language of


language of
advertising, language of
In a study of the use of language to influence and persuade people, the American scholar Dwight Bolinger (Language, the Loaded Weapon, 1980) describes several techniques which advertisers share with other persuaders in manipulating language to their own ends. These may be summarized as (1) literalism, in which an assertion is made that is literally true but will normally be understood in special ways that the advertiser intends (e.g. Dentists recommend Colgate suggests that all dentists recommend it whereas only two need be found to justify the statement made), (2) euphemism, in which less favourable aspects are made to sound more appealing (e.g. something that is average may be described as standard and a small quantity of a product may be described as handy version or fun size), and uninteresting concepts are made to sound more interesting (e.g. crafted instead of made, ultra-pure instead of clean or fresh), (3) use of jaunty vocabulary and slogans (e.g. Drinka pinta milka day, Every picture tells a story), and (4) the use of special syntax to associate the customer with a product (e.g. Aren't you glad you use Dial? and Put a tiger in your tank, both of which make an assumption to flatter and reassure the customer). See also euphemism, slogan.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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