Academic journal article K@ta

The Use of Non-Standard Indonesian Expressions by Men and Women in the Reader's Letters

Academic journal article K@ta

The Use of Non-Standard Indonesian Expressions by Men and Women in the Reader's Letters

Article excerpt

Abstract: This study reports on the non-standard Indonesian expressions used by men and women in The Reader's Letters in magazines. Seven editions of two different magazines, For Him Magazine and Cosmopolitan, were used as the source of data. The findings revealed the kinds of nonstandard expressions used by both gender, in terms of linguistic categories and non-standard features, also confirming that the men employed more nonstandard expressions than the women

Key words: non-standard Indonesian expressions, gender, kinds, frequency

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

In communication, people can use different varieties of the same language. The varieties can be either standard or non-standard. The language variety used is influenced by some factors in the social context, such as the age, status, topic, gender, and purpose (Alwi, Dardjowidjojo, Lapoliwa, & Moeliono, 2003, p. 5). People who come from different social status, age, and gender use different varieties. The different use of language variety is usually reflected in the vocabularies and the language structure.

Based on gender, men and women are different, in terms of the language that they use (Holmes, 1992, p. 164). The different usage of language between men and women can be seen in many ways. Female speakers tend to use more "prestigious" form than male speakers in the same social background (Yule, 1997, p. 242). Lakoff (1978) states that women's speech is more "polite" than men's. Lakoff also claims that women tend to use hedges like "It's kinda nice" and question tags in expressing something like "The weather is really nice today, isn't it?" On the other hand, fillers and question tags are rarely found in men's language. Another clear difference between men and women's language is that women use "hyper-correct grammar". It means that women tend to use standard language.

The use of different language varieties in society can be seen in daily life, in the spoken form and in the written one. Written language can be in the forms of newspaper, book, poster, booklet, and magazine. Among those kinds of written forms of language, magazine is one of the interesting written forms to be taken as the object of study. Magazine is a mass media in which several language varieties can be used. The language of magazine may be informal as the language should be as friendly as possible to the readers (Hadi, 2002). It should be communicative as it is more effective to achieve the target market. The communicative style of language that is used by magazine is almost the same as the spoken language style, which is usually less formal. However, as one form of written language, the language of magazine should be more explicit and clearer (Alwi et. al., 2003, pp. 7-8).

At the present time, there are magazines that are published especially for women readers and those published for men readers primarily. It shows that the needs of men and women in terms of information, interest, and entertainment are different. There are two magazines in the Indonesian language, which are designed for different gender: For Him Magazine (FHM) for male readers and Cosmopolitan for female readers. These two kinds of magazines have some common characteristics: The first similarity is on the content; both magazines are focused on the daily life. FHM concerns men's life, and Cosmopolitan concerns women's. The second similarity is that both magazines are under the same license, which is MRA-Media Group; both were first published in September 2003.

In order to study the language of men and women, one specific section of both kinds of magazines was chosen as the source of data, that is, the Reader's Letters. The letters posted by the readers are published and replied by the editors. The letters are mostly about compliments, requests, critiques, and opinions of the readers towards the magazines. Since FHM is a magazine whose readers are mostly men, the letters that are posted to be published in the readers' letters are also mostly written by men. …

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