Publicistic Functional Style

This style became recognised as a separate one in the middle of the 18th century. It has three distinct sub-styles, each characterised by its own peculiar features. They are:

1) oratorical style

2) the style of essays

3) the style of articles

Publicistic style exists in two forms, written and oral. Essays and articles naturally belong to the former: speeches, oratories, radio and TV commentaries are traditionally shaped in an oral form.

a. Oratories and Speeches

The principal aim here is to inform and persuade the audience, to evoke a desired reaction on its part, to stimulate the listeners to some activity.

Being in oral representation it retains some peculiarities of standard oral speech such as direct address to the audience, use of contractions like I’ll, don’t, you’ve, etc., use of imperative mood, use of colloquialisms and second person of pronouns, etc.

Besides, pronunciation, intonation, speaker’s appearance, gestures, mimics are of considerable importance.

Speech and orations are delivered as monologues. Their vocabulary comprises a lot of literary, bookish words and the syntactical structure is logically ordered and paragraphed. Such structures are combined by subordinate and coordinative connectives.

To make the speech more comprehensible, emphatic, emotive the orator often uses repetitions of various kinds: anaphorical with parallel constructions, word and phrase repetitions, synonymical groups, etc. In fact, repetition proves to be one of the most typical syntactical stylistic devices in oratorical sub-style.

General balance and rhythm of the utterance help the listeners remember the major idea or ideas of the speech.

b. Essays

An essay is a limited prose composition on some definite, perhaps scientific or political or legal or economic or literary topic.

As a separate literary genre it came into being as early as in the 16th century (*all the dates are given in regard as to the English language). But most popular they became in the 18th century when essays was the principle literary genre dealing with political and social problems of the then England. Beginning with the 19th century it gradually turned into a genre of newspaper articles conveying different subjects from politics to sports.



An essay is not supposed to treat a problem thoroughly. It is rather an expression of the author’s personal approach to the problem discussed. Thus this sub-style mostly depends on the writer’s individuality.

c. Articles

The aim of a newspaper or magazine article is to interpret news, give comments on political, cultural, economic events of the day or to explain and convince the reader on something. The singleness of purpose determines the existence of a number of common principles characteristic for both this latter sub-styles and the newspaper functional style.

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