The Language of Advertisements

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Cortland L. Bouvee defines advertising as “the non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.” Nowadays, with the development of the technology and of the mass media, advertising has influenced people pervasively in their daily life. However, whatever the promotional strategies advertising takes, language is the main carrier of message all along, as The Language of Advertising, by Vestergaard & Schroder, says, “Advertising takes many forms, but in most of them language is of crucial importance.” Advertising language is a style of immediate impact and rapid persuasion. The use of English in advertising is a global phenomenon. As Ingrid Piller points out,“English is the most frequently used language in advertising messages in non-Englishspeaking countries (besides the local language)”. American Marketing Manager’s Handbook points out that an advertisement should have four functions: AIDA, which represent four words - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. 1. Attention - a good advertisement should attract the consumer to direct their attention to the product of it. 2. Interest - the introduction and publicity of an advertisement should arouse consumers’ great interest. 3. Desire - the publicity of advertising should stimulate consumers’ desire to buy the product, and make them realize that this product is just what they want. 4. Action - the advertising makes consumer to response to the advertising information and evoke them to take the action of purchasing. 1. Advertising Language

The wide use of advertising has created a special style of English – advertising English whose unique characteristics, simple language and important attraction makes it different from other kinds of languages. In order to send information, advertising English must be vivid, usual, emotional, and attractive. In what follows, we will analyze some features of advertising and the way in which morphology, syntax and rhetorical devices are used in English advertisements in order to convey the message to the buyer. 1 Morphology in Advertising

The function of advertising is to provide information, attract consumer, and promise quality. Therefore, advertisement must contain impelling language, and for this it must use use popular and oral language, easy to understand and memorize. 1. Simple and formal language

For example:“I couldn’t believe it, until I tried it!”, “I’m impressed! I’m really impressed!”, “I love it!”, “You’ve gotta try it!”. The former is an advertisement of a microwave oven. The words in it are very simple and oral. It uses the slang “gotta”, which means “got to” in American English, to give an impression that this advertisement comes from the real life. 2. Misspelling and Coinage - In some of advertisements, there are some some words misspelled on purpose, or some suffixes or prefixes added to the common words. Although the new words still keep the original meanings, they are quite different from the original words in spelling, which will make the advertisement more interesting and attractive. e.g. First of all, because now Yoplait is thicker. Second of all, because it’s creamier. Third of all, because it’s still 100% natural and really very good for you. Fourth of all, because to me Yoplait tastes better than all the other Yoyurts. And fifth of all, because…well, just because …” [] In addition, some prefixes or suffixes like “super-”, “ex-”, “-er”, “-est” …etc, are often used to stress the high quality of the product. 3. Loanwords - The most frequently used loanwords are French and Spanish. e.g. Perrier…with added je ne sais quoi.

The meaning of je ne sais quoi is “I don’t know what”. The purpose to use this simple French is to show the French flavor of this drink. The loanwords in some advertisement are good methods to express the exoticism of the...
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