The two pieces of written English that I chose are both articles published in “The Chicago Tribune” that have to do with elections. One of the articles was published on September 28, 1911 while the other was published more than 100 years later, just two days ago, on October 24, 2016. Both articles discuss the candidates in two different elections. The older article discusses the candidacy announcement for the Republican nomination of Illinois’ gubernatorial election, by State Attorney, John E. W. Wayman. The article goes into great detail on the announcement speech and discuses his campaign plans.
The latter article discusses the differences between two current candidates for Cook County’s state attorney.
When reading the first article there doesn’t seem to be an apparent bias or sway towards the candidate in question. In fact there is little commentary about the candidate on the part of the author at all. The article simply states that Wayman is running for the Republican nomination, his major claim is to tackle corruption in the Illinois government, and then the author simply lists a series of quotes that are excerpts from Wayman’s announcement speech.
In fact the vast majority of the article is made up of quotes from Wayman himself, all but three of the first twelve sentences of the article are quotes directly from Wayman’s speech.
The second article discusses the current election for Cook County’s state attorney’s office and how the election is the “quintessential David and Goliath fight.” This article is almost fully made up of author commentary with few quotes from the candidates that are being discussed.
The article discusses the differences in funding, connections and experience between the two candidates. The article also discusses the fact that the “David” candidate in this election, Christopher Pfannkuche, has had trouble raising money while the incumbent, Kim Foxx, has the power of the “Democratic machine” behind her. The article also discusses Pfannkuche’s issues with the fact that Kim Foxx previously worked for a law firm that was involved in a lawsuit against Cook County, and how this might pose a conflict of interest for her.
Overall he word choice in the two articles was not entirely different. Certain words were used in the older article such as “stumping and “grafter.” These words are somewhat outdated and are not often seen in modern media. Also the headline phrase, “Wayman Out for Governor” is a slightly strange wording in relation to how we speak today. It almost sounds as if Wayman is dropping out of the election rather than joining the race. Both articles used “big” words and were well written with proper English and grammar.
Other than the slight vocabulary differences the articles are pretty similar. The style of the articles is that of any other political reporting that we hear today. There do not appear to be any biases in either article. The major different in the two articles is the fact that the older article is mostly comprised of quotes from Wayman’s speech while the newer article has some quotes but is mostly the author reporting relevant information. Also the fact that the new article talks a great deal about campaign finances says a lot about our current political system compared to the older article’s discussion about the candidate’s policy change proposals.
If date references were removed I likely would not be able to tell the difference in the time period of the two articles. This exercise showed me more about how campaigns are reported on now more than how language has changed. Other than the few vocabulary differences the written language was very similar. There were more differences in the reporting of the subject matter than in the language used in the reporting. For example the older article used mostly quotes while the new one used little quotes and mostly general information and commentary on the topic. The newer article also discussed campaign finances and the chance each candidate had at winning, as well as the possible strategies that may be used in the campaign. The older article did not discuss this at all but simply reported on the one candidate in question.