ERIC Number: ED332193
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Extra-Rhetorical Restraints on Writing in Accounting.
Each discourse community teaches and uses a particular version of reality. In the field of accounting, the interpretation of reality is an objective one. Such an interpretation is a constraint on writing, as are accounting's reliance on exclusionary language, its need to meet legal and professional requirements, its adherence to stylistic and textual conventions, and its use of language to achieve power. Beneath the field's emphasis on objectivity, however, lies an unconscious use of subjectivism. Staff members at one accounting firm sought a writing consultant's help with such surface matters as spelling and punctuation, but they resisted the consultant's efforts to change their tendency to write in passive voice. The tendency of accountants to write in a passive, dehumanized style may reflect their desire to banish the possibility of human error. Any attempt to intervene in accounting's discourse community must be tempered by awareness of the unstated rules and barriers that may prevent any but surface adjustments to the status quo. (SG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Constraints; Language Functions; Organizational Culture; Writing Contexts; Writing Style
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).