Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stress

A rather unusual typo here: the headline (Independent on Sunday website, 29 November 2009) should have read The war was illegal, with was rather than war underlined for emphasis.  The typo was no doubt due to the superficial similarity of the two words.  (And no, in case you’re wondering, it was not a hyperlink.)

As the first paragraph of the article shows, the issue at hand was the legality of the war:

‘Tony Blair will be quizzed over a devastating official memo warning him that war on Iraq would be illegal eight months before he sent troops into Baghdad, it was claimed last night.’

While it would be possible to stress the word war, the effect would be to contrast it with something else, for example occupation.  This is known as contrastive stress.  But as we can see from the article, there was no such intended contrast.

1 comment:

roop said...

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