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Ministry of Education.

Student Works

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 / description of feature Purpose of the language feature How is it intended to manipulate?

Dulce et Decorum est


“we cursed through sludge” Connotative/ emotive words To give a negative image of the environment The writer wants his audience to feel sorry for the plight of the soldiers
Dulce et Decorum est “like a devil's sick of sin” Simile To create a strong visual image The writer is using this exaggerated image to try to convince the audience of the total lack of glamour involved in war
    Strong verbs    
Tony Blair’s speech “brutal states”/ “tyrannical states” / “barbarous rulers”      
Tony Blair “deep divisions of opinion”/ “disarm him by force”/ 
“deal with present threats with resolve” Euphemisms    
Tony Blair freedom, democracy, security Abstract nouns    
Tony Blair “disorder and chaos” Collocation To exaggerate  
Helen Clark’s speech “…Resolution 1441 …by unanimous resolution of the Security Council” Jargon To suggest knowledge and authority  
Helen Clark “I regret that a solution could not be found”
“…agreement could have been reached..” Passive verbs To avoid naming the agent of the action  
Saddam Hussein’s letter “the criminal Bush/”the infidel, criminal, cowardly occupier” Hyperbole To label the enemy Hussein wants to engender hate in his audience for Bush
Saddam Hussein’s letter “Resist/ Boycott him”      
Keith Locke’s statement “..unleash a murder machine…” Dysphemism To offend or embarrass by a less sensitive choice of word  
John le Carre’s essay in Britain’s Sunday Herald “worse than McCarthyism, worse than the bay of Pigs….” Allusion    
John le Carre “the hounding of non-national US residents…”      
Winston Peters’ speech “Clark V Canute”      
Winston Peters “the clinical diagnosis… is megalomania”      
    Polysyllabic words    
    Inclusive pronouns    

Published on: 08 Dec 2010