Saturday, August 25, 2018

The intriguing language of obits

The Society of Professional Obituary Writers has long had an international presence. While most of our members live and work in the U.S., many others hail from Canada, the U.K. and Australia.

One SPOW member, Jonathan Semmler, a professor of Portuguese and literature in Brazil, recently published the article, "The Discursive Building of the Brazilian Obituary in the Folha de S. Paulo Newspaper" in the Brazilian scientific journal Forum Linguistico.

Semmler analyzed 2,284 obituaries that appeared in the newspaper between 2007 and 2012 for stylistic, thematic and compositional characteristics. After much study, he described the Brazilian obituary "as an informative and utilitarian journalism genre that uses New Journalism as a stylistic resource in order to soften the mourning of someone’s death by celebrating the person’s life."

Click here (PDF) to read his full paper.