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Published:January 27th, 2010 12:12 EST
Liberty is a Voluntary and Joyful Limitation

Liberty is a Voluntary and Joyful Limitation

By Maria Ardysheva


On the border of XVIII-XIX ages, within Russian society, when the question about the further development of the language came up, Karamzin has said it is necessary to write how to speak, and to speak how to write.

Today, at the turning-point of epochs, the language of the newspapers, broadcast and television sadly confirms that principle: mass media language is flooded with slang and foreign words, demonstrating the various violations of the stylistic, lexical, spelling and others norms. Undoubtedly, the changes in Russian society after events of 1991-1993 have changed a lot in political, economic, social and cultural spheres of life. Appeal of mass media towards new subjects, necessity to throw light upon new realities causing the transition into new genres, expansion to potential auditorium and the sources of information, leading to new principles of the creation of text.

Journalism is a versatile phenomenon, forming a new cultural space. The overcoming of Soviet standards during years of the reorganization was changed by rashly turning to a free-from-ideologies press that was reflected in removing prohibitions on row themes... earlier not stood in discussion. That`s why the press set of the language tools happened to renew and update. The expansion of the information sources and participants of the communication process have generated a polyphony of different cultural languages that has caused for expansion of the low urban culture, youth and criminal subcultures. Many journalists connect this phenomenon with freedom of speech, liberties of the manifestation of individuality. Now the journalist appears as personality, capable of bringing value to real situations, demonstrating its world view through language freedom.

The capital resources of many reaching people in our country were produced in criminal ways. Our state was found in a crisis- that`s why we can see a broad spreading of thieves` lexicon, prison slang. From another side, the societal democratization brings about loss of the history memory, respects to Fatherland and native language, and-- as effect-- a spiritual nihilism. In vogue is so-called "grunge fashion", with its desire to be original, even just to look like a hooligan. This condition specifically concerns the youth newspapers, which want to irritate society and consciously cultivated roughened Russian language.

However, this gives the chance for somebody to explain by referencing the journalism towards a postmodernist manner of letter.

Postmodernism is a world outlook conception, understanding the world as chaos, in maximum entropy. That`s why postmodernism is comfortable to use when it`s necessary to get over a social separatism by switching one language code on other: from low to high, from archaic to stylish. Thence is a penetration into newspaper style of low lexicon. The journalism appeals not so much to postmodernism as to literary-esthetic direction, as a postmodernism to manner style. This manner attracts its attitude toward language as a form of the resistance to one style.

Today, it is not important about it`s being spoken, but how it is spoken. As far as a newspaper cannot contend with other mass media in a speed of translation of information, that accent is done on figurativeness of the language. To attract the reader to reading, it is necessary to play with text, do it bright.

So what are the main principles of postmodernism style in the texts of mass communication?

The central principle is a conception of inter-text. Quoting involves the reader into a process of the shaping the sense, into process of the shaping the picture of the world. Herewith, the primary text gains absolutely another sound, which serves the transmission of that meaning that the journalist wants to put in.

Other important principle is inter-style. Use of the colloquial units, slang and vernacular give new ways to combining the words. Current archaisms, confessional lexicon, and external borrowings move over a bit of the neutral tools of the language, because their presence into written text makes them literal.

The third important principle is of the language game. It helps to create a vivid picture of the world. The Journalists play with words and infuse into words in quest of fresh, unusual names for persons and facts, breaking traditional models of the word-building, removing taboo on combinations of the words. Of course, the reliance on information can raise doubts because of that, instead of words corresponding to presentation of the fact, or a person appears as a creatively processed variant, which displaces the accent from strict information into editorial commentary.

All aforesaid about the condition of Russian mass media, in general, is possible to use regarding youth press in particular. The youth language greatly differs from language in adult presses. The youth press appeals to new subjects such as sex, drugs, different rebels... and subculture. At the pages of the youth newspapers and magazines, the rough slang, vernaculars, and sometimes even foul lexicon more often appear.

One of the reasons of the free-and-easy speech is the style elected by journalists for the youth publishing manner of talk with auditorium: what worries that must be discussed. And very often, it is youth slang with brutal urban vernacular. In youth press particularly, slang spreads. Youth values it for expression, simplicity, liberty from language standards. The cause of slang becomes hysterics, brashness, affectation of speech, nondifferentiating of emotions and estimations.
This o(r)gy of liberty in the choice is connected with o(r)gy of democracy and with abolition of censorship, absence of the supervision over contents of materials. And the deal here is not into absence of the state supervision " it is the absence of internal censorship of authors. 

  We write about fate-festivals and fool punk albums. We write about competitions on swimming and about gold-youth parties. We can write about this whole life long. Because there is no feeling of the internal censorship in us, " says Y. Grymov, editor of Torch " magazine.

And first of all, for Russian youth, it`s necessary to grow an internal control, to be a strict moral censor. After that, it will be possible to talk about another, new level of journalism in Russia. It means that this song of our time " using postmodernism principles in written text-- will go to the past, leaving only useful experience. When society will get over the echo of crisis of the `90s years, then will appear a social oriented market, only then changes in language will be possible.