Identify and analyse uses of lexis and semantics in this text (newspaper article)

Text A is written as a television review and is designed not only to entertain the readers with comedic features, but also to appear reliable and giving just criticism. This is achieved through a range of lexical and semantic features. Within text A there is a pattern of mixing high frequency and low frequency lexis for comedic effect. For example, the title of the article ‘Queen of Tarts” demonstrates the use of an esteemed title ‘Queen’ in conjunction with the polysemic ‘tarts’ which is an incongruous combination, one of Morreal’s theories of humour. ‘tart’ can be used to reference the subject of the article, Nigella Lawson, who is a well known chef, but also has strong sexual connotations, as a derogatory word for a prostitute. The pun has multiple levels, which reflects the multiple ways in which the producer of the text targets the television show. The sexual connotations of the word are reflected later in the text with the phrases “flutters her eyelashes” and “smiles a lot”. ‘Eyelashes’ and ‘smiles’ have flirtatious connotations which reference the accusation that Nigella flirts with her audience. Other examples of esteemed titles being used for comedic effect are in the sixth and seventh paragraphs: “HRH Ovenglove” and “Her Sacred Cookliness”. The producer capitalises the phrases to reinforce the faux esteem and the incongruity progresses as the phrase moves from monarchical titles to religious ones, which simultaneously heightens the incongruity and draws attention to the lack of sense in the show, where a cook is given an esteem that the producer believes she is not worthy of. This is further reflected in the verbs “baffling” and “bewildering” which support the sense of confusion that the producer of the text intends the audience to feel, reflecting his sense of confusion at the television programme he is reviewing. At the end of the text the producer uses much more colloquial lexis that is even phonetically spelt to create a conversational tone. The phonetic spelling “g’wan, git!” Not only softens the imperative, but emphasises that the article is based on personal opinion, perhaps to avoid negative responses from audiences to the quite openly critical article.

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