POLITENESS STRATEGIES IN SELECTED NIGERIAN NEWSPAPER EDITORIALS

POLITENESS STRATEGIES IN SELECTED NIGERIAN NEWSPAPER EDITORIALS

ABSTRACT

This work examines the politeness features in selected Nigerian newspaper editorials— The Daily Sun, The Nation, and ThisDay newspapers. The study assesses how the various politeness maxims are exploited and violated in the selected editorials. The researcher adopted Geoffrey Leech’s Politeness Principle (1983) model for the study. A text-based descriptive methodology was used to analyze the twelve editorials purposively selected from the three national newspapers, which formed the data for the study. The issues on the selected editorials border basically on politics, democracy, and other national issues in relation to 2015 general elections.     Drawing examples from language use in the editorials, the findings reveal that the editors’ language use violated the politeness maxims such as the approbation maxim, tact maxim, agreement maxim, modesty maxim, and Pollyanna or consideration maxim, although there are instances where the editors’ utterances obeyed the politeness maxims. The study concludes that there were more violations of the maxims than their exploitation; hence, there is a great world of difference between the exploitation and violation of the identified maxims as the language use in the editorials deviated from the principles of politeness maxims. This is consequent upon the editors’ bid to report events the way they are. In the light of the foregoing, the study, therefore, recommends that language users and editorial writers should be encouraged to learn, imbibe, and incorporate polite expressions in disseminating information to society. By so doing, they will be able to uphold the maxims of politeness appropriately, irrespective of the situations confronting them.