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Slide 1

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Language and Power
Features of Power…read more

Slide 2

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· Formality - High levels of formality indicate power in a
text, imply knowledge and can be intimidating.
· Jargon ­ Again shows knowledge of subject and can be
· Complex lexis or grammar ­ Intimidating for people who
may not understand.
· Imperatives ­ Instructions?
· Conditionals ­ Defining "If you do X, Y will happen".
· Use of modal verbs ­ telling someone what they can.
Cannot or must not do.
· Definitions ­ Shows knowledge of the subject ie: "You
qualify for benefits if..."…read more

Slide 3

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Features continued...
· Embedded assumptions ­ ie "You won't want to miss this
· Archaic (old-fashioned) word order
· Metaphorical terms used without comment ie: "A healthy
· Assertions ­ Opinions stated as facts.
· Emotive language ­ Words chosen based on the
message the piece wants to give ie: Saying "Cleansing"
instead of "Mass murder".
· Passive constructions - ie: "Your call will be clamped"
doesn't state who will do it/appears faceless and
unapproachable.…read more

Slide 4

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Features continues...
· Official job titles used
· Impersonal constructions ­ ie "We are closed Sundays"
seems faceless and unapproachable.
· Factual support/citation from others.
· Use of figures/statistics.
· Rhetorical features ­ ie: Lists of three, metaphors,
repetition, parallelism, rhetorical questions.
· Standard English…read more

Slide 5

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And in conversation...
· Mode of address ­ ie: title or first name?
· Conversational dominance ­ Through interruption,
lengthy utterances, topic management and agenda
· Control of other participants' contributions ­ controlling
when they speak and what they speak about.
· Evaluating others' contributions - approving, praising
(positive reinforcement) and ignoring.
· Plus all of the features of power mentioned earlier.…read more


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