The Editorial selected for commentary is titled “School speed zones must be adhered to”. The Editorial featured in The Sunday Mail on 6 February 2008. The editor’s point of view in this editorial is that too many people are ignoring speed limits in school zones, and they should be punished; as such, the reader is positioned to agree with this point of view. The editor is successful in persuading the reader to agree with their point of view via the effective use of writing techniques such as statistics and emotive language.
Consequently it’s important to explore the editor’s use of these techniques and consider the purpose in using them in the editorial and the effect that it has on persuading the reader. The editor’s use of statistics fulfills their purpose of adding authority to their argument and it’s effect on the reader is to shock them and make them angry. . The editor’s use of emotive language fulfills their purpose of eliciting a strong response from the reader and it’s effect on the reader is to make them empathise with the editor’s point of view.
The editor successfully employs the use of statistics to position the reader to accept that people speeding in school zones should be punished. The editor utilises this literary technique to add authority to their argument, and to convey to the reader exactly how big the issue of speeding in school zones is. The editor refers to a survey in which, “… two out of three drivers admitted breaking the limit in school zones”. The use of this statistic is profound, as it conveys to the reader that numerous people are speeding in school zones.
The editor’s use of the word ‘admitted’ is designed to make the reader wonder how many people did not admit to speeding in a school zone. The use of this statistic certainly shocks the reader, and helps position them to accept the author’s point of view. In addition to highlighting the instances of speeding, the editor wishes to convey the attitudes of these ‘thoughtless’ drivers. This is achieved with the following statistic, “… ne in eight had done so [exceeded the speed limit] deliberately”.
The editor successfully shows that drivers who are exceeding the speed limit are numerous and thoughtless. The use of statistics in this editorial successfully positions the reader to accept that people who speed in school zones are careless and deserve to be punished mercilessly. In addition to their use of statistics, the editor successfully manipulates emotive language to convince the reader to accept their point of view.