Two Styles, Same Objective.

Blog » Two Styles, Same Objective.

Posted on 11 Mar 2013 23:39

In “Learning to Serve: The Language and Literacy of Food Service Workers,” Tony Mirabelli takes the approach of using examples to examine the discourse used by waiters and waitresses. This writing looked at the different forums in which food service workers must work and showed the different skill needed to do it effectively. Although Mirabelli could have tried to explain every instance in detail for every new concept he introduced, he instead used examples to show his point because they give the context and application of a concept much easier than does complicated literary describing other complicated literacy. In a traditional study, the ending to these stories given as examples may act as results. Essentially, showing the result of actions committed by waiters as either good or bad act as results because he applied the different actions and evaluated their outcome. He concludes, after proving his point, that a waiters job is harder than it may seem and not a job simply left to the slow-minded.

In “The Concept of Discourse Community,” John Swales attempts to establish the true definition of a discourse community. He accomplishes this by touching on all of the past definitions of what a discourse community is and then proceeding to distinguish the different between a speech and discourse community. He chooses, unlike Mirabelli, to distinguish between a discourse community and a speech community through dense definitions. Often throughout, he uses words as the centerpiece to convey his arguments rather than examples. Though styled differently than Mirabelli, Swales is equally effective as he identifies a speech community as a group that shares similar linguistic goals or use of language and further notes sociolinguistic and sociorhetoric speech communities.

He introduces six defining points as a criteria that a discourse community should meet and explains each in detail. Although he finally introduces an example called the Hong Kong Study Circle, he relies heavily of his description of the model discourse community to convey his main ideas. In his closing thoughts, Swales entertains the thought that academic classes are not particularly discourse communities at start but a goal may be to become one by end of one. He also states that some discourse communities are well established while others are shifting, or norm-developing.

Of the two, I like Mirabelli's writing style better than Swales. This is due to the fact that I find it easier to gain the point of what the writer is saying when I can visualize an example of it in my mind. I think when I do my midterm project I will model the example of Mirabelli while still trying to use same of the techniques used by Swales. I believe that technical descriptions paired with many clear examples will work well to the benefit of the reader because after reading a hard concept with technical terms, he can read the example and understand the context of the previous technical terms. If there are no examples, I find that it is easier, as a reader, to get lost in words and have to continue to re-read the same thing over and over again while still comprehending less than if there was a concise example explaining it.

Leave a comment

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License