Language

Style of writing and choice of words

The language used by Leo Benedictus in his article “Every race, colour, nation and religion on earth” is neutral, featuring both formal and informal elements. Contractions such as “didn’t” or “that’s”, and informal expressions such as “has pulled in” and “mind your own business” are used alongside complex phrases and formal terms like “post-imperial self-doubt” or “where there is ignorance, intolerance can quickly be fomented”. This makes the language generally easy to follow and understand.

The writer uses many adjectives and adverbs: “Yet life in the capital is hardly one great coffee-coloured carnival. Few lofty social ideals can be observed in Victoria station at 8am”. This choice of words suggests a descriptive style of language used to emphasise characteristics of certain places in London, to describe people and their habits, etc.

He also makes use of foreign words when describing different types of food: “The ersatz exoticism of a chicken tikka masala is unmistakably English, and the ubiquitous doner column, a respectable dinner in Istanbul reduced to little more than binge fuel in London, now scarcely registers as foreign”. This choice reflects how Londoners have adopted these elements of foreign culture as their own.

Use of pronouns

The choice of pronouns shows that most of the article is written in the third-person impersonal style (“their”, “they”): “Their city is a place of business; they have the few...

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