‘The Jerry Springer Show’ is a chat show, although it is very staged with his agenda-setting questions and appearing guests, the show is almost entirely full of spontaneous speech. Therefore I decided to do a transcript version of the show, although obviously not true to its discourse as I would be giving the characters a voice as appose to spontaneous speech written down as it is heard.
Jerry Springer, as an American, has his own geographical dialect. It was important to keep this as well as phrases ‘singly the best audience’ and his own idiolect ‘right’, ‘well’, ‘hey’, ‘so’, to indicate his regional origin. Jerry has an informal register that contains much ellipsis, such as “you’re singly the best” and “here ‘cause you love”.
The graphology of the transformation is laid out in the convention of the transcript. The names of the characters have been placed on the left hand side indicating who is talking and to the right, is what is actually being said:
“Alex: are you saying do i enjoy
lubbilubbing with a devotchas
Janet: against their will alex against their
Alex: not recently no em”
Sounds that are not fore grounded I have placed in italics for example, the audience’s reactions to the quests comments “(Audience boos loudly)”. As this is a transcript and not a play, I have not included stage directions or actions taken by the characters, as a recording of the show a transcript would only contain sounds heard on the recorder.
The syntax of Alex and his friends, in the novel, is completely different to that of any other characters. The Nadsat slang has derived from many different language sources but many are Slavic in origin. A mixture of Russian and demotic English, with elements of rhyming slang and gypsy talk, ‘O my brothers’, as well as anglicized words and amputations ‘em’, ‘pee’.
I have kept Alex’s syntax the same in ‘The Jerry Springer Show’, by using the Nadsat language as the new teen vernacular, however he still has a very formal register, “i have a small interest in sinnies perhaps for a bit of in-out-in-out but me and my threes droogs enjoy the night and crasting some old veck in an alley and viddy him swim in his blood”. After studying his language he often descends into Biblical English, I have incorporated this to ensure that the character is perceived and sounds the same as he is in the novel “o my father…em”.
A transcript does not always make much sense, when looking at it recorded onto paper, due to its lack of punctuation (expect intonation of a question, as they are recognizable due to the change in the tone of the voice,) and its irregular speech pattern. Speech does not consist of standard written English; it contains elements of false starts, hesitations, repetitions, etc. In constructing my text transformation I was very aware of the conventions that the transcript discourse contained and incorporated them in. An important part of speech is self-selection, especially on a chat show where many people want their opinions to be heard. In the show Derek does this, “Can I say something Jerry?” when he wants Jerry and the audience to know how tough Alex’s activities have been emotionally on them. Turn taking is very evident in the show, with Jerry asking questions and then getting a response from whom he asked:
“Jerry: so well what have you heard
Janet: stealing jerry…fighting…beating
I have also written in hesitations “really right so how (…) erm (…) how would you describe alex” an important part of speech where one is processing their thoughts. Another feature is false starts, I have incorporated this where Jerry begins to ask one question but then changes his mind and asks another “what hap (…) were they of great sentimental value”. More features that I have included are repetitions, “violence why violence” and “is it (…) is it true”. I used the feature of overlaps when Janet is outraged by what Alex is saying:
“Alex: the entire night ok my brother
a skorry summary me and my three
droogs were at the korova milkbar
where we walked down marghnita
Janet: what were you doing there I have
told you avoid those areas there is
a violent gang out”
The use of back-channel behaviour is used for feedback; in a chat show this is very important:
“Alex: we enjoy a horrorshow fight the
merzky the better
Jerry: that’s incredibly extreme”
However although the show, as a chat show, is spontaneous speech, the layout of ‘The Jerry Springer Show’ does have two scripted sections. The first is Jerry’s introduction to his show, where he is sitting in an office and secondly the very famous ‘Jerry’s Final Thought’, both which create an overview and summary. These scripted sections have been separated from the layout of the transcript and are in speech marks. I have mimicked Jerry Springer’s patronising tone “it is about time we built it back up together” and his distinctive use of hyperbolie to draw the audience in and make them excited, this is a huge selling point to the American audience, “being sucked into a new world of danger”. An American audience differs to an English audience, they are subjected to far more ridiculous ad exaggerated events enjoy conflict and character assignation at its worse. Americans love eccentricity and ‘cheesy’ games shows, and soap operas that are so over-the-top are considered flamboyant and ‘naff’ to the English society who prefer subtlety . The Jerry Springer show has been on screen for over a decade and yet it is one of America’s famous and favourite television shows, but yet here in England ‘The Jerry Springer Show’ has failed to make a valid impression.
These sections are important speeches to rally and motivate the viewers and I have therefore included key features of speech writing. This includes, pattern of three, “to keep them off the streets, to keep them entertained and most importantly keep them valued.” This device helps emphasise and foreground issues. I have also used the personal pronoun “we” as it is inclusive, it enables Jerry to draw the audience into his speech. I have been able to begin a sentence with ‘but’ as speeches do not have to be grammatically
The text transformation appears to be a success, it was read by several people who have an understanding of the film ‘A Clockwork Orange’, and was said to very good. I think that I have successfully been able to keep attitudes of the characters Alex and real life chat show host, Jerry Springer, as well as creating voices for the Schoolmaster and Alex’s parents and changing the storyline into a discussion in the show.