Exercise 28: Killer dog on loose!
- Questions the owner’s moral standards: Jay criticises owners because they are irresponsible and do not provide sufficient care with regards to the dangerous dog; nor do they heed the government’s strict regulations. He asks rhetorically, “How does a man’s pit bull terrier end up in the front room of the house down the road?
- Questions a person’s motives: Jay also discredits the owners by implying that the owners think that the dogs will give them a feeling of power. “They represent a symbol of power.”
- The author questions the government’s motives and intelligence: Jay also attacks the council’s/ government’s rules and regulations, which he believes are inadequate because there are too many attacks and the fines of $4,500 are inadequate. “Evidently the government is not doing enough.”
See Extension Exercise: Exercise 28: Killer dog on loose: Paragraph sample
Exercise 29: do you think 9-year-old children should travel alone on public transport (p. 40)
- Ms Skenazy criticises those parents who are over-protective. The author appeals to civil liberties and a child’s health and wellbeing (and family values) when she states that children should be free to make mistakes, take risks and experience new things.
- Ms Skenazy was labelled “America’s worst Mom” because she let her 9-year-old son catch the New York subway by himself. This has pejorative/negative connotations and clearly shows a typical reaction among members of the public.
- A “free range parent” is a person who recognises that children must be given some responsibility and freedom to grow. They understand that children need to become independent and take risks.
- A “helicopter parent” is a person who “hovers and swoops” over their children and watches them constantly. Such parents are fearful and seek to deter their children from undertaking independent activities outside the home. They wish to control and monitor them constantly.
Exercise 30: Smoking at home kills (p. 41)
1i. The author attacks parents’ intelligence and questions their knowledge. Mr Treeton implies that parents are ignorant and do not heed the warnings. They seem unaware of the fact that if they smoke in the presence of their young children they will harm their health.
- The author attacks parents’ moral compass. Mr Treeton infers that they do not take sufficient care of their children’s health and should be ashamed of themselves.
iii. Mr Treeton also makes harmful remarks about their character such as their selfishness and double standards. He questions their motives and suggests that they prioritise their own interests above their children’s. They pretend that they do not know that they are harming their family’s health. They also become a burden on the health system and waste taxpayers’ funds.
- Ms Fit attacks the police (and hence the Government) by trivialising the issue and stating that it is simply a matter of individual liberties. She believes that the Government just wants to interfere unnecessarily in people’s lifestyles.
- Tone: accusatory; flabbergasted; outraged and sarcastic: “Have the police got so much free time …”
Appeal to civil liberties and individual freedoms
Exercise 31: Water for the wealthy (p. 42)
- Helen believes that the people who buy organic water are “suckers”; they are “duped into thinking” that it is healthier; they are “wealthy trendies” who are indulging their “foolish food fad”. She characterises them as selfish and foolish. She suggests that the “booming industry” is exploiting people’s ignorance.
- Helen adopts a disparaging and provocative tone to challenge us to see such people as foolish and wasteful. They are indulging their expensive personal whims and not thinking about the plight of the starving people.
Exercise 32: Outright bans. (p. 43)
Tone: high-minded; sarcastic; practical.
Ms Abbey asserts that drivers should not use their mobile phones or other distractions while driving. She presents herself as an eye-witness observer and using her own real-life experience, Ms Abbey describes the shameless and careless behaviour of many motorists. Accordingly, she adopts the high moral ground (she adopts a high-minded tone) and discredits (attacks) motorists who, she believes, are often reckless and irresponsible. For example, the fact that it is “normal” to eat breakfast, sarcastically implies that they are in a hurry and prefer to eat breakfast rather than watch the road. Her description of the details regarding smoking shows just how distracting this behaviour can be. Her purpose is to vex all readers, particularly motorists, who would be fearful at the careless attitude towards safety shown by such drivers.
Hoon drivers should be horsewhipped
Tone: self-righteous; contemptuous; scornful; dismayed
In a self-righteous tone, Mr Miah states that the government should restrict young people’s access to high powered vehicles because the young drivers are irresponsible.
- “horsewhipped”; this word suggests that the culprits should be severely punished.
- “Bloody idiot”; “complete moron”; “hoon tragedy”. These words reveal his contempt towards the young drivers who are reckless, who compromise other people’s safety on the roads, and who should be severely punished.
- Return to Techniques of Persuasion: Red Workbook Tasks
- Go to Lesson 5: Appeals, Exercises 33 – 53, p. 44 – 53
EAL: Taking it Further: for Extension Activities based on specific exercises, please see the following links: