Building off of last week’s activities concerning “What Counts as Writing,” I want to look at how style can be influenced by audience. I posted last week that a tweet is a new form of writing that has become increasingly popular with the increase in social media use. The choice in diction used in a tweet can certainly be dependent on the user’s followers (audience). For example, a corporation using twitter for marketing purposes is going to want to avoid vague and abstract language so as to appeal to as wide an audience as possible while being as informative about the company as possible. On the other hand, my twitter is full of tweets that contain jargon and abstract inside jokes that I know my followers, which are comprised mostly of my friends, will be able to understand and enjoy.
Shifting focus now to another form of writing that I posted last week, musical artists have to be conscience of style, especially when considering syntax. One of the most common structures of syntax used in song lyrics is parallel. Parallel structure can be seen in different forms between different musical genres, each with their own audience of listeners. Rap music most commonly ends lines in rhyme, adding to the flow and rhythm that avid rap fans crave. The opening to Lil Wayne’s A Milli is a good example of the parallel rhymes to end each line:
I’m a young money millionaire
Tougher than Nigerian hair
My criteria compared to your career this isn’t fair
Another form of parallel structure that emerges in song lyrics is repetition. Although used in many different genres, repetition can especially improve music that relies heavily on storytelling, adding an interesting stylistic element to the song. A band I really like that uses a lot repetition is The National. An example of this repetition can be found in the song Karen
I must be me, I’m in my head, blackbirds are circling in my head
I must be me, I must be me, black feathers are falling on my feat
Through varying uses of both diction and syntax, style can be a helpful way for a writer to develop an identity that can assist in reaching a specific audience.