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; challenges and exposes stereotypes;
Example 9, a, Teens doing their bit, p. 36
Adopting a solicitous tone, Ave Peter defends the reputation of younger commuters and commends their genuine acts of good-will and heartfelt “display of manners”. At the basis of this key argument are her personal observations that challenge the stereotype of young adults as selfish and uncaring . Aimed particularly at the “oldies” in her audience, she encourages them to reflect upon their biased and possibly flawed assumptions and have “more faith in the younger generation” who can be very thoughtful. The fact that one student “gave up his seat to the pregnant lady” and another who went out of his way to “place his banana peel in the bin” implores such readers to see the young adults as socially and environmentally engaged — one also “made sure that she (the pregnant lady) alighted the tram a few stops later”. Ms Peters thereby seeks to shame and marginalise those who are suspicious and quick to typecast and pre-judge the teenagers. The depiction of these “heart-warming” moments leaves commuters in no doubt that we must give “congratulations” to these “fine young boys” and be more trusting and tolerant of younger adults. She thereby praises those young adults who are a “credit to their parents and to their school” and she expects that people will give them due respect.