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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant


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Volume 40, Issue 2

Issues

Comparing the wine tasting notes of Jancis Robinson and Terry Theise: A stylistic analysis

David Michael Bell / Theresa Moran
Published Online: 2019-11-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2019-2053

Abstract

This paper offers a stylistic analysis of the tasting notes (TNs) of wine writers Jancis Robinson and Terry Theise. We define linguistic style as those distinctive, consistent, and creative linguistic choices writers make beyond what is conventionally expected in a TN, which are only discernible by comparison to other wine reviewers. Using a corpus of Robinson’s and Theise’s TNs on German and Austrian wines 2012, we compare their TNs in terms of rhetorical and grammatical structure, use of descriptors, and other evaluative language. Robinson’s elliptical note-form style is characterized by adherence to canonical rhetorical structure, verbless clauses, extensive use of conventional metaphoric descriptors and limited use of object descriptors. Theise has an effusive, people-centered additive style characterized by non-conventional rhetorical structure, multiple phrase and clause and coordination, and extensive and exotic use of diverse object descriptors, personification, and intensifier + evaluative adjective phrases. We then connect their varying linguistic styles to their differing approaches to wine tasting.

Keywords: wine; tasting notes; descriptors; appraisal; style; stylistics

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About the article

David Michael Bell

David Michael Bell is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at Ohio University. His research focus is on Semantics and Pragmatics, and Language, Culture and Food. Linguistics Department, Ohio University, 369 Gordy Hall, Ohio University, Athens OH 45701, USA. Email: belld@ohio.edu

Theresa Moran

Theresa Moran is the Director of the Food Studies at Ohio University and the university’s Sustainable Living Hub Coordinator. As well as the discourse of wine writing, her research interests focus on concepts of taste in antebellum American travel writing and the personal and political implications of food choices. College of Arts and Sciences, Director of Food Studies, 359 Ellis Hall, Ohio University, Athens OH 45701, USA. Email: morant@ohio.edu


Published Online: 2019-11-19

Published in Print: 2020-02-25


Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 40, Issue 2, Pages 125–146, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2019-2053.

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