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Language Analysis

Before we set out to write articles for our double page spread, we have been tasked to analyse a professional one. By doing this we hope we can learn from the professionals and prepare for it.

The article I have analysed is Q, (Unknown date), Cash for Questions, Paul Stokes.

Language Analysis: Alt-J Q&A Q Magazine

First of all, the article starts out with a stand first, dropping of well known names such Miley Cyrus and David Cameron. This is an effective way of getting members of the audience to read the article, as according to Uses and Gratifications of Media theory, individuals use media for personal identity. If other forms of media are linked with their personal favourite media, they are more likely to view it. It’s an effective way of grabbing the audience. And even if they don’t link themselves with the aforementioned subjects, the out of place references create intrigue, giving audience an incentive to read on. There are is also an ellipsis, this gives the implication that the intrigue that has been raised will be answered if the audience continues to read on.

The structure of the article is the standard Q&A, with the questions being from the readers. The choice of questions issued to them are conventional, they are being asked seemingly human questions such as taking their parents out for a meal. This gives them the image of being more relatable quirky, and partial hopeless. They’re not being asked about their dreams, ambitions, but trivial questions, which often reveals their ineptitude. For example, one band member reveals his failure to get away copying homework from other student. Its as if the audience knows the band’s futility.

In terms of language, the semantic field consists of words with connotations of intellect. “Cerebral” and “boffin” sets up the band as plain clever, although this is contrasted by some of the responses given by the band which sets them as practically inept. This creates a star image of being unpractical nerds, and in turn makes them appeal to a certain audience, which in this case, is equally intellectual nerds. In other regards, there’s amusement present when reading these, seeing intellectuals struggle with issues others would simply brush off. Seeing these, the audience can relate much more easier to the stars, and in doing so there’s an increased chance of the readers becoming fans, which is one of the articles aims.     

The journalists portrays alt-J as a self-aware bookish conclave of nerds trying and failing to look cool. This is apparent due to the multiple contrasts present in the article, for one example, one member is pictured wearing a leather jacket while reading a book that look like it was printed in the 19th century, while being inside a prestigious library. The semantic fields paired up with anecdotes of failure also help to achieve this image. One effective thing the journalist does is keeping the audience’s attention by giving additional incentives throughout the article. After the band is established as impractical nerds, the following questions bring amusement as their ineffectual struggles are revealed, giving a further incentive. While this is not important for a short article, it is important for a double page spread as the attention of the audience might fade due to the large amount of content that needs to be absorbed by the audience.       

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