Compare unseen extracts from two guidebooks to London: Baedeckers London and its Environs 1900 and Time Out London published in 2007

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Compare unseen extracts from two guidebooks to London: Baedeckers London and its Environs 1900 and Time Out London published in 2007

Both texts A and text B are extracts from guidebooks which use linguistic devices in similar ways to convey their information and both share the purpose to inform their separate target audiences. However, both texts also have contrasting features due to the different time periods in which they were made and use these features to express their content in different ways, again, relevant to their individual audiences.

Text A seems to be aimed at travellers from outside of London, who are therefore likely to be unfamiliar with many urban processes, and are in need of guidance. This notion derives from quotes such as ‘should keep themselves provided with small change’ and ‘should walk on that side for the purpose of hailing one’, where the writer is advising the reader of something that in modern day times, is considered the norm and may be deemed condescending as this is common sense. However, in social context, travellers from outside London may have appreciated such suggestions due to their lack of expertise. The writer incorporates useful and relevant facts such as ‘fare varies from ½ d. to 6d. or 7d.’ which prepares the reader of what to expect financially and the use of ancient currency also highlights the difference in terms of context of production and reception in those days, where ‘1/2 d’, ‘6d’ and ‘7d’ would have made perfect sense as opposed to the present day. The advisory tone and factual nature of the text also consolidates the discourse being a guidebook.

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Text B is a modern text that appears to be aimed at a wider scope of travellers than text A as it appeals to travellers in general. Though still formal with mainly factual content, text B has some opinions integrated within the extract, such as ‘frustratingly, they’re often out of order’. This can influence the reader’s perception of travel in London and by ‘surrounding ‘frustratingly’ with commas, the writer

isolates the word for emphasis, creating some tension. Text B is evidently a guidebook that aims to inform as the use of subheadings

like ‘Bus Savers’ is ...

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