EDITOR’S LETTER IN MODERN WOMEN’S AND MEN’S MAGAZINES: GENDER APPROACH
This paper presents a gender approach to the study of the editor’s letter, the genre endemic in modern press. In particular, it focuses on popular women’s and men’s magazines which are considered to be powerful instruments in maintaining and promoting certain gender stereotypes in modern society. The paper gives a short insight into the definition of the term “gender” in modern linguistics. The study is theoretically framed by R. Lakoff’s findings – the differences of men’s and women’s speech. More specifically, applying functional approach to language, the paper examines the use of key words, emotional adjectives and words of feelings, intensifiers, words and constructions expressing probability, phrasal verbs, idioms, polite words and expressions, and slang. The results of the analysis demonstrate an emphasis on certainty and confidence, politeness and loyalty in the editor’s letters written by both women and men. Also, they indicate that apart from traditional topics a motif of family and relationship is important for the male editors. Finally, the findings show a tendency to neutral words and phrases which substitute sexist language in the analyzed male and female editor’s letters. The paper argues that although editor’s letters reflect the basic features of women’s and men’s speech, generic conventions play a crucial role in presenting information. The linguistic peculiarities of editor’s letters help to construct a certain image of modern man and woman promoted by these popular media nowadays.