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摘要 本文旨在通过对书面英语广告的语言分析总结出广告英语在词汇﹑句法﹑篇章上的语言特点。为了使研究从数据出发得出科学结论,本文作者建立了一个拥有60篇各类广告的小型语料库。通过对此语料库中日用品广告﹑科技设备广告﹑服务业广告的深入细致的定量和定性分析,总结出广告英语在此三类广告中的相同点与不同点,并且根据语言的意义,风格及功能解释广告英语的共性以及广告英语在不同类型广告中的特殊性。
关键词: 广告英语,词汇,句法,篇章,相同点,不同点
This paper presents an analytical2 study of the language features of English advertisements at lexical, syntactic and discourse3 levels. In order to conduct a data-driven study, the author builds a corpus of 60 English advertisements. It is hoped that through the detailed4 survey of three types of advertisements: namely, daily consumer goods ads, technical equipment ads, service ads, similarities and differences in advertising5 language features can be summarized and possible reasons will be given in the light of the meaning, and function of language.
This paper will be presented in five parts. The first part is the introduction and the last conclusion. The focus of the paper is laid on the three middle parts which respectively analyze6 language features at lexical, syntactic and discourse levels. The conclusion of this paper is drawn7 from the data analysis. In the analysis, examples from the corpus will be given; figures, tables and graphs will also be offered to make the paper understandable and persuasive8.
It is hoped that the study can shed light on the language features of advertisements and also provide help to copy writers and advertising English learners.
KEYWORDS: English Advertisements, Lexical, Syntactic, Discourse,
            Similarities, Differences
1.Introduction ………………………………………………………………1
1.1Rationale of the study ……………………………………………………...1
1.2Definition of advertising …………………………………………………...1
1.3Focus of the present study …………………………………………………1
1.4Sources of data …………………………………………………………….2
2.Lexical features ……………………………………………………………2
2.1Classification of advertising and its audience ……………………………..         2
2.2Similarities at the lexical level …………………………………………….3
2.2.1Few verbs are used ………………………………………………………...3
2.2.2Use of emotive words ……………………………………………………..4
2.2.3Make pun and alliteration9 ………………………………………………….4
2.2.4Use of weasel words ……………………………………………………….5
2.3Differences at the lexical level …………………………………………….6
2.3.1Gender identity in advertisements………………………………………….6
2.3.2Selection of Adjectives ……………………………………………………7
2.3.3Compound words ………………………………………………………….8
2.3.4Use of pronouns ……………………………………………………………8
3.Syntactical features ………………………………………………………9
3.1Similarities …………………………………………………………………9
3.2Differences …………………………………………………………………10
3.2.1Headlines …………………………………………………………………..10
3.2.2Comparison of headlines of different types of ads ………………………...11
4.Discourse features...………………………………………………………..12
4.1Body copy of advertisements ……………………………………………...12
4.2Differences in body copy …………………………………………….12
5.Conclusion …………………………………………………………………14
Sincere thanks go to Dr. Wei Naixing for his insightful guidance and earnest help all through the searching, analysis and paper-writing stages.
The author also wants to extend her thanks to Ms. Linda Frost who has given much help in data collecting.

[1]  Bolinger, Dwight & Sears, Donald A. Aspects of Language third edition
New York: Harcourt Brace11 Jovanovich 1981
[2] Bovee, Courtland L. & Arens, William F. Contemporary Advertising forth12 edition
   Homewood, IL: Irwin 1992
[3]    Gove, Philip Babcock Webster’s Third New International Dictionary
Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam Co. 1976
[4]    Gregory, Michael Language Varieties and Their Social Contexts
London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. 1981
[5]    Jefkins, Frank William Advertising Philadelphia, PA: Macdonald and Evans 1985
[6]    O’Donnell, W. R. & Todd, Loreto Variety in Contemporary English
London: George Allen & Unwin (Publishers) Ltd. 1985
[7]    Roberts, William H. & Turgeon, Gregoire About Language second editon
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1989
[8]    Vestergaard, Torben & Schr der, Kim The language of Advertising
Oxford[Oxfordshire]; New York, NY, USA: B. Blackwell 1985
[9]    方薇 《现代英语广告教程》 南京大学出版社 1997
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 helping13 improve the standard of living around the world. Combined with all these communicational, marketing14 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 linguistic16 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, thereby17, offering help to advertisement writers and language learners.
1.2 Definition of advertising
    According to the Definition Committee of American Marketing Association(方薇, 1997:2), 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 more common case that an advertisement is a mixture of the three. In radio advertisements, music is always accompanied by language; on TV and motion pictures, music and language illustration are mixed with each other. In magazines and newspapers, advertisements are a combination of pictures and language of written information. Although music and pictures can provide some hints, or create a kind of atmosphere, the information about the product is limited. Even worse, it may lead to misunderstanding. Thus, we may say that language in a way provides more exact, detailed and dependable information whereas music and pictures only act as a supplementary18 means in advertising. Advertising language, playing a role of communication and persuasion19, has developed its own features.
    This paper will focus on the language features of English advertisements at lexical, syntactic and discourse levels. It is hoped, by a contrastive study of advertisements on three types of products (daily consumer goods, technical equipment and service), similarities and differences of the three types of advertisements will be summarized and possible reasons will be given in the light of the meaning, and function of language.
1.4 Sources of data
All the advertisements studied in this paper are taken from English magazines. They are chosen from Time, People and Newsweek (issues from 1999-2000), because these three magazines have a huge circulation, covering all kinds of audience. Almost all kinds of advertisements can be found in these magazines. In order to get valuable information for the study, a corpus of 60 advertisements was built, which consists of 20 daily consumer goods ads, 20 technical equipment ads, and 20 service ads. Conclusions will be drawn through quantitative20 and qualitative21 studies of the data.
2 Lexical Features
2.1 Classification of advertising and its audience
Generally speaking, advertisements can be divided into two types: public relation ads and commercial ads. The former tries to advocate reputation for a social group, whose purpose is to leave a favorable impression upon the potential audience. The latter leads to the act of purchasing the products or using the recommended service. Commercial ads are much more presented through mass media for the reason that manufacturers and companies are willing to spend a large sum of money to make a certain product known or to boost the image of a certain brand. In some cases, competitors, like Coca-cola and Perpsi, even spare no expense to launch advertising campaigns to win over the market share. Commercial advertising can also be divided according to the target audience into two groups: consumer advertising and business advertising. Most of the ads in the mass media are consumer advertisements. They are typically directed at consumers. By contrast, business advertising tends to be concentrated in specialized22 business publications, professional journals, trade shows targeting at a certain group of people involved in some business. Since consumer advertising is most accessible to common people, the present study on will focus on consumer advertising. The classification of advertising is clearly shown in the following graph:
Graph 1 Classification of advertisements
                    Public ads                           Daily consumer goods ads
     Advertising                        Consumer ads    Technical equipment ads
                   Commercial ads                                                 
Business ads      Service ads       

 The bold parts show the scope of advertisements we study. Daily consumer goods are necessities of daily life, such as food, detergent23, hygiene24, etc. Technical equipment is technical toys and electric equipment such as camera, vehicle, hi-fi, etc. Service covers bank, insurance, fund, etc.
Actually, advertising works effectively some of the time and doesn’t work other times. The single crucial reason that advertising does not work is that in specific instances the information it conveys never reaches the consumer at all, or is judged by the consumer to be either redundant25, meaningless, or irrelevant26. For example, a motorbike advertisement will probably be invisible to housewives on the lookout27 for new cutlery. Social status and individual interest decide that consumer goods ads are mainly targeting at women while technical equipment ads are largely aiming at men. The amount of shared knowledge between the advertiser and the audience together with the thinking habit of the audience directly influences the advertising language. Since products and audience change in every advertisement in order to achieve high advertising effectiveness, language used differs in different types of advertisements. Thus, in this paper we discuss not only the similarities of language shared by all types of advertisements but also differences of language used in different kinds of advertisements.#p#
2.2 Similarities at the lexical level
In order to make the information accessible to audience effectively, the choice of words in advertising is very cautious and skillful. The aim of the advertiser is quite specific. He wishes to capture the attention of the members of a mass audience and by means of impressive words to persuade them to buy a product or behave in a particular way, such as going to Hawaii for all their holiday needs. Both linguistic and psychological aspects are taken into consideration in the choice of words. Sharing the same purpose of advertising-to familiarize or remind consumers of the benefits of particular products in the hope of increasing sales, the techniques used at the lexical level by advertisers do not vary markedly. The following points are some prominent similarities.
    2.2.1 Few verbs are used
        G. N. Leech29, English linguist15, lists 20 most used verbs in his English In Advertising: Linguistic study of Advertising In Great Britain (方薇, 1997:20). They are: make, get, give, have, see, buy, come, go, know, keep, look, need, love, use, feel, like, choose, take, start, taste.
        All these verbs listed above are also popular in the corpus we built.
    You will often read such sentences in an advertisement:
    Buy x. Use it. We make… X will give you what you need. You’ll love x. Get x. Fox  example:
        We’ll make this quick. (Hertz Car Return)
    Get great coverage30 that’s so weightless and water-fresh. (ALMAY)
    All you need is a taste for adventure. (Millstone Coffee)
    You’ll love it even more with the 2.1 megapixel C-2000 ZOOM31. (Olympus Camera)
    Don’t have much of a personality? Buy one. (Honda Motor)
All these frequently used verbs are monosyllabic and most of them have Anglo-Saxon origin that is the common core of English vocabulary. Linguistic study shows English native speakers tend to use words of Anglo-Saxon origin, because native words have comparably stable meaning. In advertising, these simple words can win the consumers by their exact, effective expression and a kind of closeness. Etymological32 studies show that the 20 verbs listed before, except use and taste which are from ancient French, all are Anglo-Saxon origin. Even the two words, use and taste have long become indispensable lexical items in the stock of common core vocabulary of the English people, developing their stable meaning and usage.
   2.2.2 Use of emotive words
A close scrutiny33 of recent advertisements suggests that the soft-sell technique is now popular. By soft-sell technique we mean the one that favors a more emotive and less directive approach to promote a product, mainly focusing on the building of brand image. As a result, emotive words, most of which are pleasant adjectives, are greatly encouraged to use.
       Data from the corpus shows that the most frequently used adjectives are as follows:
    new, good/better/best, fresh, free, delicious, sure, full, clean, wonderful, special, crisp, real,  fine, great, safe, and rich.
These adjectives help to build a pleasant picture in readers’ minds and manage to create a belief in the potential consumer: If I buy this product or if I choose this service, I will lead a better life. In addition, comparatives and superlatives occur to highlight the advantage of a certain product or service. For example:
Nothing comes closer to home. (Vegetable and Chicken Pasta Bake)
Think Lysol is the best disinfecting spray. (Disinfecting Spray)
  The world’s coolest CDs aren’t made in New York, London or L.A. They are made in my      apartment. (Philips CD Recorder)
The Compaq Armada family is lighter34, with new rounded edges for easier packing. (Compaq)

    2.2.3 Make pun and alliteration
Pun is an amusing use of a word or phrase that has two meanings which is called Polysemy or of words with the same sound but different meanings which is called Homonymy35. Pun, the game of words, will leave a deep impression on readers by its readability, wit, and humor. However, to make a successful and impressive pun is not easy. Except for its own meaning, the word used as a pun is usually closely related to the characteristics of a certain product or the brand name of the product. Such coincidence doesn’t occur often. Here we present several classic pun- used advertisements. For example:
    Give your hair a touch of spring.
Ask for more. (More is a famous brand of cigarette)
Give your business the sharp edge. (Sharp Corporation)
By using pun, advertisements will be easily remembered by the readers. In addition, filled with wit and humor, puns help the advertised product win favor from readers.
       Alliteration is the use of words that begin with the same sound in order to make a special communicative effect. Usually they are pleasing to ears because of the clever choice of the word by the advertiser. In addition, the repetition of the beginning sound emphasizes the meaning the advertisement wants to express. The following are examples picked from the corpus.
…, everything you need for that big bargain basement special.
…, and vitamin E to leave skin soft and smooth.
Treat your weary ghosts and goblins to a warm bowl of chill and …
    2.2.4 Use of weasel words
A weasel word is defined as “a word used in order to evade36 or retreat from a direct or forthright37 statement or position” according to Webster Dictionary (Philip Babcock Gove, 1976). The use of weasel words has become a device in advertising. Weasel words make people hear things that aren’t being said, accept as truth that have only been implied, and believe things that have only been implied and suggested. Let’s take a look under a strong light at several frequently used words.
   Ocean Spray Cranberry38 Juice Cocktail39 helps maintain urinary tract1 health.
   It helps control the bacteria in this system.
   A breakthrough way to help stop wear-out
   Help finance the video equipment.
All the examples shown are from our corpus. 23% advertisements of all samples use the word help. These helps can be omitted because they have lost their original meaning: aid, assist. Yet, help in advertising English is never redundant. It has magic power in advertisers’ eyes. Help is the great qualifier; once the advertiser says it, he can say anything after it. Help qualifies everything. The audience has never heard anyone say, “This product will keep you young,” or “This toothpaste will positively40 prevent cavities for all time.” Obviously, advertisers can’t say anything like that, because there are not any products like that made. But by adding that one little word help, in front, they can use the strongest language possible afterwards. And the most fascinating part of it is that the readers are immune to the word. The readers literally41 don’t hear the word help. They only knew what comes after it. That is strong language, and likely to be much more important to the readers than the little word at the front.
   It’s like getting on bar free.
   Cleans like a white tornado42.
   It’s like taking a trip to Portugal.
       Like is also a qualifier, and is used in much the same way as help. But like is also a comparative element, with a very specific purpose; advertisers use like to get the audience to stop thinking about something that is bigger than or better or different from the product which are being sold. In other words, they can make the audience believe that the product is more than it is by likening it to something else. Like help, like doesn’t catch much attention. However by using it, almost anything can be said and promised afterwards.#p#
2.3 Differences at the lexical level
    2.3.1 Gender10 identity in advertisements
While we found quite a lot of similarities in the choice of words, we have also found some delicate differences in the choice of words in the three types of advertisements as classified before: daily consumer goods ads, technical equipment ads, and service ads.
Language, as a communicative tool, is not only to impart information, to communicate ideas about a product, etc., but also to convey information about the relationship between the addresser (advertisement) and the addressee (the audience). An intimate relationship between the advertisement and the audience is always hoped to achieve. So according to different audience, language applied43 is different.
What constitutes a female and a male identity, according to advertising? Table 1, based on the language of advertising (Torben Vestergaard & Kim Schr der, 1981:74), gives the commodity profile of two gender-identified magazines: Women and Playboy and also provides the distribution of the different types of advertisements.
Table 1 Distribution of three types of advertisements
  Percentage of ads
  Women (%) Playboy (%)
Food, Detergents31-
Beer, Spirits-25
Radio, hi-fi-4
ServiceInsurance, banking2-

  It can be seen from table 1 that the hygiene, beauty, food and detergents44 ads are dominant45 in the women’s magazines while technical equipment ads prevail in men’s magazines. The reason is that women are potential purchasers of daily consumer goods while men are potential purchasers of technical equipment. So advertising language tries to win its audiences by noticing audiences’ gender identity.
In addition, since the subjects involved in advertisements vary from simple to complex, shared knowledge by the addresser (ads) and addressee (the audience) varies. For example, knowledge of technical equipment, sometimes demands high educational background or special interests in a certain field. To convey different knowledge clearly, advertisements don’t always speak in the same way. In the following section, we will make a comparative study of three points in order to find differences in the choice of words in three types of advertisements: the selection of adjectives, the use of compound words and the use of pronouns.
  2.3.2 Selection of adjectives
Adjectives, as emotive and exciting words, are used to enhance the facts of a certain product or service. In the study of the selection of adjectives, we have first divided adjectives into two groups: descriptive adjectives and evaluative adjectives. The former is used in objective description and the latter give the advertiser’s subjective46 comments. Then we have listed those frequently used descriptive adjectives and evaluative adjectives in daily consumer goods ads and technical equipment ads, and we surprisingly have discovered descriptive adjectives differ from each other in two kinds of advertisements.
Table 2 Comparison of frequently-used adjectives
in daily consumer goods ads and technical equipment ads
  Descriptive adjectivesEvaluative adjectives
radiant, shiny, dazzling, gold
soft, smooth
creamy, crispy
easy, convenient
rich, effective, crucial
healthy, fast
valuable, flew
audible, visible
high-volume, full-colour,
magnetic, sharp
invisible, multiple
flexible, versatile

    Table 2 shows that descriptive adjectives in daily consumer goods ads such as fresh, crispy, and soft, tend to convey the sense of sight, touch, and taste. The temptation aroused by this vivid description of a product is hard to resist especially for women who tend to be moved by pleasant senses; compared with men, women are inclined to think in terms of images and perceive through senses. However, men, the target audience of technical equipment, are good at rational thinking. Men are not controlled by senses. On the contrary, the product’s interior quality and function is what they pay attention to. So the descriptive adjectives used in technical equipment ads are the ones conveying information of the product, such as audible, visible, high-volume, high-speed, etc.
   2.3.3  Compound words
A compound word is often a noun or an adjective made up of two or more words. Compound adjectives are often seen in advertisements. In the present study, we found compound words turn up with varying proportions in three types of advertisements.
used AdsTotal
Daily Consumer Goods52025%
Technical Equipment132065%

Obviously, compound words turn up in 65% technical equipment ads, 40 percentage points higher than that of daily consumer goods ads; 30 percentage points higher than service ads.
Compound words in technical equipment ads, are usually combined to give an exact description of a certain feature or a certain function such as high-volume, full-color, multi-functional, non-stop, water-cooled. Often numbers are employed in front of the hyphen, which is seldom seen in other advertisements, such as 64-bit, 24-valve, 4-wheel, 255-horsepower.
This difference can be accounted for in terms of the different complexities47 of the goods. In comparison with daily consumer goods and services, technical equipment is much more complicated in function and structure. It is just the advantageous48 function or newly designed structure that the advertiser wants to highlight in technical equipment ads. Thus, the advertiser employs, even coins, so many compound words that they can make the introduction of complicated technical equipment brief and precise. Grammatically, compound words help to avoid using clause, which enhance the readability of advertisements.
   2.3.4 Use of pronouns
Pronouns of the first and second person: we, I and you outnumber the other pronouns in advertisements. It is because that you, we and I help create a friend-like intimate atmosphere to move and persuade the audience. Advertisements with lots of pronouns of the first and second person are called gossip advertisements. Here, gossip has not the least derogative49 meaning. It originates from old English god sib, meaning friendly chats between women. Advertisements that go like talking with friends closely link the advertisement and the audience. The audience will easily accept a product, a service or an idea as if a good friend recommended them.
Though pronouns of the first and second person are popular in advertisements, there are some differences in the use of these pronouns in the three kinds of advertisements. The first person we almost never occurs in daily consumer goods ads and technical equipment ads, whereas we is used in almost 80% the service ads in the corpus. The following are some examples.#p#
What can we do for you?
So come on and join us as we celebrate MillenniaMania Singapore.
…, we help our neighbors find the best ways to give to their favorite charities­
We’re stronger than ever.

There are two factors to explain the phenomenon. First, in daily consumer goods ads and technical equipment ads, a product is the focus of information. When the product needs to be mentioned, “it” is used, and in most cases, the brand name is used, even repeated to impress the readers. However, in service ads, service is actually the product. Since service is intangible, we can be regarded as the replacement50 of the service. Second, it is more necessary for service ads to create a friend-like atmosphere, because winning trust is the first thing service ads want to do.
3. Syntactical features
3.1 Similarities
The purpose of all advertising is to familiarize consumers with or remind them of the benefits of particular products in the hope of increasing sales, and the techniques used by advertisers do not vary markedly. An advertisement is often merely glimpsed in passing and so, to be effective, its message must be colorful, legible, understandable and memorable51. The rules governing the language of advertising are similar. We have summarized the lexical features of English advertisements. If words are leaves of a tree, and sentences branches; the branches must also possess their similarities.
First, length of a sentence in advertising is usually short. A sentence in daily consumer goods ads has 10.3 words on average; in technical equipment ads, 11.8 words; in service ads, 12.3 words.
Second, as to sentence structure, simple sentences and elliptical sentences are often used in advertisements. Compared with complex sentences, simple sentences are more understandable and forceful. Elliptical sentences are actually incomplete in structure but complete in meaning. The adoption52 of elliptical sentences can spare more print space, and take less time for readers to finish reading. In addition, a group of sentence fragments may gain special advertising effectiveness. Let us compare the following two advertisements.
    a. Baked. Drenched53. Tested to the extreme. A Motorola cellular54 phone …
b. The Motorola cellular phone are baked and drenched to extreme.
    Obviously, by using elliptical structure, sentence a is far more brief, eye-catching and forceful than sentence b. What’s more, it conveys attitudes that sentence b lacks. Sentence a implies a kind of appreciation55 for the phone, by splitting the sentence into several fragments and rearranging its word order. Therefore skillful arrangement of elliptical sentences may add color to a sentence.
Third, as to sentence patterns, interrogative sentences and imperative56 sentences are heavily used in English advertisements. Imperative sentences are short, encouraging and forceful. They are used to arouse audiences’ wants or encourage them to buy something. For instance:
Enter something magical. (Oldsmobile)
Feel the clean all day. (ALMAY)
Bye one. (Honda motor)

 In the explanation of the high frequency of the use of interrogative sentences, Linguist G.N. Leech (方薇,1997:77) discusses two main functions of interrogative sentences. Viewing from the angle of psychology57, interrogative sentences divided the process of information receiving into two phases by first raising a question and then answering it. Thus it turns the passive receiving into active understanding. From the linguistic angle, interrogative sentences decrease the grammatical difficulty, because they are usually short in advertisements. Take the following interrogative sentence as an example: if it is asked to condense to one sentence, the condensed one will be complex and dull.
    What’s in Woman’s Realm this week? A wonderful beauty offers for you.
→There’s a wonderful beauty offer for you in Women’s Realm this week.
    Fourth, the passive voice is usually avoided because the passive voice gives the audience an indirect and unnatural58 feeling. In daily communication, passive voice is seldom used; so is in advertisements. Present tense prevails in most advertisements because present tense implies a universal timelessness. On the rare occasions where the past tense and the present perfect tense is used, it stresses the long traditions associated with a product, such as “We’ve taken our whisky in many ways, but always seriously”; or emphasizes its reliability59, such as “We’ve solved a long-standing problem,”; or makes an appeal to authority, such as “Eight out of ten owners said their cats preferred it.”
3.2 Differences
    3.2.1 Headline
    The term Headline refers to the sentences in the leading position of the advertisement—the words that will be read first or that are positioned to draw the most attention. Therefore, headlines are usually set in larger type than other portions of the advertisement. Research (Coutland L. Bovee & William F. Arens, 1992:294) has shown that, on average, three to five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. Therefore, if the advertiser hasn’t done some selling in the headline, he has wasted the greatest percent of his money. So it might be suggested that advertisers should not be afraid of long headlines.
    A headline has numerous functions. First of all, the headline must attract attention to the advertisement fast. It should take only a few seconds to capture the reader’s attention. Otherwise, the entire message may be lost. A headline also selects the reader, that is, it tells whether the advertisement’s subject matter interests the reader. The idea is to engage and involve the reader, suggesting a reason to read the rest of the advertisement. Therefore, the headline is the most important in an advertisement.
Generally, we can classify effective advertising headlines into five basic categories: benefit headline, provocative60 headline, news/information headline, question headline, and command headline.
Benefit headlines make a direct promise to the reader. News/information headlines include many of the how-to headlines and headlines that seek to gain identification for their sponsors by announcing some news or providing some promise of information. Provocative headlines are used to provoke the reader’s curiosity. To learn more, the reader must read the body copy. A question headline will pique61 the reader’s curiosity and imagination by asking a question that the reader is interested in. A command headline orders the reader to do something. It motivates the reader through fear or emotion or because the reader understands the inherent correctness of the command.
3.2.2 Comparison of headlines of different types of advertisements
   Table 4 tells which type of headlin

e companies, public utilities, and large manufacturing concerns are the most common users of the institutional copy.
Advertisers use the narrative62 copy to tell a story. It often sets up a problem and then creates a solution using the particular sales features of the product or service. It may then suggest that the audiences use the same solution if they have that problem. Service advertisements are often written in this . For instance:
“It broke my heart to hear my daughter Dorsey say she wished her daddy was still here. But thanks to his foresight63, we’ll still have the things he worked for”
Dorsey Hoskins’ father Bryan felt a tingling64 in his arm. The diagnosis—an inoperable brain tumor65. He died six months later, at 33, leaving his wife Dean alone to raise Dorsey and her sister Hattie. Fortunately, Bryan bought life insurance when he got married, and again when his daughters were born. Dean invested the proceeds in her own clothing store, which gives her the flexibility66 to spend more time with her children.
Are you prepared? Without insurance, your financial plan may be just a savings67 and investment program that dies when you do. An insurance agent or other financial professional can help you create a plan that will continue to provide for the ones you love.
    By using a dialogue/monologue copy, the advertiser can add the believability that the narrative copy sometimes lacks. The characters portrayed68 in a print advertisement do the selling in their own words, through a testimonial or quasi-testimonial technique, or through a comic-strip panel. All kinds of ads can use this body copy , if necessary. For example:
    When I want a CD done right, I do it myself. Yeah, this machine rocks. It burns full-size CDs that sound totally like the original. It plays CDs. Records CD to CD at double speed. And records off of just about any source. LPs. Cassettes. The radio. It’s even got a text display. Anyway, now I’ve got my own greatest hits collection. The stuff I want to listen to. I’ve got to admit it’s getting better.
5.  Conclusion
Up to now, we have analyzed69 language features of ads at three levels. Linguistic similarities analyzed in this paper and shared by all kinds of ads are shown as follows:
Ⅰ. Lexical features
a. One-syllable and simple verbs such as get and make are used.
b. Emotive adjectives are adopted to arouse reader’s interest.
c. Words are carefully chosen to make pun and alliteration.
d. Weasel words, such as help and like, make the use of strongest language possible in advertisements.
Ⅱ. Syntactical features
a. Sentences in advertisements are short. On average, a sentence consists of 11.8 words.
b.  Elliptical sentences are used to spare advertising cost and at the same time improve advertising effectiveness.
c.  Interrogative sentences and imperative sentences are common in advertisements
d.  Present tense prevails in ads to suggest timelessness. And active voice is used to cater70 to audience’s habit in daily talk.
    Ⅲ. Discourse features
    A complete advertisement consists of five parts: Headline, Body Copy, Slogan, Illustration
    and Trade Mark. Body copy is the key part, conveying product or service information.
While summarizing similarities of language features of three kinds of advertisements, we have discussed the differences between these ads on the following dimensions:
First, in order to achieve the highest advertising effectiveness, the advertiser precisely71 targets the audience by their social status, roles, income, educational background and gender. Therefore advertising language adjusts itself to get close to target audience.
Second, daily consumer goods, technical equipment and service are totally different advertising subjects. For example, some words in technical equipment ads are comprehensible only to those acquainted with that field. Take iMAC PC as an example. All the features of iMAC, plus: 400MHZ, G3 processor, slot-loading DVD drive, 10GB disk storage, dual28 400Mbps FireWire ports, and iMovie video editing software. Laymen72 of computers must feel confused by these dazzling figures and units. However, in order to make the information of a technical product clear, some jargons74 are necessary. Therefore different kind of ads speak different language.
The study has shown that three kinds of advertisements in the corpus respectively demonstrate their own unique language features.
In daily consumer goods ads, descriptive adjectives tend to convey senses of sight, taste, and touch in the hope of satisfying women's appeal for beauty and comfort. No jargon73 is used. Headlines of daily consumer goods ads tend to ask question to arouse the interest of audience, especially women's. The body copy seems not so important and essential as that of the advertisement for products requiring high technological75 information, thus in some cases body copy is omitted in daily consumer goods ads.
In technical equipment ads, descriptive adjectives largely play the role of conveying information. Compound words, particularly compound jargons, are frequently used to exactly introduce a complicated product. Headlines of technical equipment mean to attract readers by transferring the unknown information of a product, so they are often information/news headlines.
In service ads, the use of pronouns, we and you, is statistically76 significant. You and we almost appear in every advertisement. “we”, as replacement of a certain service, is used in almost 80% the service advertisements. Institutional copy is often used to sell an idea or the merits of the organization or service rather than sales features of a particular product. Often institutional copyis also narrative in because it lends warmth to the organization. Banks, insurance companies, public utilities, and large manufacturing concerns are the most common users of the institutional copy.
In summary, no matter what kind of structure, or content, or words are used in an advertisement, all of them serve the purpose of attracting ads readers, conveying information to them, and urging them to purchase the products or to use the service. That is what an ad for, and that is also the function advertising language performs


1 tract iJxz4     
  • He owns a large tract of forest.他拥有一大片森林。
  • He wrote a tract on this subject.他曾对此写了一篇短文。
2 analytical lLMyS     
  • I have an analytical approach to every survey.对每项调查我都采用分析方法。
  • As a result,analytical data obtained by analysts were often in disagreement.结果各个分析家所得的分析数据常常不一致。
3 discourse 2lGz0     
  • We'll discourse on the subject tonight.我们今晚要谈论这个问题。
  • He fell into discourse with the customers who were drinking at the counter.他和站在柜台旁的酒客谈了起来。
4 detailed xuNzms     
  • He had made a detailed study of the terrain.他对地形作了缜密的研究。
  • A detailed list of our publications is available on request.我们的出版物有一份详细的目录备索。
5 advertising 1zjzi3     
n.广告业;广告活动 a.广告的;广告业务的
  • Can you give me any advice on getting into advertising? 你能指点我如何涉足广告业吗?
  • The advertising campaign is aimed primarily at young people. 这个广告宣传运动主要是针对年轻人的。
6 analyze RwUzm     
vt.分析,解析 (=analyse)
  • We should analyze the cause and effect of this event.我们应该分析这场事变的因果。
  • The teacher tried to analyze the cause of our failure.老师设法分析我们失败的原因。
7 drawn MuXzIi     
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的风景所吸引。
8 persuasive 0MZxR     
  • His arguments in favour of a new school are very persuasive.他赞成办一座新学校的理由很有说服力。
  • The evidence was not really persuasive enough.证据并不是太有说服力。
9 alliteration ioJy7     
  • We chose alliteration on the theory a little vulgarity enhances memory.在理论上我们选择有点儿粗俗的头韵来帮助记忆。
  • It'seems to me that in prose alliteration should be used only for a special reason.依我看,在散文里,头韵只能在一定的场合使用。
10 gender slSyD     
  • French differs from English in having gender for all nouns.法语不同于英语,所有的名词都有性。
  • Women are sometimes denied opportunities solely because of their gender.妇女有时仅仅因为性别而无法获得种种机会。
11 brace 0WzzE     
n. 支柱,曲柄,大括号; v. 绷紧,顶住,(为困难或坏事)做准备
  • My daughter has to wear a brace on her teeth. 我的女儿得戴牙套以矫正牙齿。
  • You had better brace yourself for some bad news. 有些坏消息,你最好做好准备。
12 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
13 helping 2rGzDc     
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
14 marketing Boez7e     
  • They are developing marketing network.他们正在发展销售网络。
  • He often goes marketing.他经常去市场做生意。
15 linguist K02xo     
  • I used to be a linguist till I become a writer.过去我是个语言学家,后来成了作家。
  • Professor Cui has a high reputation as a linguist.崔教授作为语言学家名声很高。
16 linguistic k0zxn     
  • She is pursuing her linguistic researches.她在从事语言学的研究。
  • The ability to write is a supreme test of linguistic competence.写作能力是对语言能力的最高形式的测试。
17 thereby Sokwv     
  • I have never been to that city,,ereby I don't know much about it.我从未去过那座城市,因此对它不怎么熟悉。
  • He became a British citizen,thereby gaining the right to vote.他成了英国公民,因而得到了投票权。
18 supplementary 0r6ws     
  • There is a supplementary water supply in case the rain supply fails.万一主水源断了,我们另外有供水的地方。
  • A supplementary volume has been published containing the index.附有索引的增补卷已经出版。
19 persuasion wMQxR     
  • He decided to leave only after much persuasion.经过多方劝说,他才决定离开。
  • After a lot of persuasion,she agreed to go.经过多次劝说后,她同意去了。
20 quantitative TCpyg     
  • He said it was only a quantitative difference.他说这仅仅是数量上的差别。
  • We need to do some quantitative analysis of the drugs.我们对药物要进行定量分析。
21 qualitative JC4yi     
  • There are qualitative differences in the way children and adults think.孩子和成年人的思维方式有质的不同。
  • Arms races have a quantitative and a qualitative aspects.军备竞赛具有数量和质量两个方面。
22 specialized Chuzwe     
  • There are many specialized agencies in the United Nations.联合国有许多专门机构。
  • These tools are very specialized.这些是专用工具。
23 detergent dm1zW     
  • He recommended a new detergent to me.他向我推荐一种新的洗涤剂。
  • This detergent can remove stubborn stains.这种去污剂能去除难洗的污渍。
24 hygiene Kchzr     
n.健康法,卫生学 (a.hygienic)
  • Their course of study includes elementary hygiene and medical theory.他们的课程包括基础卫生学和医疗知识。
  • He's going to give us a lecture on public hygiene.他要给我们作关于公共卫生方面的报告。
25 redundant Tt2yO     
  • There are too many redundant words in this book.这本书里多余的词太多。
  • Nearly all the redundant worker have been absorbed into other departments.几乎所有冗员,都已调往其他部门任职。
26 irrelevant ZkGy6     
  • That is completely irrelevant to the subject under discussion.这跟讨论的主题完全不相关。
  • A question about arithmetic is irrelevant in a music lesson.在音乐课上,一个数学的问题是风马牛不相及的。
27 lookout w0sxT     
  • You can see everything around from the lookout.从了望台上你可以看清周围的一切。
  • It's a bad lookout for the company if interest rates don't come down.如果利率降不下来,公司的前景可就不妙了。
28 dual QrAxe     
  • The people's Republic of China does not recognize dual nationality for any Chinese national.中华人民共和国不承认中国公民具有双重国籍。
  • He has dual role as composer and conductor.他兼作曲家及指挥的双重身分。
29 leech Z9UzB     
  • A leech is a small blood-sucking worm and usually lives in water.水蛭是一种小型吸血虫,通常生活在水中。
  • One-side love like a greedy leech absorbed my time and my mirth.单相思如同一只贪婪的水蛭,吸走了我的时间和欢笑。
30 coverage nvwz7v     
  • There's little coverage of foreign news in the newspaper.报纸上几乎没有国外新闻报道。
  • This is an insurance policy with extensive coverage.这是一项承保范围广泛的保险。
31 zoom VenzWT     
  • The airplane's zoom carried it above the clouds.飞机的陡直上升使它飞到云层之上。
  • I live near an airport and the zoom of passing planes can be heard night and day.我住在一个飞机场附近,昼夜都能听到飞机飞过的嗡嗡声。
32 etymological 4c8f1223ca5e1817e3a27dfb8919e7af     
  • The etymological closeness of the Sanskrit and English words is striking. 梵语和英语的词源的连结性是如此地惊人。 来自互联网
  • But the Chinese have often ignored this etymological hint. 但中国人经常忽略这一词根上隐含的意义。 来自互联网
33 scrutiny ZDgz6     
  • His work looks all right,but it will not bear scrutiny.他的工作似乎很好,但是经不起仔细检查。
  • Few wives in their forties can weather such a scrutiny.很少年过四十的妻子经得起这么仔细的观察。
34 lighter 5pPzPR     
  • The portrait was touched up so as to make it lighter.这张画经过润色,色调明朗了一些。
  • The lighter works off the car battery.引燃器利用汽车蓄电池打火。
35 homonymy 35e4fbe75391a8a3c2486982b3716d89     
36 evade evade     
  • He tried to evade the embarrassing question.他企图回避这令人难堪的问题。
  • You are in charge of the job.How could you evade the issue?你是负责人,你怎么能对这个问题不置可否?
37 forthright xiIx3     
adj.直率的,直截了当的 [同]frank
  • It's sometimes difficult to be forthright and not give offence.又直率又不得罪人,这有时很难办到。
  • He told me forthright just why he refused to take my side.他直率地告诉我他不肯站在我这一边的原因。
38 cranberry TvOz5U     
  • Turkey reminds me of cranberry sauce.火鸡让我想起梅果酱。
  • Actually I prefer canned cranberry sauce.事实上我更喜欢罐装的梅果酱。
39 cocktail Jw8zNt     
  • We invited some foreign friends for a cocktail party.我们邀请了一些外国朋友参加鸡尾酒会。
  • At a cocktail party in Hollywood,I was introduced to Charlie Chaplin.在好莱坞的一次鸡尾酒会上,人家把我介绍给查理·卓别林。
40 positively vPTxw     
  • She was positively glowing with happiness.她满脸幸福。
  • The weather was positively poisonous.这天气着实讨厌。
41 literally 28Wzv     
  • He translated the passage literally.他逐字逐句地翻译这段文字。
  • Sometimes she would not sit down till she was literally faint.有时候,她不走到真正要昏厥了,决不肯坐下来。
42 tornado inowl     
  • A tornado whirled into the town last week.龙卷风上周袭击了这座城市。
  • The approaching tornado struck awe in our hearts.正在逼近的龙卷风使我们惊恐万分。
43 applied Tz2zXA     
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  • This cream is best applied to the face at night.这种乳霜最好晚上擦脸用。
44 detergents 2f4a6c42e9c2663b781bda4f769407b9     
n.洗涤剂( detergent的名词复数 )
  • Such detergents do not yellow the wool as alkali tends to do. 这种洗涤剂不会象碱那样使羊毛发黄。 来自辞典例句
  • Development of detergents has required optimization of the surfactants structure. 发展洗涤剂时,要求使用最恰当的表面活性剂结构。 来自辞典例句
45 dominant usAxG     
  • The British were formerly dominant in India.英国人从前统治印度。
  • She was a dominant figure in the French film industry.她在法国电影界是个举足轻重的人物。
46 subjective mtOwP     
  • The way they interpreted their past was highly subjective. 他们解释其过去的方式太主观。
  • A literary critic should not be too subjective in his approach. 文学评论家的看法不应太主观。
47 complexities b217e6f6e3d61b3dd560522457376e61     
复杂性(complexity的名词复数); 复杂的事物
  • The complexities of life bothered him. 生活的复杂使他困惑。
  • The complexities of life bothered me. 生活的杂乱事儿使我心烦。
48 advantageous BK5yp     
  • Injections of vitamin C are obviously advantageous.注射维生素C显然是有利的。
  • You're in a very advantageous position.你处于非常有利的地位。
49 derogative 28685ca64f535b09b8b4bb69c3f9d936     
  • The duality analysis reveals that Zionism is both favorable and derogative to the Israeli-Palestinian peace. 犹太复国主义的两重性对以巴和平产生的影响也是双重的,利弊兼有。 来自互联网
  • The explorative study its semantic features and the changes of its derogative and appreciative meanings. 对体态成语的语义特征和语义褒贬变化做了探索性的研究。 来自互联网
50 replacement UVxxM     
  • We are hard put to find a replacement for our assistant.我们很难找到一个人来代替我们的助手。
  • They put all the students through the replacement examination.他们让所有的学生参加分班考试。
51 memorable K2XyQ     
  • This was indeed the most memorable day of my life.这的确是我一生中最值得怀念的日子。
  • The veteran soldier has fought many memorable battles.这个老兵参加过许多难忘的战斗。
52 adoption UK7yu     
  • An adoption agency had sent the boys to two different families.一个收养机构把他们送给两个不同的家庭。
  • The adoption of this policy would relieve them of a tremendous burden.采取这一政策会给他们解除一个巨大的负担。
53 drenched cu0zJp     
adj.湿透的;充满的v.使湿透( drench的过去式和过去分词 );在某人(某物)上大量使用(某液体)
  • We were caught in the storm and got drenched to the skin. 我们遇上了暴雨,淋得浑身透湿。
  • The rain drenched us. 雨把我们淋得湿透。 来自《简明英汉词典》
54 cellular aU1yo     
  • She has a cellular telephone in her car.她的汽车里有一部无线通讯电话机。
  • Many people use cellular materials as sensitive elements in hygrometers.很多人用蜂窝状的材料作为测量温度的传感元件。
55 appreciation Pv9zs     
  • I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to you all.我想对你们所有人表达我的感激和谢意。
  • I'll be sending them a donation in appreciation of their help.我将送给他们一笔捐款以感谢他们的帮助。
56 imperative BcdzC     
  • He always speaks in an imperative tone of voice.他老是用命令的口吻讲话。
  • The events of the past few days make it imperative for her to act.过去这几天发生的事迫使她不得不立即行动。
57 psychology U0Wze     
  • She has a background in child psychology.她受过儿童心理学的教育。
  • He studied philosophy and psychology at Cambridge.他在剑桥大学学习哲学和心理学。
58 unnatural 5f2zAc     
  • Did her behaviour seem unnatural in any way?她有任何反常表现吗?
  • She has an unnatural smile on her face.她脸上挂着做作的微笑。
59 reliability QVexf     
  • We mustn't presume too much upon the reliability of such sources.我们不应过分指望这类消息来源的可靠性。
  • I can assure you of the reliability of the information.我向你保证这消息可靠。
60 provocative e0Jzj     
  • She wore a very provocative dress.她穿了一件非常性感的裙子。
  • His provocative words only fueled the argument further.他的挑衅性讲话只能使争论进一步激化。
61 pique i2Nz9     
v.伤害…的自尊心,使生气 n.不满,生气
  • She went off in a fit of pique.她一赌气就走了。
  • Tom finished the sentence with an air of pique.汤姆有些生气地说完这句话。
62 narrative CFmxS     
  • He was a writer of great narrative power.他是一位颇有记述能力的作家。
  • Neither author was very strong on narrative.两个作者都不是很善于讲故事。
63 foresight Wi3xm     
  • The failure is the result of our lack of foresight.这次失败是由于我们缺乏远虑而造成的。
  • It required a statesman's foresight and sagacity to make the decision.作出这个决定需要政治家的远见卓识。
64 tingling LgTzGu     
v.有刺痛感( tingle的现在分词 )
  • My ears are tingling [humming; ringing; singing]. 我耳鸣。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • My tongue is tingling. 舌头发麻。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
65 tumor fKxzm     
  • He was died of a malignant tumor.他死于恶性肿瘤。
  • The surgeons irradiated the tumor.外科医生用X射线照射那个肿瘤。
66 flexibility vjPxb     
  • Her great strength lies in her flexibility.她的优势在于她灵活变通。
  • The flexibility of a man's muscles will lessen as he becomes old.人老了肌肉的柔韧性将降低。
67 savings ZjbzGu     
  • I can't afford the vacation,for it would eat up my savings.我度不起假,那样会把我的积蓄用光的。
  • By this time he had used up all his savings.到这时,他的存款已全部用完。
68 portrayed a75f5b1487928c9f7f165b2773c13036     
v.画像( portray的过去式和过去分词 );描述;描绘;描画
  • Throughout the trial, he portrayed himself as the victim. 在审讯过程中,他始终把自己说成是受害者。
  • The author portrayed his father as a vicious drunkard. 作者把他父亲描绘成一个可恶的酒鬼。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
69 analyzed 483f1acae53789fbee273a644fdcda80     
v.分析( analyze的过去式和过去分词 );分解;解释;对…进行心理分析
  • The doctors analyzed the blood sample for anemia. 医生们分析了贫血的血样。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The young man did not analyze the process of his captivation and enrapturement, for love to him was a mystery and could not be analyzed. 这年轻人没有分析自己蛊惑著迷的过程,因为对他来说,爱是个不可分析的迷。 来自《简明英汉词典》
70 cater ickyJ     
  • I expect he will be able to cater for your particular needs.我预计他能满足你的特殊需要。
  • Most schools cater for children of different abilities.大多数学校能够满足具有不同天资的儿童的需要。
71 precisely zlWzUb     
  • It's precisely that sort of slick sales-talk that I mistrust.我不相信的正是那种油腔滑调的推销宣传。
  • The man adjusted very precisely.那个人调得很准。
72 laymen 4eba2aede66235aa178de00c37728cba     
门外汉,外行人( layman的名词复数 ); 普通教徒(有别于神职人员)
  • a book written for professionals and laymen alike 一本内行外行都可以读的书
  • Avoid computer jargon when you write for laymen. 写东西给一般人看时,应避免使用电脑术语。
73 jargon I3sxk     
  • They will not hear critics with their horrible jargon.他们不愿意听到评论家们那些可怕的行话。
  • It is important not to be overawed by the mathematical jargon.要紧的是不要被数学的术语所吓倒.
74 jargons 8306079583a93835d896ee629d2cce80     
n.行话,黑话,隐语( jargon的名词复数 )
  • Doctors, actors and sailors have jargons. 医生、演员和水手都有自己的行话。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The chief objection to the essay is its inappropriate use of special jargons. 这篇文章的主要缺点是专门术语用得不当。 来自辞典例句
75 technological gqiwY     
  • A successful company must keep up with the pace of technological change.一家成功的公司必须得跟上技术变革的步伐。
  • Today,the pace of life is increasing with technological advancements.当今, 随着科技进步,生活节奏不断增快。
76 statistically Yuxwa     
  • The sample of building permits is larger and therefore, statistically satisfying. 建筑许可数的样本比较大,所以统计数据更令人满意。
  • The results of each test would have to be statistically independent. 每次试验的结果在统计上必须是独立的。