4062 functions of language

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English 4062
Functions of Language
In interviews, reports, editorials and other informative or opinionated texts
(as well as most forms of communication), language serves multiple
purposes. For your exam, you will need to be familiar with the following
purposes and must be able to identify them within texts.
1. To Entertain
- using language to gain interest and/or curiosity
- often accomplished by using humour (i.e. being funny)
2. To Explain
- using language to give extra details/make things clear
3. To Generalize
- using language to make blanket statements
- to generalize is to say things in general (not specific)
- you generalize opinions but never facts
4. To Inform
- using language to give information/facts
The above techniques are effective in interviews when:
- the audience responds
- the interviewer gets more information from the interviewee
- the interviewer gets the interviewee to talk more
To engage in good communication, writers and speakers should:
- describe (so people can picture it, know its details, or feel it)
- use humour (to gain interest)
- use exposition (so people know facts, see things objectively and
better understand)
Exposition is giving detailed explanations about facts or ideas