Sample Essay On A Rhetorical Analysis Of The Article
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English as a Global Language: A Rhetorical Analysis
In one of the articles from Newsweek, author Robert McCrum wrote an article and gave it the title All the World Speaks Globish. It was posted on the 12th of June 2010, wherein McCrum stated that the English language had become more like a “worldwide power”, a “populist tool” known as the Globish language (McCrum 2010). This Globish language was said to have dominated the world since 2005, when there was the trend of global self-expression made powerful through the Internet (McCrum 2010). Even French-speaking Jean-Paul Nerrière insisted that English had become “the worldwide dialect of the third millennium” (McCrum 2010). As the world’s lingua franca of the present generation, author McCrum argues that English remains to be the most powerful and influential language of the present generation, even in countries where English is only their second language.
Purpose, Situation, Author
McCrum’s purpose in writing the text was to prove his argument that English is the global language of the third millennium. His purpose was to prove that the English language does not only remain powerful in countries where English is the primary language, but also in other countries where it is the citizens’ secondary language. It is the most powerful and influential language, and it surpasses Mandarin, as millions of Chinese teenagers had wanted to learn English, to join in the global community of English-speaking people.
In this text, author McCrum tries to respond to the situation wherein many people had questioned the power and capacity of the English to remain as the world’s most powerful and influential language. The Chinese language also remains prevalent, as there about 1.8 billion native speakers of the Chinese Mandarin language (McCrum 2010). However, about 100,000 English speakers from worldwide are teaching the Chinese students the English language (Clark 1). In addition to this, as much as 80% of all electronically stored data are in the English language (Mydans 1). This is what McCrum is trying to point out: that in spite of the power and influence of other languages (e.g., Mandarin, French, Indian), the crown remains in the English platform, as there are factors that cannot be merely overlooked.
The writer, Robert McCrum, is an English writer as well as editor from the State of Pennsylvania. His articles and books usually center on the subject of English as a global language, and was appointed to be the Associate Editor for 10 years of a British newspaper known as The Observer (McCrum 2008). He experienced a massive stroke at the age of 42 years old, but was able to recover and write a chronicle of his experience in My Year Off: Recovering Life after a Stroke. He was the former editor-in-chief of Faber & Faber from 1990 until 1996, and had spent almost four decades writing novels and books, blog articles and position papers both in paper medium and in the Internet.
Credibility, Attitude, Audience
In the main article, McCrum was able to establish his credibility by writing informative statements, such as quotes from influential personalities (e.g., President Obama, Jean-Paul Nerrière, Walt Whitman). He also included astounding numbers and quantity, to attract readers and make his presentation stronger and more credible. He included actual realities by dependable persons situated across the other countries, to prove how the English language remains to be the global platform for communication. He included information from reliable sources, such as the article of Ben Macintyre from Times London, as well as one from Sir Eric Anderson about the power of the Globish in saving lives. Lastly, McCrum made his article more credible through the use of numbers that estimated the English language’s possible percentage growth. Lastly, he included the appraisal of the British Council, when the latter concluded that by 2030, “nearly one-third of the world’s population will be trying to learn English at the same time” (McCrum 2010), making the article credible.
As for the attitude, it can be assumed that based on the writing, McCrum’s attitude rests on his confidence that English (or Globish) had become the global language of the third millennium. He merely filled his article with active information about how the English language can be seen, felt, and experienced around the world. There is strong conviction and remarkable proof inserted in the details, as if trying to substantiate how the world cannot be made to understand one another without the use of the English language. He tries to present his proofs one by one to prove his argument and make it strong, viable, and acceptable.
As for the primary audience, this includes people whom McCrum would want to reach out and voice out his beliefs and opinions. This would include those who are most interested in knowing more about their national language, such as citizens from the English-speaking countries. It also includes those whose national language is not English, but who would want to learn more about the state and capacity of the English language, and how it can influence them and their lifestyle. The article would inform them about the viability of trying to learn the English language, as well as its usefulness and practicality, especially in the world of business, education, law, and in all aspects of science and information.
There is likewise the secondary audience, which includes people who may be interested in only a small portion of the data, or those who want to know a specific information included in the data. For example, secondary audience includes those who study the state of the English language, with regards to its condition as a global language. It also includes those who want to know the capacity of the Mandarin language of becoming the future global language of the third millennium. It also includes those who want to know about the history on how English became the global platform of communication.
Major Argument and Supporting Arguments
The argument is that, English has become the global language of the third millennium. The argument was built by creating an opening statement on how Chinese students used the English language during group discussions in one of Beijing’s closed district of the Haidian communities. They talked about everyday things like sports, movies, and celebrities, while reciting the line of President Obama in 2008: “Change we can believe in” (McCrum 2010). With this strong opening statement comes the supporting arguments that are the following: First, the English language has reached other countries that before, had not known English. Second, the English language is the tool for creating global communities. Third, the English language is the tool for global communities to understand one another. Fourth, the English language has spread into the developing world, as a result of its history wherein culture and religion used English in influencing the world. Fifth and final, the English language has substantial power that depends more on countries whose primary language is not English. In the article, McCrum tries to indicate that English was used in shaping many world events, and it will continue to rise until one-third of the global community tries to learn the language simultaneously (McCrum 2010).
Genre, Characteristic Features, Effectivity
The writing of McCrum is under the essay genre, precisely a reflective essay under Technology and Science. It is a historical essay, with some aspects of soft science fiction, precisely under social science fiction. It also makes use of the “slice of life”, wherein McCrum presents some examples of the actual state of life, such as how the English language became a tool for the salvation of humans from disaster.
Out of this genre, the characteristic features that should be expected in this article, is centered on how the language can influence or affect the state of technology and science. It is expected for the writer to include details on how language, especially English, affects the society. Both the global community and the individual communities around the world should be included in analyzing these aspects of language. It is in this aspect that McCrum performed a very strong and influential argument in his article. He was able to include aspects on how the English language has affected the world—both in the past and in the present. He included some “slices of life” both in the English global community, as well as in the separate communities that are not English and distributed around the world. It was also authentic how McCrum included an estimate of the state of the English language in 2030. All these are in the text, making the article of McCrum very effective, strong and persuasive.
Apart from this, McCrum was able to successfully write a strong and persuasive article mainly because he used tools that exemplified “real life” or the actual condition that were seen in the real world. He did not center on things that were fictional, or those that were merely myths, but on things that were seen and experienced by people around the world. He even included names of remarkable persons who were influential, and which can alter the effects of his argument. All these are testimonials of McCrum’s expertise, after having spent almost four decades in the writing industry, with his work centered on the English language.
The medium is always tangible. This is based on the writing of Lauren Millikan in 2011, when she insisted that, “the difference is clear; the medium is tangible, the text is not” (Millikan 1). With this, it is evident that with the article of McCrum, the medium includes things like: (1) the Internet; (2) the computer device; (3) the website; (4) the article saved in Word document; and (5) the electricity. However, the most important device is not the medium but the text, which constitutes the ideas, sentiments, and information, which make the article strong and convincing. Thus, it is always the text the carries the main substance in a reading—for without the text, there is no statement to transport to the medium. In writing a strong article, the key rests on the writer’s ability to use words in influencing the readers.
Clark, Dorie. English—the Language of Global Business? 26 October 2012. Forbes Magazine. 3 February 2015 <http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorieclark/2012/10/26/english-the-language-of-global-business/>.
McCrum, Robert. A Thriller in Ten Chapters. 25 May 2008. The Guardian. 3 February 2015 <http://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/may/25/fiction.culture>.
McCrum, Robert. All the World Speaks Globish. 12 June 2010. Newsweek. 3 February 2015 <http://www.newsweek.com/all-world-speaks-globish-72941>.
Millikan, Lauren. “Text and Medium.” Where Am I? 6 March 2011. Carleton College. 3 February 2015 <http://www.carleton.edu/departments/ENGL/Alice/textandmedium.html>.
Mydans, Seth. Across Cultures, English is the Word. 9 April 2007. The New York Times. 3 February 2015 <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/09/world/asia/09iht-englede.1.5198685.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0>.
Martinez, Andres. Why Mandarin won’t be a Lingua Franca. 14 November 2014. Time Magazine. 3 February 2015 <http://time.com/3585847/mandarin-lingua-franca/>.
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