An Analysis of Language Features in English Advertisements

Essay by shieric June 2006

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1. Introduction

1.1 Rationale of the study

We live in a world of advertising. As potential consumers, we are endlessly bombarded with all kinds of product or service information from various media including newspapers, magazines, television, radio, posters and Internet, etc. Advertising provides a valuable service to society and its members, because it defines for consumers the meaning and the role of products, services, and institutions. It indicates the difference that exists between brands of products and alternative services, as well as the distinguishing characteristics of companies and institutions. Advertising also tells the consumer what a specific product, brand or service should do when it is used and thus helps him or her to understand and evaluate experience with the products and services that he or she uses. On the other hand, by making people aware of products, service and ideas, advertising promotes sales and profits. Finally, advertising is one of the major forces that are helping improve the standard of living around the world.

Combined with all these communicational, marketing and social functions. Advertising becomes indispensable in the modern world.

Naturally, advertisements in English have become an important means of communicating ideas, demonstrating a variety of linguistic features of its own. The present study attempts to examine these features at the lexical, syntactic and discourse levels, in the hope of bringing them to light and, thereby, offering help to advertisement writers and language learners.

1.2 Definition of advertising

According to the Definition Committee of American Marketing Association, advertising is defined as follows:

Advertising is the nonpersonal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.

1.3 Focus of the present study

Usually, advertising communicates information in three types: audio, visual, and language. It is a...