Levitt and Dubner’s ability to speak to the reader in a conversational tone by writing in second person is an amazing use of an inoffensive writing style. The authors inform their readers about how information concerning the Ku Klux Klan is released and what happens when it becomes available, “once that information falls into the wrong hands (or, depending on your point of view, the right hands), much of the group’s advantage disappears” (62). Levitt and Dubner’s ability to step away and acknowledge that their readers have varying opinions makes their writing welcoming. It gives their audience the comfort in knowing that no matter what one’s opinion is, the outcome is still the same. Also, the authors do not specify a right or wrong opinion, they simply address the individual reader directly through their word choice of “your” and by doing so their writing becomes conversational and inoffensive.
Later in the book Levitt and Dubner continue to write in second person so as to keep their readers feeling welcomed and not offended by giving a warning that certain paragraphs may offend a reader when talking about abortion. “The following exercise might strike you as offensive, and you may want to skip t...
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...o be right from one perspective; but when backing up and looking into the situation at hand from a new perspective, “the long view”, they can show why they are correct. In providing readers the chance to understand the topics from a new angle with both sides being presented, Levitt and Dubner are inoffensive. The fact that they lay both sides of an argument in front of the reader shows that they are writing in an unbiased, purely educational and informational format. And such a format cannot be offensive, since it is purely based on facts.
Levitt and Dubner utilize second person to communicate with the reader in a conversational style, an equitable tone, and contrast in a casual way to inform readers about contentious topics in an innocuous style. Their purely economic standpoint provides their audience with new perspectives through the clever use of facts and data.
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