Adventureland

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Posted on 07 Mar 2013 23:51

When thinking about discourse community, my mind is immediately drawn to places of employment. I have decided to analyze a document from an amusement park in Long Island called Adventureland. As a former employee at this park, I was previously given a packet of text that was the orientation manual for new employees of the park. It was interesting to read this document again, and instead of with the goal of learning park rules and facts, with the goal of comparing these aspects with Swale’s definition of a discourse community. This was also noteworthy because I am already an insider in this community, and much of the things I read were not inferred, but known.

The shared goal of this community is to operate and strive to be the best company they can be. Their ultimate goal would be to become financially successful with the hopes of having their customers be happy at the same time. This unites the whole park as a whole because if each employee does his or her individual part, the park will thrive in everyone’s best interest.

The document breaks off into different section based on each specializes task preformed by each employee. The sections include ride operators, gift shop, food stands, ticket booth and games. This helps the group members, being employees in this case, by giving them instruction and knowledge to carry out their jobs and tasks. The document uses some terms and “lingo” special to just the employees in the park. Outsiders would not necessarily know what these words meant unless really know the background operation of the park. Some specialized terms used within the park and used in the document are green room (a location in the park for game operators), breaker (job in the park), john silver (slang word for a certain ride), “ready for the back” (term used for ticket booth workers), hurricane (slang for a certain ride), patio (location in the park), inflates (job in the park), duck’n’dots (slang for a certain food stand), city hall (meeting place) and convoy( slang for a certain ride).

The meaning of all these terms would be made clear once being inside the Adventureland community, but an outsider reading this document would be very confused when it came to these places, terms and phrases. Also, the fact that that is a business that operates in a different mode then, lets say a suit-and-tie office, informal language and slang is more appropriate in the communication between employees then would be suitable in other work places. Also, the age of the employees (most being young adults) has a factor in the lexis of the community terms.

It is easy to infer that the owner along with park managers and supervisors have written this document with the help of specific department staff as well. This is an insider of the community because they use the appropriate lexis and terms specific to the park community. Also, the rules and regulations of the park must be coming from a voice of authority and experience that leads me to decide it is the park owner.

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