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Janet Holems & Ronald Macaulay Difference

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Language. Gender. When the two meet so does a conversation. A conversation that underlines the differences between men and woman, and that is what both Janet Holmes and Ronald Macaulay breakdown in their essay. Although they do not talk about the exact same topic there are certain aspects we can pull from both writer’s essays in which we can find similar and dissimilar points both discuss. Where Holmes is more focused on which gender talks more and the impact male domination has on conversation, Macaulay hones in on the way the the language is spoken and discusses the very factors that impact that. Overall, no matter who talked about what, it is Macaulay who most convincingly brought forth the more effective argument overall.

There is no effect on determining the effectiveness on what topic was chosen by both authors because anyone can be right about something as long as they can back themselves up unless they are countered by more superior facts. Both Holmes and Macaulay talk about different things but stood in the same category so. Therefore, similarities and difference and seeing which one is more effective than the other is not so much a challenge. Look at it like this: it’s like they both teach under one subject but teach two different sections. Macaulay just taught his section better than Holmes did. Holmes is more so an evaluator whereas Macaulay is a credible linguistic professor, but this is not what makes Macaulay’s essay more effective than Holmes’s. What jumps out at me at the very instance I look at Holmes’s essay is a bunch of data/studies received from different credible authorities. But what this does is it depreciates Holmes’s voice in her essay which is crucial for any author to produce a successful work of art.

It makes one think if she even knows what shes talking about or if shes just a master at putting data/studies together. In all of her sub headings she does not fail to bring forth at least one study. On page 301 paragraph ten, Holmes mentions a New Zealand study, on page 302 shes details the people from the New Zealand study. On page 303 she focuses on classroom discussion and mentions a different study on that. The conclusion follows through with it after not too much dialogue. As you can see, there are consecutive pages of studies which have their numbers in Holmes’s essay. Macaulay on the other hand brings forth his points from another dimension. He begins with Jespersen (an author from the 1920’s wrote on language) whom which he goes against in terms of regarding woman with stereotypes. Macaulay sufficiently argues against Jespersen in by bringing forth a list on diction choice chosen by both genders (Macaulay, 309).

He diminishes the myth by showing how the words chosen by men and women are totally different and how its not the gender that overpowers the other, but the power of the individual. A person who has a doctorate demands respect because they have earned that title, Holmes would counter this point addressing that it is in fact the gender that demands respect and not the title the individual carries. What makes Macaulay’s argument even more convincing is the fact that he brings in other sectors of his field which he finds worth mentioning. “In sociolinguistic studies of complex communities such as Glasgow, New York, and Norwich, it has been shown that women in the lower middle class are likely to be closer in their speech to the women in the class immediately above them than are the men.” (Macaulay, 310). In the sentence that follows up she counters says that men like to be closer to men immediately below them. He later reasons this point from his knowledge on being a linguist. As we can see, he does not just bring studies to prove his point like Holmes does, but also counters/explains what he tries to convey.

Holmes could have won this game of persuasion in juxtaposition to Macaulay’s if she could have had a voice. Without directly drawing out examples from the article in my belief I think a vast majority of Holmes’s audience would argue that she does not write so much more an article on persuading the audience on language and gender difference but more so an article that could be pulled up from google to look up statistics. It simply atrophies her persuasion muscles and destroys her outlook altogether. She needs to put down why she feels as though her data/statistics are convincing instead of second handedly believing that they just are and believing that her audience believes they are. Macaulay on this regard masters the art of stating his points and convincing to us the readers that he indeed believes in what he is writing which in turn makes us the audience indulged in his work.

An excellent example I could grab from the article would be from page 309 where he gives us two charts of how women would say something and how men would state the same idea in a different way (Macaulay 309). After this comparison he gives us an explanation as to how even though the two charts are distinct that there is no real difference (this is the point he tries to clarify in his thesis, mind you). As we continue to read through his article we get more of this example and connections of explanation which is in my opinion highly effective in producing a persuasive work of art. Therefore, Macaulay takes home the trophy. By the end of the day its not a matter of who argued what but how one argued it, I’m not saying Macaulay is a better writer than Holmes, but if she took a different turn in her approach to her paper it could have been somewhat successful. Macaulay did what he intended to do so that is why I believe that it was Macaulay who most convincingly brought forth the more effective argument overall.

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