The Map and the Landscape

Norms and Practices in Genre

by Paul Gillaerts (Volume editor) Philip Shaw (Volume editor)
©2006 Edited Collection 264 Pages
Series: Linguistic Insights, Volume 43


This volume explores the complex relations between norms and exemplars of genres from business and technical communication. Contributors compare a variety of types of norm with textual practices in a variety of ways. The genres examined are typical of the range of audiences and media of workplace and business communication: product withdrawal notices, press releases, job ads, oral presentations, sales letters and tenders, chairman’s reports, and technical reports. They are compared with norms set by teachers, by unimaginative practice, by more or less self-appointed experts, or by practitioners who may not share the national or professional culture of their colleagues. However accurate these may be they never do justice to the complexity of ‘reality’. The contributors to this volume use a wide variety of methods in their attempt to capture this reality. Many analyse texts, but all combine this procedure with at least one other approach and often more: questionnaires, experiments assessing the effect of manipulated texts, analysis of practitioner comments, and use of natural sources of practitioner judgements like awards for good practice.


ISBN (Softcover)
Fachsprache Kommunikation Sprachnorm Aufsatzsammlung Business communication Technical communication norm Textual practice Media of workplace
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2006. 264 pp.

Biographical notes

Paul Gillaerts (Volume editor) Philip Shaw (Volume editor)

The Editors: Paul Gillaerts is Professor of Dutch at the Department for Translators and Interpreters of the Lessius Hogeschool in Antwerp, Belgium. He teaches Dutch applied linguistics courses on genre, style and text revision. His research concerns applied genre analysis of Dutch texts in professional, institutional and business settings. Philip Shaw has taught at universities in Thailand, Germany, England and Denmark, and is currently a professor both in the Department of English at Stockholm University and in the Section for Language and Communication at the Royal Technical Institute, Stockholm. He is interested in uses of English, mainly in business and academic settings, particularly across cultures and from a genre-analytic standpoint.


Title: The Map and the Landscape