Q) How has the writer of the text used style and language to convey meaning. By Shamel Mujtaba

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This passage appears to be an extract from a magazine article, titled, “Human noise pollution is everywhere, even in the national parks”. The magazine’s name is ‘The Washington Post.’ and the article was written by Sarah Kaplan. The article appears too be intended for young adults and adults due to the fairly complicated use of vocabulary.  The writer cleverly begins with a descriptive hook, moving on to a real-life situation before listing facts and statistics.  Use of paragraphing also makes the article appear smaller so it does not burden the reader upon first glance, an effective strategy.

Quoting specialist opinions also makes the passage more acceptable and relatable.

The writer has used personifications in order to make her descriptions more spectacular. “The whistling of the wind” Is an example, and this very effectively describes just how the wind sounded. Whistling emphasizes on how gentle the wind was in the area. This has a much more profound effect on the reader than simply stating, ‘The wind blew’ or ‘was blowing gently’. The reader gets a relaxing feeling while reading the phrase thanks to the use of the personification here.

Similarly, the writer has also very skillfully used imagery to show sound. “The soft, delicate patter,” , in fact, describes the nature of the sound very effectively. The reader can imagine a ‘patter’ sound so they can relate to this. Using ‘soft’ and ‘delicate’ puts more weight on the phrase, hence making the effect of the phrase on the reader very profound.

Furthermore, Using inclusive language via a quote was an incredibly clever strategy on the writer’s part. This would ultimately result in the reader diving into the article, they would see themselves talking directly to the person the writer quotes. The phrase, “You’re almost hearing your own heartbeat.” is an example of this. The reader begins to imagine the incredibly serene environment, as they would be able to relate to how quite their heart’s beating is. Use of you here passively forces the reader to imagine themselves in the quiet surroundings so they could hear their own heartbeat. The reader is now immersed in the passage in a way they could not have been had the writer used a different strategy.

The writer’s usage of Logos, or logical appeal, makes her argument more genuine. Quoting that, ““It really doesn’t have any boundaries.” is proof of this. The reader knows that sound will only truly ‘stop’ with distance, as their logic dictates. This means that the noise can reach far and wide, making dealing with it an issue. The reader now agrees with the writer and is worried over the issue of noise pollution in a way that they were not before.

The writer has also used pathos, or emotional appeal, to make certain parts of her passage more dramatic. “It can also frighten, distract or harm animals that inhabit the wilderness, setting off changes that cascade through the entire ecosystem.” Drives the reader to think, ‘Oh no!” and immediately sympathize with the writer’s argument. Use of powerful vocabulary like ‘cascade’ further dramatize the already-dramatic line, increasing its overall effect on the reader exponentially. Since a ‘cascade’ is usually negative, the reader can imagine – and begin dreading – how severe the effects could be.

The writer also compares different forms of pollution to emphasize on how problematic measuring noise pollution is, in the form of a simile. “Unlike smog or light, sound can’t be detected from a satellite.” This direct comparison makes the issue of detecting noise pollution more severe than it already was in the reader’s eyes. Since the reader already knows the severity of the other types of pollutions, This line alone makes noise pollution overpower the other two completely in their eyes. This makes the reader think, “Then what?”, and their curiosity compels them to read on. Well played Sarah Kaplan, well played.

The writer has also stated statistical information for emphasis.”More than a fifth of protected areas experienced 10 extra decibels of human noise — a tenfold increase in the level of sound.” Is an example. This makes the passage more believable. Since the reader thinks the writer has done her research, she must be genuine, so the reader is compelled to support her argument as well.

On the whole, use of the above mentioned devices and styles not only makes the passage enjoyable, but also makes it believable and acceptable on the writers part. This is done by the professional vocabulary, statistics and quotations.

About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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