Discussion of Scott Morrison’s election announcement.
This article has been written by Liam McAlary, a Years 7 – 12, VCE Legal Studies and VCE English Language Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Liam then please check out his page here.
Hey guys, the federal election is on Saturday May 18, so I thought that my article for May should focus on a recent example of formal political discourse. For this article, I am using Scott Morrison’s press conference from April 11, where he announced the date for the federal election. This article is not a political commentary, it is simply a discussion of language.
The transcript from the press conference can be found here: https://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2019/04/11/press-conference-thursday-11-april-2019 (All ministers have their transcripts available on their departmentally run, non-partisan websites. However, transcripts during the campaign are on the party’s websites as government is in caretaker mode).
Although it is obvious and does not need a lot of attention, the use of Standard Australian English is worth mentioning at the start of a discussion related to a formal text. In this case, you would discuss how the Prime Minister’s use of the overtly prestigious Standard English is appropriate given the significance of his role in society (which he is also actively seeking to retain), and the importance of the announcement he is making. A brief discussion of Standard English enables you to tick off an example, some metalanguage and a key concept of formal language very quickly, so it is worth capitalising on the comparatively cheap marks on offer.
Two of the journalists commenced their questions by addressing Mr Morrison as, “Prime Minister.” This is done to help respect Mr Morrison’s negative face needs by acknowledging the social distance the journalist(s) and Mr Morrison, which arise out of their respective roles in society.
Mr Morrison also uses the modal verb, “will,” extensively throughout this press conference. He does this to express to the Australian voters that should the Liberal National Coalition he leads be re-elected, it is certain that they will keep Australians safe, and increase funding for essential services. These are seen as desirable, so Morrison wants to make people feel certain that they are going to happen, should the Coalition be returned to government. Similarly, he also uses, “will,” to state that should the ALP be elected, taxes are certain to increase and economically destructive polices introduced. These seen as less desirable and Morrison is seeking to highlight this to persuade the Australian voting public to vote for his Coalition.
Morrison also uses parallelisms extensively throughout this press conference. By starting consecutive sentences with, “keeping our economy strong, …” Morrison is seeking to place a heavy emphasis on one of the key platforms of his campaign, before explaining some of the benefits of it (such better wage and job security). Again, by placing an emphasis on this, Morrison is trying to show voters why he should receive their vote.
Parallelisms are very common in formal discourse, especially in politics. Generally, they help to link related ideas and draw attention to the key ideas of the discourse (such as maintaining a strong economy).
Anyway, I hope this has been helpful and I will have another article for you in June.
If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: What To Expect As A First-Year University Student, Social Purpose and How it Relates to Informal Language and The Summer Holidays and Formal Language Examples.
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