Paralanguage In The Office

868 Words4 Pages
One of the all-time, greatest shows to ever grace my television screen is, none other than, The Office. Michael Scott, played by Steve Carrell, is every embodiment of how one should NOT talk and act in American society. His language and communicative style completely opposes that which is acceptable. Consequently, I thought what better for me to use in this assignment then a scene from The Office that makes me burst out into laughter time and time again – Season 3, episode 1: “Gay Witch Hunt” (17:00 – 19:45). In this unforgettable scene, Michael calls a conference meeting to clear the air about his stance on homosexuality and gays, being that he accidentally “outted” one of his staff members, Oscar Martinez, earlier that day.
From a phonological perspective, this scene does not seem to show variations in national/regional dialects or accents between the characters. Both Michael and Oscar express and verbalize in GAE. The use of GAE is standard and customary amongst many American television shows, with the exception of a specific roles and genres (such as “bad guys” having British accents). However, the use of paralanguage covers all areas. After Michael forcibly makes Oscar “come out of the closet”, Oscar tries to quit. Michael stops him calmly by hugging him as a sign of acceptance. Oscar, clearly
…show more content…
As stated earlier, Michael is the perfect example of how NOT to act in American society. This scene shows a very clear transition between the Speech Acts we reviewed in class and what happens when these Acts go against the grain of society’s standards. It begins with Michael trying to make a statement by hugging Oscar. What Michael fails to do is properly request to hug Oscar in the form of a question, as most Americans do. Consequently, Oscar timidly and then very forcibly refuses his request. This is then followed by an apology from both
Open Document