What to look for in texts demonstrating power

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  • Created by: Sophie
  • Created on: 20-04-13 15:52

Try identify the words and phrases that signify the power or authority of a text. 
Authority may be signalled by a verb ("This certifies that..."), a signature, a promise or a combination of such things.
Docunments can possess an instrumental power: they prove something, enable you to do something, go somewhere or get in. Lose them, fail to sign them, let them get out of date, and if not actually in trouble, you will be incovenienced.

  • Discourse: Participants can demonstrate power by their control of discourse. 
  • Standard/non-Standard language: Generally the use of English language will create prestige; therefore public texts usually use SE.
  • Specialist lexis: The author can convey expertise through specialist language.
  • Terms of address: Participants may be addressed by professional


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