Term Paper on Politeness

1877 Words Dec 24th, 2013 8 Pages
Redressive Language Politeness Strategy
At our Group meeting in March, XYZ’s leadership team outlined our strategy to become the world’s leading international air cargo company. (line 2-3) Positive, Intensify interest to hearer
This means we have to become a company that is easier for our customers to do business with and where it is easier for you to work. (line 4-5) Positive, Give reason
We, our (line 4) Positive, Use in-group identity markers
For all of XYZ’s many strengths as an organization, we can be unnecessarily complex and bureaucratic. These weaknesses make us less effective and efficient. (line 5-7) Positive, Give reason
We (line 6) Positive, Use in-group identity markers
Can (line 6) Negative, Hedge
Us (line 7) Positive,
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Grundy (2000) states that power difference, social distance and weight of imposition are factors to determine which politeness system should be adopted in the communication. It affects the degree of face-threat to be compensated by appropriate linguistic strategy. In this email, hierarchical politeness system is adopted. Hierarchical politeness system operates when the participants are in unequal power. In the email, the addresser is the CEO who is with the highest rank in the company, while the addressees are all the employees, who have relatively low ranks in the company. Unlike friends or colleagues in same level, both participants have a huge power distance between each other. The CEO has great power over the employees as the CEO is the superordinate, while the employees are subordinates. Meanwhile, their social distance between each other is large as well with their different social status. The main idea in this email is about 150 employees may get unemployed due to the elimination of job posts in the coming two years. This could affect employees seriously and negatively. Thus, the degree of the weight of imposition is high from the perspective of addressees. This email conforms to the hierarchical politeness system stated by Scollon and Scollon (2000). In the hierarchical politeness system, positive politeness

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