An Analysis of Language Features in English Advertisement Abstract With increasing communication in the world and acceleration of economic globalization, English advertising has found its way into people’s life. This thesis makes an attempt to explore the language characteristics of English advertisements so that we may be able to appreciate and write English advertising texts better. The thesis attempts to approach the main language characteristics of English advertising mainly from the angles of advertising and linguistics.
First, the thesis defines advertising, clarifies its objectives, mentions its components, and discusses its lactation’s of English advertisement. Next, it investigates the main wording characteristics, concentrating on simple verbs, adjectives and compounds. Then it probes into the fundamental grammatical features, focusing upon the tenses and frequently employed sentences and constructions of English advertisements. The final part of the thesis body explores the most frequently employed rhetorical devices in English advertising texts, such as simile, metaphor, personification, pun.
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But what is advertising? What are the objectives of advertising? What elements does an advertisement consist of? How are advertisements classified? These are the questions of which we must have a good idea before we proceed to explore the language features of characteristics of English advertising. As far as I know, some books and papers concerning English advertising have been published at home and abroad. In modern society, English advertising has gradually formed its own unique characteristics and has also shaped an independent style throughout history of development.
The language of English advertising is simple and direct. Therefore, an analysis of the features of English advertising is worthwhile. 2. Definition of advertising In English, the word “advertise” has its origin in “adventure” in Latin, meaning “to inform somebody of something”, “to bring into notice” or” to draw attention to something”. Baber Lasher, father of modern advertising, said that advertising was “salesmanship in print”. This definition was given a long time before the advent of radio and television.
In the past, the nature and scope of advertising were considerably different from those today. The definition indicates that the ultimate objective of advertising is to sell. Obviously, it is not an all round definition, for it an not cover all advertisements. 2. 2 Elements of advertising An advertisement is composed of different components, which are either verbal or non-verbal. The verbal components consist of the headline, sub-headline, the body copy, trademark (including brand name, corporate o restore name and visual symbol) and slogan.
The non-verbal elements are made up of illustrations, advertising music, advertising sounds, color and layout. Each element plays a role in successful advertising. However, an advertisement has no need to include all elements are discussed, not because they are more important, but because engage features in such elements are more conspicuous and much easier to be noticed by the general public. David Googol, a famous Australian advertiser, pointed out, “On the average five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.
The headline is with eighty cents of an advertising dollar. Therefore, if you haven’t done some selling in the headline, you have wasted 80 percent of your money’. So, the headline should attract readers’ attention, make them read the body copy, show the benefit of the product and arouse readers’ desire to take buying action. Some headlines need no sub-headlines. The body copy tells the complete sales story. The purpose of the body copy is to provide clarification of the headline and proof of claims, to point out other competitive advantages.
In short, to give the prospective reasons, implicit as well as explicit ,for action desired. A trademark is a sign used by an enterprise or an industry to distinguish quality, specifications and nature of the product they produce, process and sell. The name of a trademark often appears in the headline. The slogan has some similarities with the headline . Len fact, many slogans are developed from some successful headlines lagans are standard statements for sales people and company employees. For example, Ford’s slogan “Quality is Job I “explicitly states that the company makes high-quality products.
The main purposes of slogans are to provide continuity for a campaign and to express a key theme or idea with concise and memorable words. Some slogans seem to be old friends of readers and become sparks of recognition on consumers’ minds, which create favorable impressions of the products or enterprises on the readers ‘minds, so they are regarded as immense treasures for enterprises. Slogans are very common in English advertisements. . 3 Objectives of advertising The objectives of advertising are various.
Association of National Advertisement (ANA) interprets its objectives as awareness, comprehension, conviction and action (CA). Firstly, advertisements should draw attention from the audience ; secondly, they should show and prove the advantages of the advertised products or services; thirdly , they should arouse interest of potential customers or clients and stimulate strong desires in them ; finally, they should encourage potential consumers to take However, most of us agree that the principal objective of advertising is to action. Ell products. But unlike salesmen whose sell goods in face-to-face or even voice -to- voice situations, advertisers communicate certain messages to particular groups of people who may or may not be known and who may be close or at a distance. Therefore, advertising is a specialized form of communication. In order to satisfy the marketing function, it has to provide the relevant information, to persuade people and to influence their choices and buying decisions.
Therefore, the message contained in any advertisement must be absolutely clear or easy to comprehend, ND the meaner of conveying the message must be effective so that the receiver may believe and understand the message properly and take specific action to obtain the product or service. Specifically, an advertisement is designed to dispose people to buy a product or service, to support a cause, or even to encourage less consumption(such as social welfare advertisement).
An advertiser’s main purpose is to present and exhibit products or services, and to spread their influence to the extent that the potential purchasing population becomes real and actual. Generally, advertisers try by the various meaner at their espousal to get people to buy the product or service advertised. They attempt to construct an advertisement that will fully involve the attention of the potential purchaser and which will have a persuasive effect. So they will make full use of every word to attract readers’ attention.
English advertising texts display many unique diction features, such as frequent use of monosyllabic verbs, compounds, as well as adjectives. Which will be discussed briefly and separately in this chapter? 3. 1 The lexical features becomes actual. Generally, advertisers try by the various meaner at their disposal to et people to buy the product or service advertised. They attempt to construct an advertisement that will fully involve the attention of the potential purchaser and which will have a persuasive effect.
So they will make full use of every word to attract readers’ attention. English advertising texts display many unique diction features, such as frequent use of monosyllabic verbs, adjectives, compounds. 3. 1. 1 Monosyllabic verbs Verbs used in English advertising are mostly short and simple. Typical ones are: be, do , get, buy, make, give, have, see, come, go, call, try, know, keep, look, deed, love, use, show, help, prove, mean, meet, suit, save, feel, like, take, choose, select, start, taste, build ,grow, offer, provide, enjoy, savor, etc.
Any advertisements in English you come across may contain a few or some of these verbs, no matter what products or services are advertised . III these verbs are common and simple, and most of them are monosyllabic. These common verbs make advertising in English simple and easy to understand. An umber of the above-mentioned verbs has varying grammatical functions and meanings that vary accordingly. The linking verb be is usually used to express the advertised product or service.
The word do, which has many different meanings, can refer to the practical take, and keep are related to the possession of the advertised product or service; have and have got convey the idea of neutral possession : keep transmits the idea of continuing possession ;buy, get and take express acquisition and give denotes the conferring of possession on somebody else. Another group of verbs concern consumption: take (in one of its uses) and have (in one of its meanings). Meet and suit are associated with the practical functions of the advertised product or service.
Like, love and need denote mental disposition towards the product . Choose/select and taste indicate some links between product and consumer. Look, feel and taste can be descriptive of the consumer’s sensation or feelings: with an inanimate subject, they can describe the sensible properties of the commodity being advertised. The verbs make, build and grow, tell about producer and product, or about the origin of the product. Offer, provide, present, and enjoy, are favorite items in estate and travel advertisements, where they are normally preceded by impersonal subjects.
At least one or two of these four verbs often appear in an estate or travel advertisements. Frequent use of monosyllabic verbs can help kill two birds with one stone: on the one hand . Let makes the language of English advertising more concise and lively, and on the other hand, it saves space, time and money. 3. 1. 2 Adjectives G. N. Leech, a well-known linguist in Britain, lists in his Language in Advertising (1966:1 52)the following most frequently used (3)good/ better/ best (4)fine (5) free(6) big(7) fresh(8) great (9)delicious (10)real (1 1)full. Sure(12)easy, safe(1 5)special(16)rich.
The first item on the list ,new, which implies the latest fashion or style or quality or type, or unique feature off product r service, and connotes progress and development, is a word applied everywhere, because it can almost describe all aspects of products, such as size, shape, look, brilliance, color, formula, also it can collocate with abstract nouns: contest, fashion, competition, ideas, trend, tide, wave, etc. It is frequently seen that new collocates with common nouns, such as booklet, bottle, car, fish steak, newspapers, shampoo, soap, toothbrush, type, weed-killer, tool, TV, cosmetics, and many more.
Good/better/best might appear to be another all- purpose epithet, Particularly in its comparative and superlative forms'(Leech, 966:152). Admen often use good/ better/best collocating with two kinds of products: food and tobacco. Good also collocates with many nouns which don’t denote concrete products, such as flavor, gravy, sandwich, breakfast. The use of good with cigarettes and tobacco probably reflects the difficulty of finding more suitable adjective. Good and new are much more frequently used than any other adjectives.
Extra and special have a function similar to that of new, but they express the differences of products . There are other words frequently used relative to new products, such as now, suddenly, announcing, introducing, improved ,revolutionary, Just arrived, important, development, miracle, surprising, challenge. 3. 1. 3 Compounds In English advertisement, you can see compounds everywhere. Some compounds are written as single words and some with a hyphen, but others appear as two separate words. Because lexical restraints on compounds are few, the advertisers text.
As a result English compounds become a conspicuous characteristic of English advertisements. As we know, compound nouns are coined in many different ways. In the following examples, we can see structural types of the most common compound *noun: high-fashion knitwear, top-quality bulbs: b)noun *noun :color freshness, economy-size shredded wheat: (e)adverb *noun: the any-time cereal, up-to-the-minute cycling:(d) present participle + noun: arriving time, chewing gum: (e)past participle + noun: purified salt, married couple. 3. The grammatical features As a particular branch of language, advertising language should be concise and attractive. It usually has its own characteristics in syntax, such as frequent use of simple and frequent use of interrogative sentences. 3. 2. 1 Simple sentences Whatever product or service may be advertised, the advertiser usually sets a limit o the length of the advertisement for the sake of space and money. Normally, he or she makes much effort to convey as much information as possible in a most concise and compact manner.
Therefore, simple sentences are frequently used in English advertisements. Here is the example IT COMES WITH A CONSCIENCE Honda has always made good cars . People love them. But with a loved one things can sometimes get emotional. Honda understands . And on our own we have set up a third-party arbitration program with the Better Business Bureau to give you extra voice, if you need it. But Please talk to your dealer first. And follow the problem- solving procedure described in your owner’s manual.
Honda wants you and your Honda to have a long and happy relationship . Example is an advertisement of Honda cars. It is mostly made up of simple sentences, which render the advertisement smooth and easy to understand. Simple sentences can not only make English advertising easy to read, hear and understand but also leave a deep impression on the readers’ minds. 3. 2. 2 Interrogative sentences In some English advertisements, interrogative sentences are used at the very beginning of the body copy, so as to hold the addressees’ attention and arouse their interest.
Interrogative sentences often require people to give answers, by which to arouse their attention . Oleomargarine sentences break through consumers’ psychological screens at first, then require them to reflect. Let’s observe the example:What will you do with the money you save using a faster, more efficient computer? Interrogative sentences are very much favored in English advertisements, because they demand people’s response and can arouse readers’ interest quickly. Positive rhetorical questions are even more attractive and more persuasive. 3. 3 The rhetorical devices
Rhetorical devices are various forms of expression deviating from the normal arrangement or use of words, which are adopted in order to give beauty, variety or force to a composition. In order to make their advertisements unique and eye- catching, the copyвЂўRitter have to make elaborate designs and draw up remarkable verbal blueprints by working creatively and aptly applying rhetorical devices. 3. 3. 1 Simile “It is a figure of speech which makes a comparison between two unlike elements having at least one quality or characteristic in common.
To make the comparison, with one to the other. In other words, simile is a direct or explicit comparison between two unrelated things, indicating a likeness or similarity between some abstract qualities found in both things. The connective word like or as serves as a bridge linking up the two. The use of an apt simile creates a clear and vivid image of the advertised product or service in consumers’ interest and achieving their mental and emotional resonance. Let’s analyze the example. Like a good neighbor. State Farm is there. State Farm Insurance) Simile is an important rhetorical device less frequently employed than metaphor, which is one of the most frequently used heterocyclic devices in English advertisements. 3. 3. 2 Metaphor There are some definitions about metaphor, such as “It is like a simile also makes a comparison between two unlike elements, but unlike a simile, this comparison is implied: rather than stated. For example: Kodak is Olympic color. In example, Kodak is compared to the color of Olympic. Kodak shows the real color Just as Olympic shows the real essence of the sports.
The metaphor in this implies that Kodak develops itself by the Olympic spirit —higher, faster and stronger. Obviously, appropriate application of metaphors plays an important role in English advertisements, which can not only render advertisements attractive and picturesque, but also informative and persuasive. So metaphors contribute to promoting the sale of products and help make advertised service thrive and flourish. 3. 3. 3 Personification By personification we mean that something without life is represented or thought of as a human being, or as having qualities or feelings of human beings.
Personifying the advertised product and giving it feeling and emotion which only people possess, make an advertisement more acceptable. Personification is often employed in English advertisements. Let’s observe the following example. We are proud of the birthplaces of our children, the grapes of Allemande. On our classic varietals wines, you will find the birthplaces of our, In Example, the grapes of Allemande are personified: they seem to be children of grape cultivators and wine makers, the date of wine making seems to be the birth day of the wine, and the place of grape cultivating seems to be the home town of the wine.
By Personification, the adman paints a vivid and imaginative Picture. 3. 3. 4 Pun Puns which are often employed by the manufacturers to seek first-hand attention, are almost the most attention-getting device of the rhetorical figures. The tauter of puns in advertising is :the pun is the product of a contest deliberately constructed to enforce an ambiguity, to render the choice between meanings impossible, to leave the reader or hearer thinking about products in semantic space.
As far as I know, the pun is one of the most favored rhetorical devices employed by copy writers and one of the most common rhetorical devices used in English advertisements . For example: Make you every hello and real good buy. (A Telephone Ad) Example is very typical of this kind of pun. The copy writer makes good use of homophones good-bye and good buy to satisfy customers’ psychology, to attract them and to promote the sale of the product. A play on words in this advertisement is used to draw the attention of the reader to the product because people might be amused by such a pun.
One obvious influence of English advertising on the English language lies in fact that English advertising contributes a lot of mew words to the vocabulary stock of modern English. And some products or services are so popular that they have significantly changed people’s life patterns. 4. 1 The effect of the advertising results Advertising language is the core content of advertisements. Socio-cultural infancy advertising language of a society will inevitably reflect all the aspects of the social and cultural.
Advertising language is a social fashion language. One easy to remember and enjoys popular support, it has inherited social and cultural side, with the innovative side; a bound by side, but also affect the text oriented side. Imprecise language translation of advertising effect In addition to this difference of language itself, caused by the misuse of advertising solution, there are a lot of misunderstandings from the inaccurate translation of advertising, such as the Hong
Smoke in the “tar” (tar) translated as “bitumen” (asphalt), the computer’s “soft – Parts “(software) into a computer’s” underwear “(underwear) and so on; It can be seen that the language of communication in advertising is important.. Advertising is for the product to open new international markets; we must respect the objectives of language habits of consumers, or can only be counter-productive. 4. 2 The effect of the people’s life In life, we can see striking, with the ear can hear is the slogan introduce advertising overwhelming, filled with our lives, the impact of our brain, people love UT hate.
The role of advertising is not Just the need to stimulate; it is a more subtle role in changing people’s customs. Advertising is as a bridge between production and consumption. If through the language to influence and stimulate people’s sense organs, To follow the commodity information to the impression that the process of intuitive sense, and gradually the deep into the consumer consciousness, induced the attention of consumers for goods and stimulate people to think better use of the product after the scene.
Results in a purchase along with desire and action, up to sell researched, promote and expanded reproduction purchases. Therefore, the advertising language on people’s consumption concept is impact very obvious. Advertising language meet the consumer’s psychological, accustomed to promote sales at the same time, consumers will also consumer guide: instill a certain amount of consumption concept, provides a stylish consumer culture.
One trend of English advertising, as many linguistics have feared, is that the advertising language becomes elusive and manipulative. Authors like Aloud Huxley and E. B. White have warned of its manipulative nature. As Barbara Stan aptly sanitations, the deceptive nature of advertising language lies in the fact that it frequently uses poetic license to say one thing and mean another, borrowing literary other trend of English advertising is :the language is getting oral and the grammar is getting simpler .
III these changes, if carelessly used, may easily lead to ambiguity and misunderstanding, which affects the product’s image negatively. CHAPTER VI conclusion Today in China, while our economic structure is shifting from the entirely planned economy to the socialist market system, advertising is becoming more and more active and sophisticated . Nanny, China’s advertising expenditure reached $862 million. Among the fastest growing countries in Asia.
Now with China’s entry into WTFO, this expenditure figure will undoubtedly rise up, which will support the view that advertising is an indispensable meaner for providing the information that all market-oriented industrialized societies need for economies to function efficiently, And as English is one of the most widely used languages in the world, it is necessary to study and analyze the language features o f English advertising. Current advertisements reflect radical changes in the technology, media, the social and economic relations, the sense of personal and group identity.
For the insight they provide the nature of these changes: and for the way they prepare us for further changes to come. It is a particular valuable field of study. Acknowledgement Throughout the process of writing my thesis, I obtained much help and encouragement from my kindly teacher Miss Wan. I have benefited a great deal from her great attainment, and patient guidance. Her helps and support which accompanied me when I studied as a postgraduate. I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to her.