The publicistic style of the language became a separate style in the middle of the 18th century. Unlike other styles, it has two spoken varieties, namely the oratorical sub-style and the radio and TV commentary. The other two sub-styles are the essay (moral, philosophical, literary) and journalistic articles (political, social, and economic).
Publicistic style is characterized by coherent and logical syntactical structure, with an expanded system of connectives and careful paragraphing. Its emotional appeal is achieved by the use of words with the emotive meaning but the stylistic devices are not fresh or genuine. The individual element is not very evident. Publicistic style is also characterized by the brevity of expression, sometimes it becomes a leading feature. [1: 78]
The oratorical style is the oral subdivision of the publicistic style. Direct contact with the listeners permits a combination of the syntactical, lexical and phonetic peculiarities of both the written and spoken varieties of language. The typical features of this style are: direct address to the audience; sometimes contractions; the use of colloquial words. The SDs employed in the oratorical style are determined by the conditions of communication. As the audience relies only on memory, the speaker often resorts to repetitions to enable his listeners to follow him and to retain the main points of his speech. The speaker often uses simile and metaphor, but these are generally traditional, because genuine SDs may be difficult to grasp.
The publicistic style is used in public speeches and printed public works, which are addressed to a broad audience and devoted to important social or political events, public problems of cultural or moral character. The publicistic style of language became discernible as a separate style in the middle of the 18th century. Publicistic style is a perfect example of the historical changeability of stylistic differentiation of discourses. In ancient Greece, e.g., it was practiced mainly in its oral form and was best known as oratorio style, within which views and sentiments of the addresser (orator) found their expression. It falls into three varieties, each having its own distinctive features. Unlike other formal styles, the publicistic style has spoken varieties, in particular, the oratorical sub-style. The development of radio and television has brought into being a new spoken variety — the radio and television commentary. The other two are the essay and articles in newspapers, journals and magazines. [9: 64]
The general aim of the publicistic style is to exert influence on public opinion, to convince the reader or the listener that the interpretation given by the writer or the speaker is the only correct one and to cause him to accept the point of view expressed in the speech, essay or article not merely by logical argumentation, but by emotional appeal as well. The oratorical style is the oral subdivision of the publicistic style. The most obvious purpose of oratory is persuasion, and it requires eloquence. This style is evident in speeches on political and social problems of the day, in orations and addresses on solemn occasions as public weddings, funerals and jubilees, in sermons and debates and also in the speeches of counsel and judges in courts of law.
The following extract from «Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club» by Charles Dickens is a parody of an oration:
− «But I trust, Sir», said Pott, «that I have never abused the enormous power I wield. I trust, Sir, that I have never pointed the noble instrument which is placed in my hands, against the sacred bosom of private life, of the tender breast of individual reputation;
− I trust, Sir, that I have devoted my energies to-to endeavor’s-humble they may be, humble I know they are-to instill those principles of-which-are-».
− Here the editor of the Eatonswill Gazette appearing to ramble, Mr. Pickwick came to his relief, and said-«Certainly». [3: 437]
The stylistic devices employed in oratorical style are determined by the conditions of communication. If the desire of the speaker is to rouse the audience and to keep it in suspense, he will use various traditional stylistic devices. But undue prominence given to the form may lead to an exaggerated use of these devices, to embellishment.
Certain typical features of the spoken variety of speech present in this style are:
- direct address to the audience by special formulas (Ladies and Gentlemen!; My Lords!; Mr. Chairman!; Honorable Members!; Highly esteemed members of the conference!; or, in less formal situation, Dear Friends!; or, with a more passionate coloring, My Friends!). Expressions of direct address can be repeated in the course of the speech and may be expressed differently (Mark you! Mind!).
- Special formulas at the end of the speech to thank the audience for their attention (Thankyou very much; Thank you for your time).
- the use of contractions I'll; won't; haven't; isn't and others:
- features of colloquial style such as asking the audience questions as the speaker attempts to reach closer contact.
Like the colloquial style, oratory is usually characterized by emotional coloring and connotations, but there is a difference. The emotional coloring of the publicist style is lofty; it may be solemn, or ironic, but it cannot have the lowered connotations (jocular, rude, vulgar, or slangy) found in colloquial speech. The vocabulary of speeches is usually elaborately chosen and remains mainly in the sphere of high-flown style.
In conclusion, we would like to say that political, ideological, ethical, social beliefs and statements of the addresser are prevailingly expressed in the written form, which was labeled publicist in accordance with the name of the corresponding genre and its practitioners. Publicist style is famous for its explicit pragmatic function of persuasion directed at influencing the reader and shaping his views, in accordance with the argumentation of the author.
The style is a perfect example of historical changeability of stylistic differentiation of discourses. In Greece, it was practiced in oral form in accordance with the name of its corresponding genre. Publicistic style is famous for its explicit pragmatic function of persuasion directed at influencing the reader and shaping his views in accordance with the argumentation of the author. We find in publicistic style a blend of the rigorous logical reasoning, reflecting the objective state of things and a strong subjectivity reflecting the author’s personal feelings and emotions towards the discussed subject.
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