Publicist style. Newspaper style. Belles-letters style

The literary communication, most often (but not always) materialized in the written form, is not homogeneous, and pro­ceeding from its function (purpose) we speak of different functional styles. As the whole of the language itself, ‘functional styles are also changeable.

Their quantity and quality change in the course of their development. At present most scholars differentiate such functional styles: scientific, official, publicist, newspaper, belles-lettres.

Scientific style is employed in professional communication. Its most conspicuous feature is the abundance of terms denoting objects, phenomena and processes characteristic of some particular field of science and technique. Scientific style is also known for its precision, clarity and logical cohesion which is responsible for the repeated use of such clich?s as: “Proceeding from…”; “As

it was said above…”; “In connection with…” and other lexico-syntactical forms emphasizing the logical connection and interdependence of consecutive parts of the discourse.

Official style, or the style of official documents, is the most conservative one. It preserves cast-iron forms of structuring and uses syntactical constructions and words long known as archaic and not observed anywhere else. Addressing documents and official letters, signing them, expressing the reasons and considerations leading to the subject of the document (letter-all this is strictly regulated both lexically and syntactically. All emotiveness and subjective modality are completely banned out of this style.

Publicist style is a perfect example of the historical change­ability of stylistic differentiation of discourses. In ancient Greece, e.g., it was practiced mainly in its oral form and was best known as oratorio style, within which views and sentiments of the addresser (orator) found their expression. Nowadays

political, ideological, ethical, social beliefs and statements of the addresser are prevailingly expressed in the written form, which was labelled publicist in accordance with the name of the correspond­ing genre and its practitioners. Publicist style is famous for its explicit pragmatic function of persuasion directed at influencing the reader and shaping his views, in accordance with the argumentation of the author. Correspondingly, we find in publi­cist style a blend of the rigourous logical reasoning, reflecting the objective state of things, and a strong subjectivity reflecting the author’s personal feelings and emotions towards the discussed subject.

Newspaper style, as it is evident from its name, is found in newspapers. You should not conclude though that everything published in a newspaper should be referred to the newspaper style. The paper contains vastly varying materials, some of them being publicist essays, some-feature articles, some-scientific reviews, some-official stock-exchange accounts etc., so that a daily (weekly) newspaper also offers a variety of styles. When we mention “newspaper style”, we mean informative materials, characteristic of newspaper only and not found in other publi­cations.

To attract the reader’s attention to the news, special graphical means are used. British and American papers are notor­ious for the change of type, specific headlines, space ordering, etc. We find here a large proportion of dates and personal names of countries, territories, institutions, individuals. To achieve the effect of objectivity and impartiality in rendering some fact or event, most of newspaper information is published anonymously, without the name of the newsman who supplied it, with little or no subjective modality. But the position and attitude of the paper, nonetheless, become clear from the choice not only of subject-matter but also of words denoting international or domestic issues.

Belles-lettres style, or the style of creative literature may be called the richest register of communication: besides its own language means which are not used in any other sphere of commu­nication, belles-lettres style makes ample use of other styles too, for in numerous works of literary art we find elements of scientific, official and other functional types of speech.

Besides informative and persuasive functions, also found in other functional styles, the belles-lettres style has a unique task to impress the reader aesthetically. The form becomes meaningful and carries additional information as you must have seen from previous chapters. Boundless possibilities of expressing one’s thoughts and feelings make the belles-lettres style a highly attractive field of investigation for a linguist.

Speaking of belles-lettres style most scholars almost automati­cally refer to it prose works, regarding poetry the domain of a special poetic style. Viewed diachronically this opinion does not seem controversial, for poems of previous centuries, indeed, adhered to a very specific vocabulary and its ordering.

But poetry of the twentieth century does not show much difference from prosaic vocabulary, its subjects are no more limited to several specific “poetic” fields but widely cover practically all spheres of existence of contemporary man. So it is hardly relevant to speak of a separate poetic style meaning contemporary literature.

Morphological structure of english words.
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