Keywords: inclusive language, medical communication, intercultural blogs, persuasive techniques.
Blogs play a very important role in web-based communication as
they represent ever-increasing worldwide tools in both everyday and
professional interaction (Crystal 2007; Herring 1996, 2007). Similarly to all
writers in general, bloggers use persuasive techniques to attract readers'
attention and make them share their points of view and opinions. The
use of inclusive pronouns and possessives fulfils pragmatic persuasive
functions. The aim of this study was to investigate how the first-person
plural personal pronouns we and us and the first-person plural possessive
adjective our were used in an intercultural blog in the medical field, namely
Clinical blog, of the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The use of these words
revealed itself to function as both the blogger's expression of a sense of
belonging to the same professional community and a persuasive technique
to draw their peers' attention to their statements and opinions. The three
words were investigated by means of a concordancing analysis of a corpus
of 199 posts published between 2009 and 2011.