Little red riding hood revisited, russell baker

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  • Publicado : 24 de octubre de 2010
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Analysis of "Little Red Riding Hood Revisited"
Since people first began to communicate thousands of years ago, language has evolved, adapting to the needs of the society it serves. As newdiscoveries and ideas emerge, new words are created to describe them while other words fall out of fashion and are forgotten. In his ssay "Little Red Riding Hood Revisited," Russell Baker uses modern jargon torevise the familiar children's story in order to make satirical commentary about language users. By selecting terminology and euphemisms used by respected professions, Baker slants his revision toridicule the preoccupation with overstated verbiage and the fear of addressing sensitive issues directly.
One way that society avoids uncomfortable subjects is by replacing sensitive words with words orphrases that are less harsh and less direct. This type of avoidance, as defined by Hugh Rawson, is called a euphemism. He writes that "[euphemisms] conceal the things people fear the most. . . . Theycover up the facts of life. . . . They are beloved by individuals and institutions . . .who are anxious to present only the handsomest images of themselves to the world" (491). Baker makes use ofeuphemisms throughout his essay. His euphemisms typically stem from professions that are deeply respected in society, but that also have an aura of mystery around them because of the extensive amount ofjargon that are associated with them.
Another way that society uses jargon to alter reality is through the use of slanting. This technique is described in an essay written by Newman and GenevieveBirk, in which they say we "select certain facts and feelings from our store of knowledge, and . . . choose the words and the emphasis that we shall use to communicate our meaning. Slanting may bedefined as the process of selecting (1) knowledge - factual and attitudinal; (2) words; and (3) emphasis to achieve the intention of the communicator" (78-79). In other words, the communicator may choose...
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