Language Analysis

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In the Opinion Piece “Ban booze-driven boorish behaviour in teens”, published in the Herald Sun on Monday the 3rd of August 2010, radio talk back host John Brown writes about the issue of alcohol abuse amongst teenagers. Brown, in an aggressive and at times emotional tone, argues that the price of alcohol should be increased to stop teenage drinking and that parents should be responsible for the actions of their children. Brown does this through the use of evidence, emotional appeals and attacks. When evidence is used in many forms, readers are persuaded to think a certain way. Firstly, Brown uses expert opinion. He quotes D Lum from the Maroondah hospital and the shocking fact that young children, whilst drunk are being sexually assaulted. This would position his readers, mostly parents to see the dark side of alcohol and teenagers as no parent would want for their teenage child to be sexually assaulted. Secondly he uses statistics. Brown highlights the 300% increase in hospital admissions of drunken teenagers. This would shock his readers and make them more inclined to agree with his perspective. Thirdly he uses anecdotes. Brown recounts on events that he saw after an outing he had with friends. Waiting at the train platform he witnessed highly intoxicated 15 year old boys and girls screaming, fighting and harassing the general public for “spare ciggies”. This further positions the reader by giving them a human angle, making the issue seem more relevant or ‘real’. Browns extensive evidence influences the reader’s opinion on the issue. When readers are emotionally drawn to an issue, they are more inclined to agree with the contention. Firstly, Brown uses a case study to encourage the readers to respond on an emotional level. This is achieved by discussing the tragic incident of 19 year old Brian Naylor, a night out on the town with a few mates is soon ruined by a

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