Military Discourse Community and the Expression, Back on the Block

5 pages
1185 words
Sewanee University of the South
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The chosen discourse community for this paper is the military community and their communicational register. Discourse is shaped by the experiences and factors within that community that brings about the coding nature of communication within discourse members. Every discourse community has its own expressions (Butler, Kelsey. 70). Within the military, there is the use of the expression, Back on the Block, which has a totally different meaning when understood through denotative meaning. However, in the military discourse, this word is used to mean back when one was a civilian. This expression often carries a lot of meaning to military members. Members of this community refer to the use of this expression when about the time when one was only a civilian. To the community members, joining the military is more like a redemption which is often expressed in their coded discourse.

The military community qualifies to be considered as a discourse community because of the shared set of discourses understood as basic values. This discourse is built by the cultivated experiences, existing challenges and the common goals, which have come to shape and code this discourse communitys communication. From the expression used in this discussion, it is clear that meaning is only confined within the discourse community. The military discourse appeal to its members and fosters a flow of communicating by restructuring the communicational symbols in ways that are only specific to this community. However, complex the military discourse might appear to be, it is still easy for members to communicate because the discourse utilizes context. The use of context also enables coding of information. Within the community and facilitates discrete communication. The expression above can be understood from an ethos perspective in the sense that the users are well conversant with what it means.

Another point evidencing the fact that discourse is shaped by experiences is drawn from the discourse specific use of the expression, Back on the Block, to mean back when one was a nasty civilian. The experience bringing about the use of this block is that military men are trained to be more discipline than the civilians (Bardovi-Harlig, Kathleen and, Hartford, 23). After one is enrolled into the military is when they are made aware by the military experience that they were nasty back before they joined the forces. This expression and many others in the military have to come to be used differently by the community from what is considered the normal use of the same by other discourse communities. One can take a logical approach in explaining the fact the reasoning bringing about this contextual use of the expression is backed with a sound reasoning. However, the argument behind the expression is backed with assumptions found in the thinking that civilians are unkempt. This is a common aspect amongst discourse dictated meanings. They are usually backed by assumptions commonly accepted as being true by the discourse community members.

Looking at the military use of the expression Back on the Block, as referring to back when one was a civilian, it is understood that this expression has value to its users. It does not only exist to serve a communicational purpose but rather a sentimental one. The expression, like most of the expressions used by different discourse communities functions to strengthen a sense of togetherness amongst members. Apart from helping in improving coding of information, it creates a fraternity out of its users and fosters the understanding that discourse members have a common history of experiences. Evidence to show that this expression is used, not only for the sake of communication but for other interaction purposes is grounded on the fact that it is more complex than the common vocabulary and expression of the same meaning. It is seen that the expression serves to remind servicemen of the transformation they received after enrolling into the military the amount of discipline they to their line of work.

Having earned some experiences working with military personnel has enabled my joining of this discourse community. Through this experience within this discourse community, I have been able to identify the cherished use of this expression within members of this discourse community. The use expression Back on the Block as referring more to back when one was a nasty civilian than just a civilian. Another reason to explain how discourse is shaped by experiences and that the use certain expressions exist to remind members of the nature of the discourse as much as the discourse itself shapes the expressions to be used. Through my experience, I have felt the sense of the use of certain expressions including the above. The expression also instills a sense of a silent relationship amongst members. There should be no correlation between communication and relationship building unless the communicator expresses those relationships directly. However, discourse specific communications serve the purpose of building relations within a certain fraternity. The expression Back on the Block also explains the complexity within the specific communitys discourse.

As much as discourses appear to treat contextual language more like it is the official language, it is a fact that these codes are used in a slang manner. Most of times expression are used only in informal communication which mostly takes place in a verbal manner. The expression and other similar examples lack seriousness and fact. They are the tactics employed in achieving the goals of the discourse community and making the discourse stand out from other discourses (Gee, James, 34). This is evidenced by the idea that military orders are communicated in different terms and expression from the expressions similar to the one discussed in this essay. The expression is more functional to the peers within the discourse though it is understood by everyone in this military discourse community.

Expressions and register in discourse communities mean different from what is given the dictionary meaning of these words. Back on the Block is an expression whose meaning would be vague if the denotative meaning was something to go by. The discourse is what gives this expression all the meaning and brings one into understanding that it means a lot more than what it seems to be. Within the expression is a sense of humor and consideration of the experiences that the members of the discourse community understand. Because of that, one would feel more at ease using such an expression around his peers because of the associated elements. The shared set of discourses adds sense to the use of such an expression and allows for an extension of what a speaker might intend to say while using them. Being a member of this community also gives one the ability to realize the impacts associated with shifting across discourse communities.


Works Cited

Butler, Kelsey. "Confrontational Discourse and the Working-Class Student: Student Voice, Teacher Authority, and Community Engagement." Young Scholars In Writing 12 (2015): 67-74.

Bardovi-Harlig, Kathleen, and Beverly S. Hartford, eds. Interlanguage pragmatics: Exploringinstitutional talk. Routledge, 2016.

Pavalanathan, Umashanthi, et al. "Discourse, Health and Well-Being of Military Populations Through the Social Media Lens." AAAI Workshop: WWW and Population Health Intelligence. 2016.

Gee, James Paul. An introduction to discourse analysis: Theory and method. Routledge, 2014.


Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: