The language used by Colin Cohen in “No Death Penalty, No Easter Bunny” is ironic and generally easy to understand. Often, the writer combines informal words or phrases with more formal, pretentious ones for an added rhetorical effect: “At the dawn of the Christian era, Mosaic Law was superseded by a better and hipper New Law.” (p. 69, ll. 18…


Choice of words

The choice of words reveals that Colin Cohen often uses words in an ironic, mocking way.

Negative words are supposed to convey criticism towards those who are against death penalty, to destroy their credibility: “erroneous theory” (p. 68, ll. 1-2), “morally wrong” (p. 68, l.2), “well-intentioned sillies, wholly ignorant” (p. 68, ll. 4-5), “callous disregard” (p. 70, l. 22), “bleeding-heart judges” (p. 70, l. 38), etc. However, bear in mind that “sillies” is not a genuinely offensive way of referring to a group of people, pointing to the article’s light-hearted and satirical tone.

Positive words further create irony, as the writer uses them to describe negative attitudes and situati…


Sentence structure

The writer uses sentences of different lengths in the essay. In general, short sentences introduce Cohen’s arguments and are followed by longer ones which offer additional explanations:

Firstly, the death penalty acts as a deterrent against crime. Many sillies will argue against this – stating that statistics do not show any reduction in violent crime in states where the death penalty has been imposed, and in certain cases show an increase in violent crime. (p. 70, ll. 2-5)

Some of the sentences are intentionally fragmented, as the writer wants to introduce an additional detail and emphasize it: “Forgetting for a moment that – due to Or…

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