A STUDY ON THE USE OF POLITENESS STRATEGIES PRODUCED BY THE MAIN CHARACTERS
OFTHANK YOU FOR SMOKING
Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain theSarjana PendidikanDegree
in English Language Education
Lucia Desy Ari Kristiningrum Student Number: 061214122
ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION STUDY PROGRAM DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGE AND ARTS EDUCATION FACULTY OF TEACHERS TRAINING AND EDUCATION
SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY YOGYAKARTA
ii A Thesis on
A STUDY ON THE USE OF POLITENESS STRATEGIES PRODUCED BY THE MAIN CHARACTERS
OFTHANK YOU FOR SMOKING
Lucia Desy Ari Kristiningrum Student Number: 061214122
iii A Thesis on
A STUDY ON THE USE OF POLITENESS STRATEGIES PRODUCED BY THE MAIN CHARACTERS
OFTHANK YOU FOR SMOKING
LUCIA DESY ARI KRISTININGRUM Student Number: 061214122
Defended before the Board of Examiners on 2 February 2011
and Declared Acceptable
Board of Examiners
Chairperson : Caecilia Tutyandari, S.Pd., M.Pd. __________________ Secretary : Made Frida Yulia, S.Pd., M.Pd. __________________
Member : Drs. JB. Gunawan, M.A. __________________
Member : Christina Kristiyani, S.Pd., M.Pd. __________________ Member : Made Frida Yulia, S.Pd., M.Pd. __________________
Yogyakarta, 2 February 2011
Faculty of Teachers Training and Education
Sanata Dharma University Dean,
STATEMENT OF WORK’S ORIGINALITY
I honestly declare that this thesis, which I have written, does not contain the work or parts of the work of other people, except those cited in the quotations and the references, as a scientific paper should.
Yogyakarta, 24 January 2011
Kristiningrum, Lucia Desy Ari. 2011. A Study on the Use of Politeness Strategies Produced by the Main Characters of Thank You for Smoking. Yogyakarta: English Language Education Study Program, Sanata Dharma University.
It has been obvious that learning language is also learning certain social rules and values of a society. This means that speakers should be able to adjust their use of words in different social situations, which is by paying attention carefully to both the messages that they want to convey and the suitable way of delivering those messages in order to avoid embarrassing other persons or making them feel uncomfortable. Speakers’ competence to select the suitable way of conveying feelings or thoughts has something to do with politeness. In fact, English speakers or learners still often face difficulties in choosing the most appropriate expression or utterance to express what they want to say in English politely. As a result, when having conversation with others, they sometimes produce English which still sounds strange. Moreover, it might lead to misunderstanding in conversation.
Considering the English learners’ difficulties to speak English politely, a study on the use of politeness strategies was conducted. This study aimed at analyzing how the main characters of Thank You for Smoking use the politeness strategies in their conversations according to Brown and Levinson’s politeness strategies theory, and at finding out the factors that influence the use of politeness strategies based on the socio-cultural variables of Brown and Levinson’s model and the social dimensions proposed by Holmes.
The method employed in this study was a document analysis. The main characters’ utterances became the data of this study. They were Nick Naylor, Joey (Nick’s son), Polly Bailey (Nick’s best friend), BR (Nick’s boss), Jill (Nick’s ex-wife), and Senator Ortolan Finisterre (Nick’s rival). The writer analyzed the main characters’ utterances, and classified them into four types of politeness strategies, namely Bald on Record (direct), Negative Politeness, Positive Politeness, and Off Record (indirect). Afterwards, the writer analyzed what factors that may influence their use of politeness strategies.
Kristiningrum, Lucia Desy Ari. 2011. A Study on the Use of Politeness Strategies Produced by the Main Characters of Thank You for Smoking. Yogyakarta: Program Studi Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris, Universitas Sanata Dharma.
Sudah jelas bahwa mempelajari suatu bahasa itu sekaligus juga mengenal struktur atau nilai sosial suatu masyarakat. Yang berarti bahwa penutur bahasa sebaiknya dapat menyesuaikan pengunaan kata-kata sesuai dengan situasi sosial tertentu yaitu dengan memperhatikan baik itu pesan yang ingin disampaikan maupun cara penyampaian pesan tersebut agar tidak mempermalukan orang lain atau membuat mereka merasa tidak nyaman. Kemampuan penutur bahasa untuk memilih cara penyampaian perasaan atau pikiran yang tepat berkaitan dengan kesopanan. Pada kenyataannya, pelajar atau penutur bahasa Inggris masih sering kesulitan dalam memilih ekspresi atau kalimat yang paling tepat untuk disampaikan dalam bahasa Inggris dengan sopan. Akibatnya, ketika mereka mengobrol dengan orang lain, terkadang bahasa Inggris mereka masih terdengar aneh, bahkan bisa terjadi salah paham.
Bertolak dari kesulitan yang dialami para pelajar bahasa Inggris, maka dilakukanlah sebuah penelitian penggunaan strategi kesopanaan. Tujuan dari penelitian ini adalah menganalisa bagaimana penggunaan strategi-strategi kesopanan yang dilakukan oleh para pemain utama film Thank You for Smoking
berdasarkan teori strategi kesopanan Brown dan Levinson, dan mengetahui faktor-faktor apa saja yang mempengaruhi pengunaan strategi kesopanan mereka. Peneliti menggunakan kombinasi model variabel sosio-kultural Brown dan Levinson, dan teori faktor dimensi sosial milik Holmes.
Dalam penelitian ini, peneliti menggunakan metode analisis dokumen. Data dari penelitian ini adalah kalimat-kalimat para pemain utama. Mereka adalah Nick Naylor, Joey, Polly Bailey, BR, Jill, dan Senator Ortolan Finisterre. Peneliti menganalisa dan kemudian mengklasifikasikan kalimat-kalimat mereka ke dalam empat macam strategi kesopanan, yaitu Bald on Record, Negative Politeness, Positive Politeness, and Off Record. Terakhir, peneliti menganalisa faktor sosial yang mempengaruhinya.
God always does things right
His way is ALWAYS the best way,
even if to us it seems all wrong
If you asked God for one thing and received another, TRUST
You can be sure that He will always give you what you need
at the appropriate time...
What you want is not always what you need
God never fails to grant our petitions, so keep on going for Him
without doubting or murmuring.
Today is THORN, but tomorrow is FLOWER...
This thesis is dedicated to These beloved people:
My beloved parents, Mama and Papa (Ch. Ismoyowati and Fx. Purwanto) My beloved brother, Mas Fredy
First of all, I would like to thank Jesus Christwho has given me strength and patience even in my worst time. Without His kindness and blessing, certainly I could not accomplish my study.
Second, I would like to express my greatest gratitude to my major sponsor, Drs. JB. Gunawan, M.A. Because of his attention, patience, guidance, careful correction, advice, criticism, and encouragement, finally I could finish this thesis.
Third, I would like to thankall PBI lecturers(Pak Sasmoyo, Pak Markus, Pak Purba, Pak Prayit, Pak Pras, Pak Chosa, Bu Lanny, Bu Yuseva, Bu Ndari, Miss Frida, Bu Mita, Bu Marni, Bu Nanik, etc.) for the meaningful guidance during my study, and all the staff of PBI and Sanata Dharma University libraryfor the help and cooperation.
My deepest thanks also fly tomy best friends: Tista, Angga, Tita, Ayu, Guntur, Ceye, Adit, Trio, Agnes, Zita, Susan, Riris, Intan, Chucky, and all 2006 PBI students. I thank them for spending the precious time together. I really enjoyed our laugh, jokes, and stress in EAD, EWD, SPD, and many precious moments.
Finally, my special thanks also go to Vendi (PBI’03), mba Festy (PBI’04), andMrs. Yuseva (PBI lecturer)for spending their precious time to be the proofreaders of my thesis. I thank them a bunch! Then, I thank Romo Estaphanus Gerardus Willem Pau, Pr for his blessing, YSS children (anak-anak jalanan Pingit)for reminding me to be always thankful of this beautiful life I have, Lektor Kumetiranandkomunitas tari Kotabaruin which I could share my talent and spend my precious time during my study. With them I could grow better.
Last but not least, I also thank anyone whom I haven’t mentioned here but have given a hand.
May God always bless them
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE ... i
APPROVAL PAGES ... ii
STATEMENT OF WORK’S ORIGINALITY... iv
ABSTRACT ... v
DEDICATION PAGE ... vii
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ... viii
TABLE OF CONTENTS ... x
LIST OF TABLES ... xii
CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION... 1
A. Research Background ... 1
B. Problem Formulation ... 4
C. Problem Limitation ... 5
D. Research Objectives ... 5
E. Research Benefits ... 5
F. Definition of Terms ... 6
CHAPTER II. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE ... 8
A. Theoretical Description ... 8
1. Pragmatics ... 9
a. Context of Speaking ... 9
2. Speech Acts ... 11
a. Locutionary, Illocutionary, Perlocutionary acts ... 11
b. Classification of Illocutionary Speech Acts ... 12
3. Sociolinguistics ... 13
a. Language choice ... 15
xi 4. Politeness
a. Politeness ... 18
b. Positive and Negative faces ... 18
c. Face Threatening Acts ... 19
d. Politeness Strategies ... 20
e. Socio-cultural Variables of Brown and Levinson’s Model... 31
B. Theoretical Framework ... 33
CHAPTER III. METHODOLOGY ... 36
A. Research Method ... 36
B. Research Subject ... 37
C. Research Instruments ... 39
D. Data Gathering Technique ... 39
E. Data Analysis Technique ... 40
F. Research Procedure ... 40
CHAPTER IV. RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION ... 43
A. The Use of Politeness Strategies by the Main Characters ... 43
B. The Factors Influencing the Use of Politeness Strategy inThank You for Smoking... 71
CHAPTER V. CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS ... 76
A. Conclusions ... 76
B. Suggestions ... 78
References ... 80
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1 : The Number of Each Character’s Dialogue... 43 Table 2 : The Number of Politeness Strategies Produced
This chapter is divided into six sections. The first section is Research Background. This section covers the background of the study. The second section is Problem Formulation that contains questions to be answered in this study. The third section is the Problem Limitation. This section limits the scope of the study. The fourth section is Research Objectives. This section mentions the main purpose of this study. Next, Research Benefits contains the advantages of this study. The sixth section is Definition of Terms. It explains the terms used in this study to make a better understanding for the readers about this study.
A. Research Background
Due to living in heterogeneous society, speakers will definitely face many differences such as age, sex, ethnic background, social context and many more. Consequently, the way speakers convey their messages will certainly differ to each other. Indeed, those factors influence the choice of appropriate ways of speaking. Therefore, it is obvious that in various social situations, speakers are obligated to adjust their use of words to fit the situation. Inappropriate linguistic choices may be considered rude. Hence, speakers should pay attention carefully to both the messages that they want to convey and the suitable way of delivering those messages. The speakers’ competence to select the suitable way of conveying feelings or thoughts has something to do with politeness.
According to Brown and Levinson (1987: 61), politeness is showing concern for people’s face: the public self-image that every member wants to claim for himself. Then, when a speaker says something that threatens a hearer’s face, it means that he or she conducts a face-threatening act (FTA). In other words, speakers should pay attention to others’ feeling, for example, by being friendly or respecting others, trying not to insult or threaten someone’s feeling in order to avoid embarrassing other persons or making them feel uncomfortable. Accordingly, it is indeed important to learn politeness strategies in order to lessen the threats and save someone’s face.
of appropriate expressions is sometimes still influenced by their L1 knowledge and culture background (http://www.cc.mie-u.ac.jp/~lq20106/eg5000/master2001-2.html). Third, ESL or EFL learners are still less aware of sociolinguistic competence, which means understanding the social context in which language is used, such as the roles of the participants, the information they share, and the function of the interaction (http://www.asian-efl-journal.com/June_06_mcy.php).
In accordance with the issues and significance of politeness strategies elaborated above, it is perfectly clear that the acquisition of politeness strategies certainly could support English teaching and learning. Therefore, it is indeed interesting to investigate politeness strategies because it is not simple as a matter of saying “please” or “thank you” in the right place. In fact, it needs to understand about social distance, power, and many more. This study, therefore, is aimed at observing and analyzing the application of politeness strategies in conversation by applying the politeness strategies model proposed by Brown and Levinson. They are Bald on Record, Positive Politeness, Negative Politeness, and Off Record.
The writer analyzes the use of politeness strategies in movie, not in a group of people, class, novel, or song, because here in this study the writer wants to show that by watching movie can be another good way or media to learn about sociolinguistics, especially politeness strategies.
industry in public. It is chosen because of the writer’s considerations that first, in the beginning, the writer has decided to find a film that is simple or not serious so that it is good to watch and learn. Hence, the writer choseThank You for Smoking. Second, it is a comedy-drama film satire, so definitely it describes a daily life: how the relationship between parents and child, between close friends, between employer and employee, and how the characters often express their intended meanings by giving hints (Off Record), or even telling straightforwardly (Bald on Record). Many conflicts or problems, and intentions frequently happen. Hence, this film certainly contains many various politeness expressions.
Accordingly, the writer is truly eager to observe and analyze the use of politeness strategies and find out what factors that may influence the use of politeness strategies produced by the main characters ofThank You for Smokingin their conversations by applying Brown and Levinson’s politeness strategies. Moreover, the writer believes that acquiring politeness strategies could assist English learners to be able to speak English more polite and appropriate in different social contexts.
B. Problem Formulation
The question to be answered in this study is formulated as follows.
1. How do the main characters of Thank You for Smoking use the politeness strategies in their conversations?
C. Problem Limitation
This study is limited only to the use of politeness strategies of the main characters of Thank You for Smoking. There are six main characters. They are Nick Naylor, Joey (Nick’s son), Polly Bailey (Nick’s best friend), BR (Nick’s boss), Jill (Nick’s ex-wife), and Senator Ortolan Finisterre (Nick’s rival). It is chosen because of the writer’s consideration that they play the important roles in the movie. Therefore, they certainly have more portions in conversations than the other characters. Besides, they experience various things and face many kinds of conflicts dealing with expressing or revealing their feelings or thoughts.
D. Research Objectives
There are two objectives that will be gained in this study. The first objective of this study is to know how the main characters of Thank You for Smokinguse the politeness strategies in their conversations. The second objective is to find out what factors that may influence the use of politeness strategies produced by the main characters ofThank You for Smoking.
E. Research Benefits
F. Definition of Terms
In order to avoid misunderstanding and misinterpretation, the writer feels that it is necessary to define some terms that will be used in this study. The definitions are as follows.
1. Politeness Strategies
According to Brown and Levinson (1987: 68), politeness strategies are used to formulate messages in order to save the hearer’s face when face-threatening acts are inevitable or desired. They propose four kinds of strategies. They are Bald on Record strategy (direct strategy), Positive Politeness (solidarity strategy), Negative Politeness (deference strategy), and Off Record strategy (indirect strategy). Politeness strategies in this study are therefore dealing with the use of language or the way of talking of the main characters by considering those five strategies in order to minimize face threat or smooth their intentions or requests when they are engaging in conversations.
2. Positive face and Negative face
concerns a person’s want to be unimpeded and free from imposition (1990: 210). In this study, positive face is dealing with the main characters’ wants to be loved by others, for instance, by being appreciated or approved of when involving in conversations. Meanwhile, negative face is defined as the main characters’ feelings or wants not to be imposed by others in conversation.
3. FTA (Face Threatening Act)
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter consists of two parts. The first part is Theoretical Description. This part comprises brief discussions of basic theories of Pragmatics, Speech Acts, Sociolinguistics, and Politeness. The second part is the Theoretical Framework. It discusses the framework for identifying and analyzing the politeness strategies used by the main characters ofThank You for Smoking.
A. Theoretical Description
In this section, the writer would like to discuss four parts. The first part is Pragmatics. In this part, the writer will discuss the understanding of Pragmatics. It is significant to discuss since the writer will only focus on the conversation, so it will closely deal with analyzing meaning in context (Pragmatics). The second part is Speech Acts. In this part, the writer would like to discuss the theory of Speech Acts. The theory of Speech Acts cannot be separated from Pragmatics, for it concerns more on language use on communication. The third part is Sociolinguistics. It is quite significant to discuss the understanding of Sociolinguistics, since Politeness Strategies are under the scope of Sociolinguistics. In the last part, the writer would like to discuss Politeness Strategies, for the analysis and discussion of this study would emphasize on the application of the politeness strategies inThank You for Smoking.
Those theories above would be used to establish the framework of identifying and analyzing the politeness strategies inThank You for Smoking.
Levinson (1983: 8) states that Pragmatics is the study of those relations (language structure and principles of language usage) between language and context that are grammaticalized, or encoded in the structure of a language. Meanwhile Leech, as quoted by Nirmala Sari, states that pragmatics is the study of how language is used to communicate. It concerns itself with how people use language within context and why they use language in particular ways (1992: 19). In everyday conversation, usually a speaker will communicate not only explicitly but also implicitly. The speaker will modify his utterance in order to get successful communication, for instance, using indirect speech, imperative speech, etc. To do this, the speaker always pays attention carefully to the context of speaking. Meanwhile, the hearer will interpret or infer what the speaker implies as well as possible in order to avoid miscommunication and to maintain a smooth conversation.
a. Context of Speaking
In order to build a smooth conversation, thus it is quite significant to pay attention to the context of speaking. For example, when we talk to an elementary student about global warming, we are supposed to use simple words instead of using scientific words. In other words, modifying our utterances by avoiding scientific words means that we comprehend the background knowledge of that person. In fact, the conversation could run well. The elementary student will get more interested in our explanation. Furthermore, Leech (1992: 14) clearly puts forward that:
Categories and rules are set of conventions governing language use that preserves its integrity by requiring us, among other things, to be honest in its use, to have evidence for what we say relevant to the speech context.
What is interesting about these conventions is that they were never officially proposed and voted to anybody, but instead have emerged naturally. Besides, we learn then in much the same way we learn most social rules, that is, by trial and error.
2. Speech Acts
John Searle, one of the Austin’s students, developed and extended Austin’s ideas by assuming that all utterances, not just those containing performative verbs, constitutes acts (1987a: 54). Furthermore, Searle states that every speech act consists of three separate acts, namely an act of saying something, an act of doing something, and an act of affecting someone (1987b: 59). Further, in order to investigate these three different components, Searle adopted the following terminologies from Austin:
a. Locutionary, Illocutionary, Perlocutionary acts 1) Locutionary Act
This act contains a description of what the speaker says about something. The speaker will simply utter his or her sentence from a language. Therefore, this act contains a description of what the speaker says, or could be perceived as the literal meaning of the utterance. For example, if a pupil says to a teacher or sends a note,
“It is hot in here,” the locutionary meaning would concern the warm temperature of the classroom which means it is indeed really hot in here.
2) Illocutionary Act
3) Perlocutionary Act
This is the effect on the hearer of what the speaker says. Since this act concerns on the hearer’s point of view, perlocutionary act would include such effects as persuading, embarrassing, intimidating, boring, imitating, or inspiring the hearer (Searle, 1987). For example, if your boyfriend says to you ten times in five minutes, “Hurry up, Honey, we’re going to be late for the party” then, illocutionary meaning of this utterance is maybe one of urging. However, it can also be observed that the utterance above has a perlocutionary, that is, the act of irritating because the utterance is expressed emphatically, or repeatedly.
b. Classification of Illocutionary Speech Acts
Searle has set up the following classification of illocutionary speech acts: 1) Assertives
Speech acts that commit a speaker to the truth of the expressed proposition, e.g. reciting a creed.
Speech acts that cause the hearer to take a particular action, e.g. requests, commands, and advice.
Speech acts that express the speaker's attitudes and emotions towards the proposition, e.g. congratulations, excuses, and thanks.
Speech acts that change the reality in accord with the proposition of the declaration, e.g. baptisms, pronouncing someone guilty or pronouncing someone husband and wife.
Referring to the discussion on pragmatics, speech acts and their component acts cannot be separated from the term of context. They have tight relationship. They influence each other. Meaning to say, they are extremely sensitive to the context of speaking, particularly to the relationship between the speaker and the hearer. For example, “You’d better do your homework”. It should be noted that the context of speaking would be able to influence the illocutionary act and perlocutionary act of the utterance. For instance , if a father utters that sentence to his school-age son, then illocutionary act might be one of ordering, and the perlocutionary act might be one of irritating (if that sentence is uttered for many times). Both of those acts will change depend on the context of speaking.
definition, there are several factors that take in this field. The factors are the social backgrounds of both the speaker and the addressee (for example age, social class, and ethnic background), the relationship between the speaker and the addressee (good friends or parent-child), and the context and manner of the interaction (in church, school, loudly, or whispering). These factors are closely related to the understanding of the structure and function of the language used.
Llmas and Stockwell (2009: 21) give more specific definition of sociolinguistics, the study of the linguistic indicators of culture and power. The definition focuses on language as well as linguistic tools (grammar, vocabulary, corpus linguistic, discourse analysis, and pragmatics). Besides, it also concerns on the influence of several social factors such as ethnicity, gender, ideology, and social rank on language events. Considering this definition, sociolinguistics then principally focuses on language use.
As it mainly concerns on language use, the majority of sociolinguistics studies then presented in a form of description. The goal of sociolinguistic studies involves scientific objectivity. Most studies deal with the description of social aspects of language in real world.
a. Language Choice
Language choice is part of Sociolinguistics that deals with the code choice in certain society. Wardaugh (2002: 87) mentions the term code to indicate language and a variety of language. Code is considered as neutral because it refers to “any kind of system that two or more people employ for communication.” As a matter of fact, there are a lot of codes that exist in social life. Some people even use various codes in various circumstances. Holmes (2001:7) says that people may select different languages according to the situation in which they are speaking.
The selection of language itself also cannot be separated from the influence of social factors. Holmes (2001:8) mentions four social factors that deal with language choice. They are the participants, the setting or social context of interaction, the topic, and the function. The participants consist of the speaker and the addressee. The setting includes where they are speaking. The topic contains what is being talked about. Finally, the function includes why they are speaking.
setting, and choosing the Sunday liturgy as the topic (Holmes, 2001: 22). The next step of those two examples, then, is deciding what variety or code is going to be chosen.
The examples above illustrate that domain exemplifies three social factors in code choice: participants, setting, and topic. Holmes (2001: 23) states that domain is useful for capturing broad generalizations about any speech community because the information about the domains of use in a community enables people to draw the model of the norms of language use. This is useful for bilingual and multilingual speech communities. Yet, Holmes adds, sometimes, the components of a domain are not congruent. For example, people discuss a particular work or school at home using the language in those domains rather than the language of the family domain.
variety will be different from the code used in the church porch. Another example is the codes used for radio lecture will be different from those used for adverts. Fourth is function or goal of the interaction. For certain function, people use different language, whether it is standard or vernacular. For example, when applying for a job, a person will use the best standard written language on the application form and formal standard spoken language on the interview. However, when talking to his friends, he will use less formal spoken language. Furthermore, Shumin(1997)states that:
Learning to speak a foreign language requires more than knowing its grammatical and semantic rules, learners must also acquire the knowledge of how native speakers use the language in the context of structured interpersonal exchange. Besides, it involves understanding not just the language, but also the social and cultural values of the community.
Accordingly, people should pay attention to the sociolinguistic aspects when they want to express or understand utterances in conversation. In other words, using language appropriately in communication involves knowing when to speak or when to be silent, knowing how to choose appropriate linguistic code (language choice), learning to take account of who you are talking to, etc. It is one of the ways to being polite in order to make someone else more comfortable and respected (Politeness).
Politeness refers to behavior which actively expresses positive concern for others, as well as non-imposing distancing behavior. In other words, politeness may take the form of an expression of good-will or ‘camaraderie’ (Holmes, 1996: 5). Meanwhile, Brown and Levinson (1987: 60) states that politeness is related to the psychological state, something that is emotionally invested and that can be lost, maintained, or enhanced, and must be constantly attended to in interaction. In addition, Leech’s view of politeness involves a set of politeness maxims analogous to Grice’s maxims. Among these are (Leech, 1983:132) tact, generosity, approbation, modesty, agreement, and sympathy. These maxims vary from culture to culture. What may be considered polite in one culture may be strange or downright rude in another.
From the explanations above, it can be said that being polite means paying attention to others’ feeling. This could be gained by being friendly or respecting them. This will avoid us insulting or threatening someone’s feeling. Hence, it is indeed expected that when we engage in a conversation, we should present more positive concern toward people we are talking to rather than the negative one in order to maintain successful and meaningful interaction.
b. Positive and Negative Faces
"the positive consistent self-image or 'personality' (crucially including the desire that this self-image be appreciated and approved of) claimed by interactants. Negative face was defined as "the want of every 'competent adult member' that his actions be unimpeded by others", or "the basic claim to territories, personal preserves, rights to non-distraction--i.e. the freedom of action and freedom from imposition".
Further, Brown characterized positive face by desires to be liked, admired, ratified, and related to positively, nothing that one would threaten positive face by ignoring someone. At the same time, he characterized negative face by the desire not to be imposed upon, noting that negative face could be impinged upon by imposing on someone. Positive Face refers to one's self-esteem, while negative face refers to one's freedom to act. The two aspects of face are the basic wants in any social interaction, and so during any social interaction.
c. Face-Threatening Acts
The threats to negative face might take the forms of orders, requests, suggestions, and advice. They potentially damage an individual’s autonomy. In contrast, disapproval, disagreement, accusation, and interruptions are threats to positive face, which potentially lower an individual’s self and social esteem. To lessen the threats and save face, people need politeness. It arises as a strategy speakers need to know in order to fight against face threatening acts and guarantee safety in conversation (Bernier, 2001).
d. Politeness Strategies
Brown and Levinson (1987: 60) outline four main types of politeness strategies: bald on-record, negative politeness, positive politeness, and off-record (indirect). The more an act threatens the speaker or hearer´s face, the more the speaker wants to choose a `higher-numbered´ strategy. The choice may be schematized follow.
1) Bald On-record
Bald on-record strategies usually do not attempt to minimize the threat to the hearer’s face, although there are ways that bald on-record politeness can be used in trying to minimize FTAs implicitly. Often using such a strategy will shock or embarrass the addressee, and so this strategy is most often utilized in situations where the speaker has a close relationship with the audience, such as family or close friends. Brown and Levinson (1987: 94-98) outline various cases, in which one might use the bald on-record strategy, including:
Instances in which threat minimizing does not occur Great urgency or desperation:Watch out!
Speaking as if great efficiency is necessary:Hear me out:...
Task-oriented:Pass me the hammer.
Little or no desire to maintain someone's face:Don't forget to clean the blinds!
Doing the FTA is in the interest of the hearer:Your headlights are on!
Instances in which the threat is minimized implicitly Welcomes:Come in.
Offers:Leave it, I'll clean up later, Eat!
2) Positive Politeness
avoid conflict, some strategies of positive politeness include statements of friendship, solidarity, compliments, etc.
The following fifteen strategies are addressed to positive face and are thus examples of positive politeness (Watts, 2003: 89-90):
(1)Notice, attend to H (her/his interests, wants, needs, goods, etc.: (strategy 1)Jim, you’re really good at solving computer problems.
→(FTA) I wonder if you could just help me with a little formatting problem I’ve got.
(2)Exaggerate (interest, approval, sympathy with H):
(strategy 2) Good old Jim. Just the man I wanted to see. I knew I’d find you here.
→(FTA) Could you spare me a couple of minutes?
(3)Intensify interest to the hearer in the speaker’s contribution:
(strategy 3) You’ll never guess what Fred told me last night. This is right up your street.
→(FTA) [begins a narrative]
(4)Use in-group identity markers in speech:
(strategy 4) Here’s my old mate Fred. How are you doing today, mate?
→(FTA) Could you give us a hand to get this car to start? (5)Seek agreement in safe topics:
(strategy 5) I agree. Right. Manchester United played really badly last night, didn’t they?
(strategy 6) Well, in a way, I suppose you’re sort of right. But look at it like this.
→(FTA) Why don’t you . . .?
(7)Presuppose, raise, assert common ground:
(strategy 7) People like me and you, Bill, don’t like being pushed around like that, do we?
→(FTA) Why don’t you go and complain? (8)Joke to put the hearer at ease:
(strategy 8) A: Great summer we’re having. It’s only rained five times a week on average.
B: Yeah, terrible, isn’t it?
A:→(FTA) Could I ask you for a favour?
(9)Assert or presuppose knowledge of and concern for hearer’s wants:
(strategy 9) I know you like marshmallows, so I’ve brought you home a whole box of them.
→(FTA) I wonder if I could ask you for a favor . . . (10)Offer, promise:
(strategy 10)I’ll take you out to dinner on Saturday
→(FTA) if you’ll cook the dinner this evening.
(11)Be optimistic that the hearer wants what the speaker wants, i.e. that the FTA is slight:
→(FTA) so, if I were you, I wouldn’t cut your lawn back so short. (12)Include both S and H in the activity:
(strategy 12) I’m feeling really hungry.Let’s stop for a bite.
(FTA = S wants to stop and have something to eat and wants to get H to agree to do this)
(13)Give or ask for reasons:
(strategy 13)I think you’ve had a bit too much to drink, Jim.
→(FTA) Why not stay at our place this evening? (14)Assert reciprocal exchange or tit for tat:4 Dad,
→(FTA) if you help me with my math homework, (strategy 14) I’ll mow the lawn after school tomorrow.
(15)Give gifts to H (goods, sympathy, understanding, cooperation): A: (strategy 15)Have a glass of malt whisky, Dick.
B: Terrific! Thanks.
3) Negative Politeness
(1)Be conventionally indirect:
(strategy 1)Could you tell me the time, please?
(2)Do not assume willingness to comply. Question, hedge:
(strategy 2) I wonder whether I couldjust sort ofask you alittlequestion. (3)Be pessimistic about ability or willingness to comply. Use the subjunctive:
(strategy 3) If you had a little time to sparefor me this afternoon, I’d like to talk about my paper.
(4)Minimize the imposition:
(strategy 4) Could I talk to youfor just a minute? (5)Give deference:
(strategy 5) (to a police constable) Excuse me, officer. I think I might have parked in the wrong place.
(strategy 6)Sorry to bother you, but . . .
(7)Impersonalize the speaker and the hearer. Avoid the pronounsIandyou: (strategy 7)
A:That car’s parked in a no-parking area. B: It’s mine, officer.
A:Well, it’ll have to have a parking ticket. (8)State the FTA as an instance of a general rule:
(strategy 8)Parking on the double yellow lines is illegal, so
(strategy 9) Participation in an illegal demonstration is punishable by law.
→(FTA) Could I have your name and address, madam? (10)Go on record as incurring a debt, or as not indebting H:
→(FTA) If you could just sort out a problem I’ve got with my formatting, (strategy 10)I’ll buy you a beer at lunchtime.
4) Off-record (indirect)
The final politeness strategy outlined by Brown and Levinson is the indirect strategy. This strategy uses indirect language and removes the speaker from the potential to being imposing. For example, a speaker using the indirect strategy might merely say, “Wow, it’s getting cold in here” insinuating that it would be nice if the listener would get up and turn up the thermostat without directly asking the listener to do so. In other words, Off Record is an indirect politeness strategy in which the speaker says something that can be interpreted in more than one way. It depends on the hearer’s ability to decide the real meaning. There are fifteen strategies of Off Record (Brown and Levinson, 1987: 211-227):
(1) Give hints
S says something that is not explicitly relevant, he/ she invites H to search for an interpretation of the possible relevance.
(2) Give association clues
S gives a related kind of implicature triggered by relevance violations that is provided by mentioning something associated with the act required of H, either by precedent in S-H’s experience or by mutual knowledge irrespective of their interactional experience. Example:
1. “My house isn’t very far away” (Please come visit me) 2. “Are you going to market tomorrow?” (Give me a ride there) (3) Presuppose
By implicating something, S forces H to search for the relevance of the presupposed prior event. Example:
1. “John’s in the bathtub yet again” 2. “It was not me that did it” (4) Understate
S understates what he/ she actually wants to say. In the case of a criticism, S avoids the lower points of the scale, and in the case of compliment, or admission, S avoids the upper points. Example:
1. A: “How do you like Josephine’s new haircut? B: “It’s OK.” (I didn’t like it)
2. “It’s not half bad.” ( S thinks it’s surprisingly good) (5) Overstate
S exaggerates or chooses a point on a scale which is higher than the actual state of affairs.
1. “I tried to call a hundred times, but there was never any answer.” 2. “You never do the washing up.”
The use of hundred and never in those examples above exaggerates a point of scale which is higher than the actual state of affairs.
(6) Use tautologies
By uttering a tautology, S encourages H to look for an informative interpretation of the non-informative utterance.
1. “War is war”.
2. “Boys will be boys”. (7) Use contradiction
By stating two things that contradict each other, S makes it appear that he/ she cannot be telling the truth. He/ she, thus, encourages H to look for an interpretation that reconciles the two contradictory propositions. Example: 1. A: “Are you upset about that?”
B: “Well, I am and I’m not”
2. “Well, John is here and he’ isn’t here.”
(8) Be ironic
By saying the opposite of what he/ she means, S can indirectly convey his/ her intended meaning, if there are clues that his/ her intended meaning is being conveyed indirectly. Example:
1. “John’s a real genius” (after John has just done twenty stupid things in a row)
2. “Lovely neighborhood, eh?” ( in a slum) (9) Use metaphors
S uses metaphors and makes H interpret his/ her intended meaning by him/herself. Example:
1. “Harry’s a red fish” (He drinks/ swims/ is cold-blooded like a fish) (10) Use rhetorical questions
S asks a question with no intention of obtaining an answer. Questions that leave their answers hanging in the air, implicated, may be used to do FTAs. Example:
1. “How many times do I have to tell you?” (Too many) 2. “What can I say?” (Nothing, it’s so bad)
(11) Be ambiguous
S makes purposeful ambiguity which may be achieved through metaphor and lets H to guess what he/ she means. Example:
1. “John’s a pretty smooth cookie”
(12) Be vague
S may go off record with an FTA by being vague about who the object of the FTA is, or what the offence is.
1. “Looks like someone may have had too much to drink”. (vague understatement)
2. “I’m going down the road for a bit.” (to the local pub)
The speaker’s object is vague so that it can also be used as a criticism. (13) Over generalize
S utters a rule instantiation which may leave the object of the FTA vaguely off record. Then, H has the choice of deciding whether the general rule applies to him/ her, in this case.
1. “If that door is shut completely, it sticks” 2. “The lawn has got to be mown.”
(14) Displace H
S may go off record as to who the target for his FTA is, or he/ she may pretend to address the FTA to, someone whom it wouldn’t threaten, and hope that the real target will see that the FTA is aimed him/ her.
(15) Be incomplete, use ellipsis
By purposefully not finishing his/ her utterance and leaving an FTA half undone, S can leave the implicature “hanging in the air”, just as with rhetorical questions. Example:
1. “Well, if one leaves one’s tea on the wobbly table...” 2. “Well, I didn’t see you...”
From the examples above, it can be seen that, the speaker leaves the implicature “hanging in the air”, he/ she does not finish his/ her utterance. Meanwhile, Leech’s view of politeness involves a set of politeness maxims analogous to Grice’s maxims. Among these are (Leech, 1983:132) tact, generosity, approbation, modesty, agreement, and sympathy. These maxims vary from culture to culture. What may be considered polite in one culture may be strange or downright rude in another.
e. Socio-cultural Variables of Brown and Levinson’s Model
1) Social Distance
The social distance between the speaker and the hearer will determine the degree of politeness which is used to communicate between them. When the social distance between the speakers is getting far, the degree of politeness that they use will be higher. On the contrary, when the social distance between the speakers is close, the degree of politeness that they use will be lower. The social distance between them is determined by the age, sex, and socio-cultural background.
The power owned by the speaker will determine the degree of politeness when he or she is speaking to the hearer. When the speaker possesses higher power than the hearer, the degree of politeness will be lower when he or she is speaking to the hearer. Meanwhile, if the speaker possesses lower power than the hearer, the degree of politeness will be higher when they are speaking, for instance, when a boss speaks to his people. Although he is still younger than his people he may speak to them who are older than him with rather impolite way. It might be like someone talks to his close friend.
action (by this we also mean speech acts) which threatens the addressee’s autonomy and freedom of action and usually is conveyed in the form of an order.
B. Theoretical Framework
This study particularly aims at observing and analyzing the use of politeness strategies which are produced by the main characters of Thank You for Smoking in their conversations, and then finding out what factors that may influence their use of politeness strategies by applying the model of Brown and Levinson.
The result of this study would be a description of the use of the politeness strategies employed by the main characters of Thank You for Smoking in their conversations. In order to identify and analyze the use of politeness strategies in
Thank You for Smoking, some related theories have been presented previously. Since the focus of this study is the use of politeness strategies employed by the main characters in their conversations, it is obvious that it would be related to understanding many various utterances in conversation or the use of language in conversation. In other words, firstly the writer indeed needs to comprehend the meaning of the characters’ utterances in context (Pragmatics).
from pragmatics and politeness. They really influence each other. In other words, it is obvious that one utterance could convey one or more than one speech acts or meaning. Those acts would be able to change depending on the context of speaking. Thus, without understanding meaning in context and speech acts of utterances, it would be difficult to classify the utterances into the politeness strategies.
The theories of sociolinguistics, namely language choice and domain were also presented in this study, since politeness strategies are under the scope of sociolinguistics. Thus, speaking politely is absolutely dealing with sociolinguistic aspects. People try to respect others by choosing the most appropriate linguistic choice when they speak to different people (parents/ good friends/ boss), or in different situations or domains (office, church, interview, family activities, etc) in order to construct smooth conversation and being polite. Furthermore, the selection of language choice in conversation is extremely influenced by some factors. They are the social backgrounds of both the speaker and the addressee, the relationship between the speaker and the addressee, and the context and manner of the interaction.
each utterance, the writer classified the utterances into four kinds of politeness strategies, namely Bald on Record, Positive Politeness, Negative Politeness, and Off Record.
CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY
This chapter presents the discussion of methodology used to gain the data of this research. It is divided into six parts. The first part is Research Method. It describes how the research data will be observed and how research problem will be answered. The second part is Research Subject. It explains the center of the research, who or what is going to be observed in the whole research. The third part is Research Instruments. It illustrates the tool used to gather the data. The fourth part is Data Gathering Technique. It exemplifies the process of gathering the data. The fifth part is Data Analysis Technique. It describes how the writer analyzes the data. Finally, Research Procedure mentions and explains the steps of conducting the research.
A. Research Method
Since this research was dealing with how people speak or modify their utterances in conversations, the writer conducted a qualitative research. It is in line with the definition of qualitative research from Ary, Jacobs, and Razavieh that qualitative research focuses on understanding social phenomena from the perspective of the human participants in the study. It provides narrative description and interpretation rather than a numerical analysis of data (2002a: 22-25). In addition, since this research attempted to investigate the use of politeness strategies in movie (the first research question), the writer applied a document
analysis method in this research. Ary, Jacobs, and Razavieh (2002b: 442) define content or document analysis as a research method applied to written or visual materials for the purpose of identifying specified characteristics of the materials. The materials could be textbooks, newspapers, speeches, television programs, advertisements, musical compositions, or any of a host other types of documents. Accordingly, the document applied and analyzed in this research was the script of
Thank You for Smoking, and the analysis result was narrative description and interpretation of the use of politeness strategies applied by the main characters of
Thank You for Smoking. Furthermore, the analysis result was analyzed in order to find out what factors may influence their use of politeness strategies (the second research question).
B. Research Subject
Simmons as "BR", Nick's boss at the Academy. The last is Kim Dickens as Jill Naylor, Nick’s ex wife. They are the main characters who play the important roles in the movie. They have more portions in conversations than the other characters. Besides, they experience various things and face many kinds of conflicts dealing with expressing or revealing their feelings or thoughts (sadness, happiness, anger, disappointment, truth, lies, appointment, and many more). Thus, the writer could see how the main characters often modify their utterances in order to construct meaningful conversations, maintain their relationship (between father and his son, between boss and the employee, or among close friends), appreciate others (especially elderly people), or even impose someone else. It has to do with how they apply the politeness strategies in their conversations.
C. Research Instruments
The instruments of this research were three kinds of documents, namely the movie and the script of Thank You for Smoking, and the analysis result of the use of politeness strategies produced by the main characters of Thank You for Smoking. The former is called secondary instruments or documents, and then the latter is called human instrument or primary document. Ary, et al. (2005:435) said that documents could be personal such as diaries, official such as files, or documents of popular culture, such as books, etc. The movie and the script were certainly employed to solve the first research question, namely“How do the main characters of Thank You for Smoking use the politeness strategies in their conversations?, and the analysis result was employed to answer the second research question, namely “What are the factors influencing the use of politeness strategies produced by the main characters of Thank You for Smoking?”
D. Data Gathering Technique
The writer gathered the data by borrowing the DVD of Thank You for Smoking at Studio One movie rental shop and searching for Thank You for Smoking’s script in the internet, namely at www.simplyscript.com. There were many various English expressions or utterances contained in the conversations of
E. Data Analysis Technique
In this research, the writer applied three data analysis techniques. Firstly, the writer comprehended all expressions or utterances which were only produced by the main characters of Thank You for Smoking by observing how they try to convey their messages or intentions and how they response to their interlocutors in conversations. Second, the writer classified the expressions or utterances into four politeness strategies by employing Brown and Levinson’s politeness strategies model. Lastly, the writer analyzed the analysis result or discussion of the use of politeness strategies in order to find out what factors that may influence their use of politeness strategies by applying the socio-cultural variables of Brown and Levinson’s model. In addition, this theory was also combined systematically with another theory that has been elaborated in chapter two, namely the social dimensions proposed by Holmes.
F. Research Procedure
The procedures that were conducted in this research were: 1. Watching the movie ofThank You for Smoking
2. Improving the script ofThank You for Smoking
The script of Thank You for Smoking which has been found by the writer from the internet still needed to be improved because the names of the characters were not available. Consequently, the writer had to recheck and complete the script so that the writer could know each utterance would go to which character.
3. Understanding the script ofThank You for Smoking
Afterwards, the writer read and understood the script while watching the movie repeatedly in order to comprehend the meaning of each utterance especially produced by the main characters. As stated previously in chapter two, in the speech acts part, that one utterance could convey more than one meanings or speech acts. Hence, it was quite significant to comprehend the meanings of each utterance first in order to avoid misinterpretation.
4. Analyzing and classifying the expressions or utterances into Brown and Levinson’s politeness strategies model
factors that may influence the use of politeness strategies by considering on the socio-cultural variables and sociolinguistic aspects.
5. Writing up the report
RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
This chapter presents the research findings and discussion in order to answer the two research questions having been formulated in chapter one. The first is the use of politeness strategies applied by the main characters ofThank You for Smoking. The second is the factors influencing the use of politeness strategies produced by the main characters ofThank You for Smokingin their conversations.
A. The Use of Politeness Strategies by the Main Characters
This section discusses how the the main characters of Thank You for Smoking use the politeness strategies in their conversations. They are Nick Naylor, Joey, Polly Bailey, BR, Jill, and Senator Ortolan Finisterre. The total number of dialogues in this investigation is 261 and divided into 30 Speech Acts.
Table 1: The Number of Each Character’s Dialogue Name of Character Number of Dialogue 1. Nick Naylor
2. Joey (Nick’s son) 3. BR (Nick’s boss)
4. Polly Bailey (Nick’s best friend) 5. Senator (Nick’s rival)
6. Jill (Nick’s ex-wife)
126 dialogues 41 dialogues 35 dialogues 29 dialogues 15 dialogues 15 dialogues
Total 261 dialogues
This discussion is based on the politeness strategies theory of Brown and Levinson. As stated by Brown and Levinson (1987: 91), there are four main types of politeness strategies, namely Bald on Record (direct), Negative Politeness, Positive Politeness, and Off Record (indirect). In Thank You for Smoking, it is noticed that all four types of politeness strategies are found. They are Bald on Record, Positive Politeness, Negative Politeness, and Off Record. What differentiates them is the frequency of occurrence and who employs it.
Table 2: The Number of Politeness Strategies Produced by the Main Characters
Politeness Strategies Dialogue of
Bald on Record
Nick 37 41 10 0 88
Boss 16 8 1 2 27
Polly 14 6 1 2 23
Joey 14 6 0 1 21
Senator 5 0 1 3 9
Jill 7 3 3 1 14
Total 93 64 16 9 182
his ex-wife (Jill), and even between Nick and his rival who is older than him (Senator); then followed by Positive Politeness (64 times). This strategy also frequently happens among them who have close relationship. Meanwhile, Off Record is employed 16 times. Most of the strategies are employed by Nick to BR and Jill. Then, the least frequently used strategy is Negative Politeness (9 times). Most of the strategies are employed by Senator to Nick. It is all due to the existence of some social distance between Nick and Senator.
Here, in discussion, the writer will not put all the analysis result in subchapter A. In other words, the writer will discuss all kinds of politeness strategies occurred in this movie, and not present data that produces similar analysis result. The following is the detail of the analysis.
1. The Use of Bald on Record
Based on the politeness strategies of Brown and Levinson, this direct politeness strategy usually do not attempt to minimize the impact of FTAs. It attacks a hearer’s face without mitigating the threat. Here, in Thank You for Smoking, Bald on Record strategy frequently happens, especially between Nick and his Boss, BR. As a boss, people sometimes use Bald on Record to show that they have power over the others. This could be observed in the following dialogue, Speech Act 1.
Setting : on the phone
SPEECH ACT 1 BOSS:
$50 million?! Are you out of your fucking mind?!(BOR)
The deal was five million!
$5 million will get you a couple of subway posters.(BOR)
It's not going to impress anyone.
That's the idea, Nick.
You'll be thanking me soon.(BOR) This'll probably get you great press. BOSS:
I gotta call the captain and see if this is gonna fly.
Get your ass back to D.C.(BOR)
utterances could be regarded as a potential threat toward Nick. It is said so because BR shows less emotion control and no effort to soften his imposition, that is the complaint and command in this case.
Meanwhile, Nick does not feel like being imposed or intruded by his boss. This is noticed in Nick’s response, that he looks relaxed and uses Bald on Record as well toward his boss, BR. It also implies that Nick has a little social distance with his boss. They know each other very well. Therefore, both BR and Nick frequently apply Bald on Record in their daily conversations, either inside or outside office. Their utterances are direct, clear, and unambiguous. In other words, their relationship is inclined to be between close friends, instead of between employer and employee.
Indeed, this kind of strategy is commonly applied among those who have a little close distance and very comfortable in such environment, such as close friends and family. In addition to appearing in the conversations between Nick and BR, Bald on Record also frequently happens between Nick and his best friends, Polly Bailey and Bobby Jay Bliss, who have close relationship. They very often apply Bald on Record in their conversations. However, here the writer only focuses on the utterances between Nick and Polly Bailey because as already mentioned previously that the analysis was only dealing with the conversations among the main characters.
Setting : Lunch at Bert’s cafe
SPEECH ACT 10 NICK:
Have either of you heard of a reporter named Heather Holloway? BOBBY JB:
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Irish type. Brown hair, big blue eyes. Nice skin. Amazing tits. POLLY BAILEY:
Tits? Why are tits relevant?(BOR) BOBBY JB:
Hmm, let's see.
World-class tits on a reporter interviewing a man with privileged information are relevant.
How about it, Nick? Are you a tit man?(BOR) BOBBY JB:
Don't answer that. That's a trap. NICK:
Depends whose tits.(BOR)
It could be clearly seen that both Nick and Polly Bailey equally use Bald on Record in this conversation, Speech Act 10. Polly Bailey straightforwardly asks Nick about a sensitive thing, namely about sex; “How about it, Nick? Are you a tit man?” She attacks Nick’s face without mitigating the threat. However, Nick also responds comfortably by saying, “Depends whose tits.”
Therefore, the conversation goes smoothly without anyone feeling himself / herself being imposed. In other words, this could be still considered polite.
Setting : in the yard of Lorne Lutch’s house
Situation : Lorne Lutch aims his gun at Nick, while Joey is still in the car. Participants : Nick, Lorne Lutch, and Joey
SPEECH ACT 15 NICK:
(talk to Joey)You stay here, okay?(BOR) LORNE LUTCH:
What do you want? (Lorne Lutch aims his gun at Nick) JOEY:
Joey, get back in the car.(BOR)
(talking to Lorne Lutch)Just want to talk.
All right. Let's talk.
(Lorne Lucth is talking to his wife) Pearl, we got company. NICK:
(talking to his son) I'll be right back, tiger.
In addition to happening among the conversations of Nick-BR, Nick-Joey, and Nick-Polly Bailey, the usage of Bald on Record is also very often found in the conversations between Nick and his rival, Senator Finistirre. Here is the example of their conversation containing Bald on Record strategy.
Setting : on TV talk show hosted by Dennis Miller
Situation : Nick and Senator Finistirre are attending on TV talk show. They are giving teasing comments each other on the talk show
Participants : Nick, Senator Finistirre, and Dennis Miller (the host) SPEECH ACT 17
All right, I understand you were on Joan Lunden's show recently. Didn't make a lot of friends over there, did you?
I will say that I don't think I'll be getting my annual invitation to the Finistirre Labor Day Barbecue.(BOR)
Well, I continue to offer an open invitation to Mr. Naylor to join us in Congress to talk about the inclusion of our new poison label which, if I might say...
Nick, ready to trek up the Hill and testify before Congress? NICK:
Well, I'd love to, Dennis, but not as long as the senator is calling for me to be fired. It's not exactly a welcome invitation.(BOR)
DENNIS MILLER: Yeah.
Bit of a mixed message, Senator. SENATOR:
NICK: Oh, no.
Now what are you laughing? You're a wind-up artist.
Give the man his due. He's got a bit of a point there, doesn't he? NICK:
Sorry. I just can't help myself, Dennis.
I... I... I'm just tickled by the idea of the gentleman from Vermont calling me a hypocrite when, uh... this same man, in one day, held a press conference where he called for the American tobacco fields to be slashed and burned, then he jumped on a private jet and flew down to Farm Aid where he rode a tractor onstage(BOR)
SENATOR: Oh, come on. NICK:
As he bemoaned the downfall of the American farmer.(BOR) DENNIS MILLER:
Care to comment, Senator? SENATOR:
He... I... No.
Senator Finistirre feels uncomfortable with Nick’s comments and arguments. He feels intruded so that he even could not convey much explanation or argument toward Nick’s comments. Actually, it is all due to the existence of some social distance between Nick and Senator Finistirre. They have a contrary background. Nick is from the Academy of Tobacco Studies, while Senator Finistirre is from Health and Human Services. Consequently, they are always involved in debates. Besides, it is also obvious that Nick neglects the age distance or even relative power or status between himself and Senator Finistirre.
2. The Use of Positive Politeness
his best friend, Polly Bailey and between Nick and his beloved son, Joey. It could be noticed in the following dialogue, Speech Act 3.
Setting : Dinner at Bert’s cafe
Situation : They are sharing their experience and opinion each other Participants : Nick and Polly Bailey
SPEECH ACT 3 POLLY BAILEY: So, my day's ruined. NICK:
Dateline's doing a segment on fetal alcohol syndrome. Thank you. We're gonna get creamed. Any ideas?(PP > 4) NICK:
I don't know.
Deformed kids are tough.(PP > 6)
I'm lucky my product only makes them bald before it kills them.(PP > 8) NICK:
Who's doing the segment, Donaldson or Sawyer?(PP > 8) POLLY BAILEY:
Sawyer, probably.(PP > 8) POLLY BAILEY:
Maybe we should change our campaign to "If You Must Drink and Drive, Suck Charcoal."(PP > 8)
Yeah, but don't the police wonder why you're sucking on charcoal?(PP > 8)
that is Joke. Firstly, this conversation is started with Polly Bailey’s complaint of her bad day, and then she revealed, “Dateline's doing a segment on fetal alcohol syndrome. Thank you.” The way Polly revealing her problem seems uncommon or weird a bit for daily conversation. She tells to Nick as if she is declaring something in front of audiences. Here, actually Polly is trying to keep maintaining a comfortable atmosphere in their meeting when talking about a serious problem. Accordingly, Polly applies Positive Politeness strategy number 8 that is Joke. Then, in her next sentence, “We're gonna get creamed”, it really indicates that Polly also applies Positive Politeness strategy number 4 that is the use of in-group identity markers, specifically the use of slang terms “gonna” and get “creamed”. Slang is said as special kinds ‘intimate’ or in-group speech used to claim solidarity (Spolsky, 1998: 35). Thus, the use of slang terms with close friends in particular is one of the characteristics of Positive Politeness strategy in order to establish intimacy. In addition, it also implies that Polly and Nick have so close relationship that they always try to create comfortable atmosphere. Put it briefly, there is no social distance or awkwardness between them.
understand Polly’s feeling, as well as maintain a positive and comfortable relationship. The latter is a kind of joke strategy. Nick also responds to Polly’s complaint with creating joke by saying, “I'm lucky my product only makes them bald before it kills them”, and it works well. The conversation keeps going smoothly until the last. Their following conversation bursts into joking.
In addition to applying Positive Politeness strategies to his best friend, Polly Bailey, Nick always applies Positive Politeness strategies to his son, Joey as well. It could be seen from this following dialogue; in Speech Act 4.
Setting : at Nick’s home
Situation : Nick is helping Joey to accomplish his assignment Participants : Nick and Joey
SPEECH ACT 4 ...
So what am I supposed to write? NICK:
You can write whatever you want. Okay. Write about...
Write about America's amazing ability to make profit by breaking down trading tariffs and bringing American jobs to Third World countries. Or how good we are at executing felons. They're all correct answers.(PP > 15)
JOEY: I can do that? NICK:
See, Joey, that's the beauty of argument.
'Cause if you argue correctly, you're never wrong.(PP > 15) JOEY:
Dad, if I finish this essay within an hour, can we stay up all night?(PP > 14) NICK: