                    To create a strong visual image           The writer is using this exaggerated image to
(see                         sin”                       http://www.1upinfo.                                                     try to convince the audience of the total lack
http://home.cogeco.ca/~                                 com/encyclopedia/                                                       of glamour involved in war
rayser3/dulce.txt)                                      S/simile.html)
                                                        Imperatives (see
                                                        http://owl.english.p
                                                        urdue.edu/handout
                                                        s/grammar/g_vmoo
                                                        d.html)
                                                        Strong verbs (see
                                                        http://www.antimoo
                                                        n.com/terms/verb.h
                                                        tm)
“Pride and Prejudice”        “It is a truth             Irony (see                    To mock a social attitude                 Jane Austen is making fun of society‟s
(see                         universally                http://www.1upinfo.                                                     attitude to marriage and she wants us to
http://www.geocities.co      acknowledged, that a       com/encyclopedia/I                                                      laugh at it
m/TimesSquare/Dome/8       single man in             /irony.html)
242/Austen/Pride/Chap1     possession of a large
.htm)                      fortune must be in
                           want of a wife.”
“Pride and Prejudice”      “Mr. Bennet was so                               To characterise
(see                       odd a mixture of….,
http://www.geocities.co    sarcastic humour,
m/TimesSquare/Dome/8       reserve, and caprice
242/Austen/Pride/Chap1     ….She was a woman
.htm)                      of mean
                           understanding
                           ….uncertain temper
Tony Blair’s speech (see   “brutal states”/
http://www.number-         “tyrannical states” /
10.gov.uk/output/Page3     “barbarous rulers”
327.asp)
Tony Blair (see            “deep divisions of        Euphemisms (see
http://www.number-         opinion”/ “disarm him     http://www.wordref
10.gov.uk/output/Page3     by force”/ 
 “deal with   erence.com/english
327.asp)                   present threats with      /definition.asp?en=
                           resolve”                  euphemism)
Tony Blair (see            freedom, democracy,       Abstract nouns
http://www.number-         security                  (see
10.gov.uk/output/Page3                               http://www.chompc
327.asp)                                             homp.com/terms/a
                                                     bstractnoun.htm)
Tony Blair (see            “disorder and chaos”      Collocation (see       To exaggerate
http://www.number-                                   http://www.shunsle
10.gov.uk/output/Page3                               y.eril.net/armoore/l
327.asp)                                             ang/semantics.htm
                                                     #12)
Helen Clark’s speech       “…Resolution 1441         Jargon (see            To suggest knowledge and
(see                       …by unanimous           http://www.arches.u     authority
http://www.beehive.govt.   resolution of the       ga.edu/%7Ebryan/
nz/ViewDocument.cfm?       Security Council”       AAVE/lexicon.html)
DocumentID=16266)
Helen Clark (see           “I regret that a        Passive verbs (see      To avoid naming the agent of the
http://www.beehive.govt.   solution could not be   http://owl.english.p    action
nz/ViewDocument.cfm?       found”
 “…agreement     urdue.edu/handout
DocumentID=16266)          could have been         s/grammar/g_actpa
                           reached..”              ss.html)

Saddam Hussein’s letter    “the criminal           Hyperbole (see          To label the enemy                 Hussein wants to engender hate in his
(see                       Bush/”the infidel,      http://www.1upinfo.                                        audience for Bush
http://www.guardian.co.    criminal, cowardly      com/encyclopedia/
uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,946   occupier”               H/hyperbole.html)
805,00.html)
Saddam Hussein (see        “Resist/ Boycott him”
http://www.guardian.co.
uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,946
805,00.html)
Keith Locke’s statement    “..unleash a murder     Dysphemism (see         To offend or embarrass by a less
(see                       machine…”               http://thestar.com.     sensitive choice of word
http://www.greens.org.n                            my/lifestyle/story.as
z/searchdocs/speech61                              p?file=/2002/11/19/f
27.html)                                           eatures/moe1911)
John le Carre’s essay in   “worse than             Allusion (see
Britain’s Sunday Herald    McCarthyism, worse      http://www.tnellen.c
(see                       than the bay of         om/cybereng/lit_ter
http://www.sundayherald    Pigs….”                 ms/terms/1terms.ht
.com/30700)                                        ml#Allusion)
John Le Carre (see         “the hounding of non-
http://www.sundayherald    national US
.com/30700)                residents…”
Advertisement 1 (see         “Beauty begins with      Alliteration (see      To create a sense of harmony   By repeating the „b‟ sound the advertiser is
http://scriptorium.lib.duk   the skin”                http://www.learn.co.                                  creating a smoothness which is intended to
e.edu/adaccess/BH/BH1                                 uk/default.asp?WCI                                    be transferred to the consumer‟s image of
3/BH1382-150dpi.jpeg)                                 =Unit&WCU=3442)                                       the product
Advertisement 1 (see         “If your skin is         Parallel structure
http://scriptorium.lib.duk   youthful …..correct it
e.edu/adaccess/BH/BH1
3/BH1382-150dpi.jpeg)
Advertisement 2 (see                                  Rhetorical question
http://scriptorium.lib.duk
e.edu/adaccess/BH/BH2
2/BH2255-150dpi.jpeg)
Advertisement 2 (see         “sweet, clean and
http://scriptorium.lib.duk   pure”
e.edu/adaccess/BH/BH2
2/BH2255-150dpi.jpeg)
Winston Peters’ speech       “Clark V Canute”
(see
http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/
content/display_item.ph
p?t=1&i=1096)
Winston Peters (see          “the clinical
http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/   diagnosis… is
content/display_item.ph      megalomania”
p?t=1&i=1096)
Richard Prebble’s press      “gobbledegook”
release (see
http://www.act.org.nz/ite
m.jsp?id=24523)
                                                      Polysyllabic words
                                                      (see
                                                      http://www.wordref
erence.com/English
/definition.asp?en=
polysyllable)
Inclusive pronouns

				
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