Exercise 9: Let’s try some good old-fashioned respect? pp. 36-7
It is a problem-solution style of argument: the introductory example shows the scale of the problem and prepares readers for the solution-style contention: that transport officials must implement quiet carriages for consumers.
- The editor advocates the implementation of designated quiet carriages for consumers.
- The editors contend that the system should protect standards of common decency in public places.
- The editor criticises those who impinge upon/undermine the peace and privacy of the majority of commuters.
Construction of argument:
- real-life example (of the “scuffle”) to foreground the frustration of noise-related travellers; the reference to international case studies in order to compare their effectiveness; the editor believes that the Salzburg model is more effective than the Boston model which only works to police “peak hour times” (the purpose: to show that the problem is universal and widespread; and leads to hostility in many cities)
- The reference to independent MP : Trogan to lend weight to the desire for peace/reinforce the editor’s principles. (purpose to show importance and respect for others)
- Comparative depictions of commuters: those who like peace and those who make noisy phone calls (purpose – to build a wedge/ or divisions among commuters)
Key persuasive/reasoning strategies and impacts:
- Appeals/values: the editor appeals to common decency/respect and peace and privacy
- Attacking devices: discrediting/criticising passengers who undermine/jeopardise/ infringe other people’s right to privacy
- The comparison also with the Salzburg model shows that the problem is widespread and that it is possible to implement solutions that respect people’s rights to privacy.
Quotes/word level; the lady’s “loud and intrusive phone call”; the lady was “hounded off the train”; “do not give a stuff about others”; “like-minded commuters”; they are welcome to enjoy noise “but in their own space”. ; “we are not surprised” (inclusive language to reflect the editor’s views and values about respect and decency in society/spokesperson for proprietary)
Purpose: such people are inconsiderate; self-indulgent and disrespectful.
Metalanguage: comparisons; depictions of disrespectful commuters; the editor’s upstanding and admonishing tone: authoritative, trustworthy (spokesperson for community standards and the common good).
Comment: Teens doing their bit (by Ave Peter) p. 36
Ms Peter contends that we should have more confidence in the younger generation who are underestimated; they often perform spontaneous acts of decency.
- Appeals : common decency and respect; fairness
- Reasoning strategies/evidence: real-life example of the young students on the 101 tram; encourages us to challenge the stereotype of the disrespectful and self-indulgent student (purpose: to praise their kindness/talents)
- Words/quotes: “placed his banana peel in the bin”; “rubbish strewn on the footpath”
Metalanguage; the author defends; praises; extols the virtues of ; she encourages us to recognise/respect/ acts of kindness and decency; respect; solicitous and praise-worthy tone; she commends the actions of the young adults
Paragraph practice: the editorial
Adopting an upstanding tone, the editor advocates the introduction of “quiet-carriages” on suburban trains to cater for the needs of all commuters. By referencing the recent “scuffle” and by drawing upon recognised international models, this editor becomes the authoritative and moral spokesperson for all commuters through their emphasis on equal rights. In a problem-solution style of argument, the editor encourages transport policy officials and commuters alike to recognise that the “quiet-carriage” solution would satisfy the needs of both those deserving peace, who would wish to “read their novel after a hard day’s work” and those who would like to travel in a noisier and more vocal fashion. Many commuters would be alarmed at the divisive nature of the “scuffle” and the potential for aggression, as evident in the lady being “hounded” off the train. Specifically, the editor distances their proposal from the “self-policing” Boston model on the grounds that it is only a temporary “peak hour” solution. They expect their audience to realise that such a model is not as effective as their proposed ‘quiet carriage’ solution which also operates in Salzburg, and which better satisfies the needs of a larger cohort of commuters. The colloquial depiction of commuters who “don’t give a stuff” is designed to create a divisive reaction among those who support the Independent MP’s desire to travel in a peaceful environment free of the competing “chorus of mobile phone calls”. The solution – that noisy commuters can “click with like-minded people” – appears to be sensible under the circumstances and the editor expects widespread support among commuters and transport policy officials for separate carriages.
The comparative paragraph: Ms Ave Peters cross-referenced with the editorial
If the editor draws upon a disconcerting and alarming “scuffle” to foreground the increasingly boisterous nature of many commuters, Ave Peter defends the values of younger commuters and their genuine and heartfelt “display of manners”. Challenging the stereotypical image of a careless and selfish young adult, which seems to be the case in the editor’s example, Ms Pete uses her own real-life experience to encourage us to see young adults as genuinely compassionate and respectful. In particular, one young adult was “the first” to give a “pregnant lady” a seat which suggests some old-fashioned manners. The rubbish episode, such as “placing his banana peel in the bin” and “picking up some of the neighbouring rubbish strewn on the footpath”, also shows that they are also mindful of their duty towards the street environment. This contrasting depiction seeks to overturn our suspicions and leaves commuters in no doubt that we should be more trusting and tolerant of younger adults.
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