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语言学论文

The Features of Advertising English

Abstract: As the rapidly development of commercial economy, advertisement has increasingly impact on our daily life. We live in a fast paced society that is ruled by mass media. Advertisements select audience openly and subliminally, and target them with their product. They allude to the fact that in order to be like the people in this advertisements you must use their product. Advertising English, as the most important parts of language in advertising, is rising apparently from the system of English. The copywriters and the linguists are attracted deeply by its unique style, great impellent and excellent illustration. Advertising English possesses some lexical, grammatical and rhetorical characteristics. In this paper, a brief introduction is given to its major features in order to know advertising English more deeply.

Key words: advertising English, lexical, grammatical, rhetoric

Ⅰ.Introduction:

What is advertisement? The Oxford Advanced Learner's English-Chinese Dictionary defines it as "public notice offering or asking for goods, services.etc." According to the Definition Committee of American Marketing Association(AMA), advertising is defined as follows:

"Advertising is the non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors th rough the various media."

We live in a world full of advertising. As potential consumers, we are endlessly bomb arded with all kinds of products or service information from various media including newspapers, magazines, television, radio, posters and internet, etc. Advertising tells th e consumer what a specific product, brand or service should do when it is used and th us helps him or her to understand and evaluate experience with the products and servi ces that he or she uses. On the other hand, by making people aware of products, servic e and ideas, advertising promotes sales and profits.

Nowadays, advertisements appear everywhere in the modern world. Naturally, adverti sements in English have become an important means of communicating ideas, demon strating a variety of linguistic features of its own.

Ⅱ.Features of advertising English

1.Lexical features in advertising English

Advertisers use brief, vivid and funny words in advertising English. And these words will make advertisements more appeal. So choosing proper words plays an important role in advertisements.

(1)Use of verbs:

Although the aim of advertisements is to persuade consumers to buy their products, advertisements seldom use the word like ―buy‖ in them. According to the statistic, only two out of ten advertisements use the verb ―buy‖ directly. On one hand, the advertisers take their efforts to promote their products; on the other hand, they don’t want to give the consumers a feeling of spending their money. Therefore, advertisers take careful to choose the proper verb. The often choose the following verbs:

Try, make, ask, get, take, let, give, use, call, come on, hurry, see, come, remember, discover, choose, serve, introduce, and look for, send for.

Examples:―Getting place in the business world is easier if your banker is there to meet you.‖(Security Pacific Asian Bank)―We can give you a better view of investment opportunity from both sides of the Pa cific.‖ (City Bank)

(2) Use of Adjectives.

Adjectives are used frequently in the advertising English. And most of them are apprasing adjectives and their comparatives and superlatives, such as good, great, beautiful, delicious, true, fresh, wonderful. super, special ,large,etc. In order to promote their products advertisers will beautify their products, and use the best adjectives to evaluate their products.

Examples:

―Minolta, finest to put you finest.‖(Minolta Camera)

―The taste is great.‖(Nest Coffee)

―And along the way, you will enjoy the warmeat, most personal service.‖

In order to publicize different products, advertisers use different kinds of words—elegant or vulgar. Elegant words mean formal writing words, and vulgar words mean oral and informal words and slangs. Modern English advertisements not only promote fluent oral English, but also take efforts to make it kinder.

For example, ―For all the sweet nothing you have whispered in my ears—real gold for yours.‖

Modern advertising English take more attention on the Perceivable language. Elegant and formal words are usually used to publicize luxury goods, such as plush apartment and car. Therefore, the luxury goods should be set off by elegant and formal words. For example, ―The home of your dream awaits you behind this door, whether your taste be a country manor estate of a penthouse in the sky, you will find the following pages filled with the world’s most elegant residences.‖In this sentence, ―await, be, manor, residence elegant‖, stand for ―wait, is, house, place, nice‖

(3) Make up new words

In order to promote their products, advertisers always make up the new words, and make the new and original words attract consumers. One of the ways is to create the special and easy words or phrases. These words c an increase the advertisement’s vivid and attraction.

Examples:

―Drinka pinta milk a day.‖ It persuades people to drink a pint of milk every day. It means that drink a pint of milk a day. The advertisement makes up the words properly according to their pronunciations.

―Give a Tinex to all, to all a good time.‖ It is the advertisement of Timex Watch. ―Timex = time + excellent‖

(4) Use of statistics

Advertisers often strengthen the reliability of the advertisements by statistics, so that they will embody thei r own products much better than others’.

Examples:

―Wonder Bread helps build strong bodies in twelve different ways.‖

―Easy-off has 33 percent more cleaning power than another popular brand‖

The above advertisements sound more reliable than those without statistics.

2.Grammatical features in advertising English

Sentences in most advertisement are short and snappy, therefore, it has the following features.

(1) More simple sentences, less complex sentences

Advertisers use more simple sentences than compound sentences, because simple sentences can get more better effect. The complex sentences always let readers feel bored. The second reason is that it cao reduce the cost of advertisements, and stimulate the consumers with the mininum cost. The third reason is that they are well inderstood and memoried, and be oral.

Examples:

―A dimond lasts forever.‖(De Bierrs)

―Things go better with Coca-Cola‖(Coca-Cola)

(2)More minor sentences and imperatives sentences

Minors sentences just stress on the key words which are the simple elements. They could not only publicize information more effectovely, but also reduce the length and cost.

The imperative sentences have functions of claiming, commanding and calling, the aim of these is to persuade and urge consumers to accept adve rtisers‖ products or services. Therefore, there are a large number of minor sentences and imperative sentences in advertisements.

Examples:

―Intelligence everywhere.‖

―Impossible made possible.‖

―Watches that are indicator of tastes and moods, that express you.‖(Citizen Watch)

―Get ready to encounter the new trend in timepieces.‖(The Citizen Espreme Collection)

―So come into McDonalad’s and enjoy a Big Mac Sandwich.‖(McDonald) Sentences in most advertisements are short and snappy. In fact, in the most extreme cases, large part of sentences are dlided, and we may have several ―sentences‖ which do not contain a finite clause. It is also common to find subordinate clayses in their own, without apparent attachment to a main clause. Since many advertisements pret end to be talking to you. Constractions such as ―won’t‖ and ―is’s‖ are more common than the full form.

(3)More interrogative sentences

―What’s so special about Lurpark Danish butter? Well, can you remember what butter are used to taste like—real fresh farm house butter? Do you remember how you used to enjoy it when you were young? Today— the taste of Lurpark bring it all back to you –that’ why it’s so special.‖

From above example, we know that using interrogative sentences can arouse readers’ response quickly and effectively, and affirm the merits of their products. Inerrogative sentences are oral and can be understoos easily. They can arouse sympathy, at the same time, they embody the merits of products. According to statistics, there is one interrogative sentences in every 30 sentences in advertising English.

(4)More disjunctive sentences

For advertising English, disjunctive sentences are unique. They can divide a long and complex sentences into several simple sentences by using full dash, stop, semi-colon, hyphen, etc. These sentences are independent form in advertisements, but are linked to the content. The functions of these sentences are to add more information and save more space and cost. The divided parts usually are the merits of the products, so that they could publicize their products or services effectively and attractively. Example:

―Amtralk has created a new. Nationwide passenger rail system. Literally from ground up. A system that representes a vitable alternative for people who fly. For business or pleasure.‖(Amtrak)

3. Rhetoric features in advertising English

Advertising English is full of rhetoric devices, such as personification, simile, metaphor, pun, repetion, ect. A lot of proverbs and idioms also are largely used in advertising English, They will make the products or services more interesting, lively, vivid and lifelike. They can make products brilliant on their features, make language tone more strong, and make language finger-popping. Rehtoric devices can make advertisements effective and make readers take a good impression on both products and language if they are used properly.

(1)Simile and Metaphor

Simile is a figure of speech in which two different kinds of things are compared and the comparison in indicates by words ―as‖ of ―like‖.And metaphor is also a comparison which is implies. The figures are the way that they may not tell th etruth directly, and use the similar things to compare. The figures can make the advertisements more vivid, make the abstract into concrete, make the vague into the bright.

Example:

―As soft as mother’s hands.‖(Children’s shoes)

The shoes are compared to mother’s hands. It can let readers feel that children wear the shoes comfortably. The advertisement shows their good quality of their products, and persuade readers to buy their products.

(2)Personification

Personification is to treat a thing or an ideas as if it were human or had human qualities. Using the personification in advertisements will endow the product with human emotion, and consumers will feel amicable. They can promote the products or services. Look at the following example:

―Unlike me, my Rolex never needs a rest.‖ It is an advertisement about wrist watch, which is described as our friend. And let us feel amicable. At the same time, it expresses that the quality of Rolex wrist watch is good.

(3)Pun

Pun is a play on words, and sometimes can make different senses of the same words and sometimes make the similar sense or sound of different words. Pun can attract the bored recipents, saturates wit h advertisements. It can attract people’s attention, meanwhile, it also cause as associationof ideas. Look at the following examples:

―Coke refreshes you like no other can.‖ ―Can‖ in the sentence, we can understand it as ―dose‖ or modal verb ‖can‖. And we can understand that Coke refershes you like no other (can) can (refreshes you). It can give us more impression.

―Oh, I see‖ is the advertisement of OIC Glasses Company. Firstly, it tell us his glasses are good. Secondly, the pronunciation is similar with OIC, which is the name of the company. The advertisement can not only popularize the products and services, but also build up brand reputations and company images.

(4)Use proverba and idioms

In advertising English, advertisers often use oue fimilar proverbes and idioms. They can attract readers easily, and readers can memorize them easily. This kind of advertisements on tha base of society and culture, which add the attraction of the advertisements. At the same time, they embody the art of the advertising languang. Look at the following examples:

―Where there is a way for car, there is a Toyota.‖ The origin ot this advertisement is ―Where there is a will, there is a way.‖

―A Mars a day keeps you work, rest and play‖. This advertisement let us think ―An apple a day keeps the doctor away‖ and ―All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.‖ According to the two proverbs, we can make a decision that this chocolate keeps us health and we are full of vigur when we are working.

Ⅲ.Conclusion

Advertising English has more features. Advertisement is a device for advertisers to promote their products or services, and it plays an important role in our modern society. So advertisers make good use of their features to add the advertisements’ attraction. We can say that advertising English is an important part in society and advertising English feature is an important part in advertising English. With the development of society, I think advertisers can create more and more wonderful advertisements.

Works Cited

Feng, Cuihua. English Rhetorical Options (Revised Edition). Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 2005.

Hornby, A.S. Oxford Advanced Learner’s English-Chinese Dictionary (Extended forth edition). Beijing: Commercial Press, 2002.

Zhang, Weiyou. English Lexicology. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 2000.

蔡基刚:《词语的选择与效果》,北京:外语教学与研究出版社,2005。王燕希:《广告英语一本通》,北京:对外经济贸易大学出版社,2004。