Carbon Tax and Other Dirty Language

Carbon Tax and Other Dirty Language

Question 1

The fact that the meaning of any word used by a speaker/writer is determined in the mind of the listener/reader is undeniable. While a speaker may have a specific meaning while uttering a statement, the words are subject to varied interpretations by the audience. The use of the word ‘tax’ in the text gives the argument a completely different course from the intended. In this context, ‘carbon tax’ is referred to as a form of dirty language (Roller, 2011). Realistically, there is a connotative agenda behind labelling of the ‘carbon price’ a ‘carbon tax’ (Gillard, 2013). Since in the past, citizens have linked taxation to some kind of extortion by the government. The mention of ‘tax’ in any conversation would obviously attract various debates.Question 2

Ideally, if Julia Gillard’s preference ‘carbon price’ had been used, the argument would have been less divisive. People are used to playing constant games with the ‘dirty word’. By using an alternative word in the argument, a different impression would have been created and hence people would have nothing to make fun about. Furthermore, the label tax was not appropriate as the law as not enacted following the constitutional powers (Gillard, 2013). Although there is no practical difference between the two labels, the impressions brought about by the word ‘tax’ can hardly be overlooked.Question 3

The register used in any given text determines the seriousness the text is likely to draw from the audience. Debates which are presented in a casual language could not evoke much attention as those in formal language. The use of the economics language in the debate creates an implication to the audience that the arguments made should be taken with much weight as they impact not only their daily lives but also those of the next generations (Roller, 2011). The language also makes the argument more contextualized and specific.

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