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Hedging Oct 20 2010

Hedging Oct 20 2010

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Published by Gary O'Neill
A text is presented containing incorrect, overstated or overgeneralized information about UAE society. A brief explanation of hedging follows, with examples of non-hedged and hedged sentences. This is followed by an exercise - students decide whether or not each of the 20 statements is in need of hedging, and if so, create new sentences using the sample language previously presented.
A text is presented containing incorrect, overstated or overgeneralized information about UAE society. A brief explanation of hedging follows, with examples of non-hedged and hedged sentences. This is followed by an exercise - students decide whether or not each of the 20 statements is in need of hedging, and if so, create new sentences using the sample language previously presented.

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Published by: Gary O'Neill on Oct 26, 2012
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09/30/2013

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Hedging 1.1
Life in the United Arab Emirates
In a recent book, Smith (2009) describes the enormous changes that the UAE hasundergone in the last 30 years. In her chapter focusing on the people of thecountry, she writes that Emirati citizens now live a lifestyle that their ancestorsin the pre-boom days could not even have dreamed of. All Emiratis, she states,now possess several four wheel drive vehicles, live in opulent ten-bedroomedhouses and spend their summers in London. Quality of life is high and, accordingto S
mith, “without exception, Emirati people are happy with their lives” (p.23).
However, Jones (2010) argues that although citizens are generally content, most of them would prefer to turn back the clock and return to the lives of theirgrandparents and great grandparents. This is mainly due to fact that globalization, while bringing many benefits, has also led to an erosion of localcultural and national identity. An example given by Jones is the disappearance of 
the ‘freej,’
 
or local neighborhood. Emiratis, he writes, “no longer see theirneighbors, never socialize with them, and don’t even know their names” (p.34).
Other writers (e.g. Wilson, 2007; Choueri, 2006) comment on the decline of family values. Choueri, for example, points to the fact that Emiratis now liveexclusively in nuclear families, grandparents live alone, and families see eachother only once or twice a year, whereas in days gone by they would see eachother every day, or at least once or twice a week.
References
Choueri, B. (2009, October 21). The globalized family.
Gulf Times Online.
Retrieved October 23, 2009 from http://www.gulftimes.com  Jones, T. (2010). The good old days: life in the Gulf, 1900-1950. New York: MEP.Smith, G.P. (2009).
UAE, land of opportunity.
London: Middle East Publications.Wilson, Z. (2007). Family value decline in the Middle East 
. The Arab World.
Retrieved 2 May, 2010 from http://www.thearabworld.com
 
Hedging 1.1
Hedging
In academic writing, it is important to be careful in how you present information,so that the reader understands the status of the knowledge you arecommunicating. If you overstate information (e.g.
smoking is the most serious problem in the world 
), or suggest that it applies to more people than it does inreality (e.g
all Emirati families own a farm
), or state something you don’t have
proof for (e.g.
 fairies exist 
), you may mislead the reader, or he/she may think that your information is unreliable, or non-academic.To avoid overstating or over-generalizing
information, we use ‘hedging’.
Overstatement/Overgeneralization/Not enough proof Hedging (being careful about how wepresent information)
All English people live in England
Most 
English people live in England.Americans eat hamburgers
 A large number of 
Americans eat hamburgersEmiratis travel to Germany insummer
Some
Emiratis travel to Germany insummer.Some houses are haunted.
It may be true
that 
some
houses
couldpossibly be
haunted.
There is a small amount of evidence tosuggest 
that haunted houses
may exist 
,
although
this is controversial.Humans are able to read minds.
It is possible that 
 
some
humans
might be
 able to read minds,
but 
proving this in acontrolled scientific setting is very difficult.There is more than one universe.
 A number of 
physicists have developed
atheory
that there
could be
more than oneuniverse.Women enjoy shopping more thanmen do.
It seems
that women enjoy shopping morethan men do,
though
this
may be
a
 
stereotype.Women
tend to
enjoy shopping more thanmen do,
but 
 
this may depend
on what kind of item is being shopped for.

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