Jan 4.15 10 November 2019
- I have finally got around to uploading my photos
- from Thailand. I decided to split them up into two
- posts as I took a zillion photos. Thailand is
- definitely a fabulous holiday on the cheap, but my
- lord MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR SHOTS!!!
- My ex-boyfriend Julius and I didn’t. I was sick
- within 6 hours and he was sick within 5 days.
- On the up side I lost 4kg in 11 days, on the
- downside I was too tired to shop properly or take
- full advantage of the amazing beaches. Here
- are a few photos (OK, a lot) that I took while I
- was in Phuket. I was lucky enough to meet
- two amazing girls from South Africa to party
- with (even though I looked & felt like shit),
- was also daring enough to get among some
- animals at the zoo (although the living
- conditions of the animals were so poor it was
- heartbreaking) and I picked up some amazing
- things to take back home
Commentary: comment on contextual factors, discourse features, stylistic features, social purpose and register
Introduction: Jan’s online travel record was published in a blog on the website on January 10th, 2018. Her main function is to impart travel information and to display her photos for other young travellers. Drawing upon her own personal problems during her trip with her ex-boyfriend, Julius, Jan uses discourse features and an informal register that are intrinsic to an online blogging environment.
Integral to the context – an online travel post – Jan uses a variety of discourse features to impart holiday advice to would-be travellers to Thailand. Jan uses the personal pronoun “I” to build rapport with her community of readers, and to provide a spontaneous first-hand recount of her travel experiences. Throughout, she uses subject specific lexical fields relating to holidays – the noun phrase, a “fabulous holiday on the cheap” (line 4), and the repeated adjective “amazing”, to reveal her astonishment. The adjectival phrases — “amazing beaches” (line 10), the “amazing things” (18) and the “amazing girls from South Africa” — confirm her identity as an adventure-seeking young adult who enjoys “parties”, shopping and holidays “on the cheap”.
The associated subject field of memory-making further reinforces her social purpose, which is to share photographic details with her friends and family. On a personal note, Jan confesses her obsession with “uploading my photos from Thailand” (line 1). The informal register and her enthusiastic personality are apparent in the non-standard lexemes (“like shit”) and neologisms (“a zillion photos”). Specific deictic references and online jargon – “here are a few photos” (line 11) – coupled with humour – (“OK, a lot”) (line 11) – further confirm her enthusiasm. Such colloquialisms and the blasphemes, “but my lord” (line 5), typically reduce the social distance and reflect view that Thailand is a picture-perfect opportunity for like-minded travellers.
Jan uses a variety of syntactic stylistic features to fulfil another social purpose, which is to impart health advice. Sentence styles include a demonstrative imperative sentence with capital letters and exclamation marks to reinforce her message: “MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR SHOTS!!! (line 5). As to negative face considerations, she provides details of her personal distress to compensate for her imposition in directing all young travellers to keep up-to-date with injections. She uses a declarative and a compound sentence to compare her health problems with her boyfriend’s: “I was sick within 6 hours and he (Julius) was sick within 5 days” ( lines 6-7). She uses adverbial phrases antithetically – “on the upside” and “on the downside” (line 9) – to suggest there were benefits such as losing weight (“I lost 4 kgs in 11 days” (line 8)) and disadvantages – she was “too tired to shop properly” (line 9). From a stylistic purpose, the use of profanities and ampersands – “I looked & felt like shit” (line 14) – reinforce her frustrations that her holiday was constrained. Additional stylistic features include the non-standard syntactical features: she inserts three bracketed phrases and clauses relating to the heartbreaking condition of the animals: “(although the living conditions of the animals were so poor it was heartbreaking)” (lines 16-17).
Overall, Jan uses discourse features that are intrinsic to the blogging environment, which accentuate her personality as an enthusiastic young traveller. She uses informal linguistic strategies to reduce the social distance as she encourages her audience to enjoy her photos. From a stylistic perspective, her idiosyncratic lexicology and syntactic patterning also help to reinforce her purpose – which is to portray Thailand’s potential as an ideal tourist destination for young adults.
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