Style of writing

The short story “How to Tell a True War Story” by Tim O’Brien mainly contains technical military language which helps readers have a better feel of the narrator’s experience in the Vietnam War

When it comes to the choice of words, the author uses technical military language, like “grenade” (p. 9, l. 3), “detonator” (p. 2, l. 32), “booby trap” (p. 2, l. 39), “listening-post operation” (p. 3, l. 15), “air strikes” (p. 4, l. 37), “Cobras and F-4s” (p. 4, l. 40), “Willie Peter and HE and incendiaries” (p. 4, l. 40), and “napalm” (p. 4, l. 39). This gives the narrative an authentic feel and makes readers believe that the story is genuine.

The story also contains slang and vulgar words and expressions, including “piss” (p. 3, l. 33), “shit” (p. 3, l. 35), “crazyass” (p. 3, l. 43), “fucking” (p. 4, l. 2), “dumb cooze” (p. 1, l. 26), “motherfucker” (p. 2, l. 15), and “bitch” (p. 2, l. 1). Slang and vulgar words illustrate the reality of war, where men of all social backgrounds are not concerned with maintaining appearances or with being polite: “Send guys to war, they come home talking dirty” (p. 2, ll. 6-7). On the same note, informal terms like “weirdo” (p. 4, l. 5), “dudes” (p. 4, l. 7), nutso” (p. 1, l. 19), and “badass” (p. 1, l. 7) help create...

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