Influencial and instrumental power

Influential Power – Is when the Person does not have power and they are trying to gain influence over you, an example would be an advertisement as they are trying to gain power over you to buy their product.

Advertisers persuade their audience to adopt attitudes to lifestyle, products and services. It is rare to find advertising that seeks to influence explicitly or directly. Less rare are advertisements in which the link to a product or service is implicit or ambiguous. Consider a TV advertisement (May 2000) which depicts Aimee Mullins a model (who is also a paralympic athlete, sprinter, and double below-the-knee amputee) preparing for the finale of a fashion show for Alexander McQueen – the advertisement was made for an Internet service provider, FreeServe, but did no more directly to advertise FreeServe than show the company name and logo. There is an oblique link to the name of the company in the idea of the model’s freedom to run with the wild animals depicted in the fashion show. At the same time the advertiser skilfully links a possibly un-sexy technical service with ideas of beauty, fashion and positive discrimination.

Instrumental Power – When the Person already has power over usually due to authority or law, example would be a teacher in a classroom.

There are power structures in education, from nurseries to universities, but these are often concealed from those who are subject to them. Schools often produce codes or summaries or lists of rules, but these may have only a local or relative force, since the school itself is subject to laws that protect the interests of different groups. We can perhaps helpfully distinguish educational institutions (other than officer training colleges for the police and armed forces) from the armed services, which have explicit published regulations, a clear hierarchy of command, and tribunals to resolve the few disputed cases that defy this system. In recent times some UK schools and universities may have required parents or students to give assent to a code of rules or “home-school agreement”, but there is no universal model for these, and few parents or students would accept that attending a school has the same force in imposing rules, as joining the army or police service. Educational establishments have some powers of last resort, such as temporary or permanent exclusion but otherwise have very much to derive their power from the consent of those who are governed.

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“Words that are carefully framed and spoken are the most powerful means of communication there is” – Nancy Duarte

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Shaggy Spoken Languages

A Point of Contact

Spoken language and written language have traditionally been like different languages all together, sometimes in actuality and sometimes in the level of formality within the common language that both actually share. It makes me wonder about a language like Japanese with distinct levels of spoken formality. How has the history of written language played a role in this formality distinction? Is it because writing has played a less important role for the average person in Japan, that the formality distinction developed more in the spoken realm?

The public use of language in the western world has become less formal over the years, in an unprecedented way. Written language is a worked on creation, spoken language is chaotic with less things like subordinate clauses, or general structure. Written language is an artifice (more efficient for things like extended arguments), while spoken language is fundamental, shaggy, often repetitive, and highly dependent on…

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Speech vs. Language: What’s the difference?

Forever Free | Georgia Pathway to Language & Literacy

In order to understand the importance of language, we have to know the difference between two commonly confused terms — speech and language.

What’s the difference?


Speech is the verbal means of communicating. It’s how spoken language is conveyed. Speech includes the following:

a) Articulation — how speech sounds are produced by the articulators (lips, teeth, tongue, palate, velum). For example, a child must be able to produce an /m/ sound to say “me.”

b) Voice — use of the vocal folds and exhalation to produce sound. The voice is characterized by pitch, loudness, and resonance (oral- or nasal-).

c) Fluency — how smoothly the sounds, syllables, words, and phrases are joined together in spoken language.


Language is a system of socially shared rules that are understood (i.e. Language Comprehension or Receptive Language) and expressed (i.e. Expressive Language and Written Language) that includes the following:

a) Form —…

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British Accents and Dialects

English by Luka

The United Kingdom is probably the most dialect-obsessed nation in the world. With countless accents shaped by thousands of years of history, there are few English-speaking nations with as many varieties of language in such a small space.

(NOTE: This page uses the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA))

Here is a list of the most important types of British English. While this is not a complete list by any means, it will give you an overview of the accents and dialects most often discussed on this site and elsewhere.

Received Pronunciation

Received Pronunciation is the closest to a “standard accent” that has ever existed in the UK.  Although it originally derives from London English, it is non-regional. You’ve probably heard this accent countless times in Jane Austen adaptations, Merchant Ivory films, and Oscar Wilde plays. It emerged from the 18th- and 19th-Century aristocracy, and has remained the “gold standard” ever…

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Kate Mitchell

Purpose – why the text has been produced

Audience – who the text is aimed at

Classify – group things together due to a variety of characteristics

Register – the formality of the text

Field – the general purpose of an act of communication

Tenor – the relationship between the reader and writer

Dialect – the language variety of a geographical region or social background shown by the use of grammatical or lexical features

Idiolect – Term used to describe an individual’s language

Socialect – a defined use of language as a result of membership of a social group

Syntax – Grammatical rules in which words are arranged

Morphology – the form and structure of individual words

Morpheme – a unit of a word with semantic meaning e.g. (Jump)(ed)

Non – Standard Grammar/English – English language which doesn’t conform to Standard English.

Chaining – linking adjacency pairs to build a…

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‘Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.’ – Henry James

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