Written Languages Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 10 July 2017

Written Languages

The English language is continuously developing, and new words and phrases are being created and used everyday. The way language is written can have a huge effect on its audience, for example David Crystal has said “the effects of language change can be heard or seen everywhere”, and the way it is used in different situations is constantly altered.

The function of language in advertising is to persuade and inform the audience to “buy” into a product or service. Different adverts use different techniques and provide varied information in relation to what they’re trying to sell. The lexical choice is very important here as it is used to create a strong image in the audience’s mind of what the product is like, and should make them interested and make the advert stick in their minds. It is either a referential function to provide detailed information to inform the reader about the product, or conative functions that focus more on the products positive attributes to get the reader to buy it.

In print form, advertisers rely on a combination of copy and image. The use of lexis creates a relationship with the audience and the text, for example the use of colloquial expressions is quite common, like “Mazda X2, Its Fit” would appeal to a younger generation who use the word “fit” in replacement for something that’s attractive or good looking. By using colloquial expressions such as this, it gives the text a friendly feel and creates a bond with the audience. It creates a personal feel and the audience may even feel that the advert or product understands them and what they are looking for.

Other non standard lexis like this is used, neologisms are used frequently to make the advert or product appear unique and special, and words are made up or pushed together, for example the “You’ve been Tango’d” campaign for the Tango drink used a neologism which was effective and created a whole new phrase. Due to lexis like neologisms, grammar is often abbreviated and disjointed which creates a personal spoken language feel to the article.

Metaphorical language is used regularly to construct different layers of meaning, for example linking emotional associations with a product that will influence potential customers; symbolism will encourage the reader to make certain connections that will colour their view. Other features include personification, puns and ambiguity that all provoke interest for the audience.

Even though verbless clauses are common, imperatives are used a lot in the initial position, instructing their audience to do something, usually “BUY” “TAKE” or “GIVE”. These can be very effective if they make the audience feel obliged to do something and therefore the purpose of the advert is being fulfilled.

The purpose of SMS text messages is to communicate short information from one mobile to another and there are many advantages of using SMS for example it is quick and efficient. These messages usually take on a strong form of non standard grammar; words are shortened and manipulated to save time and character space, and this eventually saves money for the user, therefore text messaging has become very popular.

A common difference between written language in SMS is characters being omitted but in a way so that the word is still recognised. Punctuation is usually neglected to save character space and time, for example the words “cant” “wont” and “ive” are spelt without the apostrophe but users can still easily see what words they are. The removal of vowels also has a similar effect; words are reduced to consonant clusters such as “kk” instead of “okay”, “cnt” instead of “can’t”, and “shd” in replacement of “should”. Although when written like this the words appear very different, they are still easy to decode because the important phonemes are still present and make sense within the sentence they are used in.

Letter and number homophones are frequent in SMS, this is when the sound of the syllable is replaced with a number with the same phonetic sound, for example the word “to” could be replaced with the number “2”, and the sound “ate” could be replaced with “8”. By doing this, words like “today” would become “2day” and this would once again save character space.

When writing an SMS it can be difficult to express emotion or feeling through the language, so a number of techniques have been applied to enable this. With an exaggerated use of punctuation, intonation can be changed to communicate mood to the recipient. The use of capital letters can show anger, for example “WHAT HAV U DONE!!!” with added exclamation marks emphasise this. Furthermore, the repetition of characters, particularly on the end of words can indicate an intensifier, such as “how are youuuu” could be seen as more friendly or a more positive mood.

Additionally, because there is a loss of facial expressions that would appear in spoken language, these can be replaced with paralinguistic features such as emoticons, smileys and written actions. Colons are used to represent “eyes”, and then emotion can be expressed using a number of different forms of punctuation, for example 🙁 🙂 and :S are all common in text messaging.

The use of language in magazines is important to enable the writer to communicate feeling and create a relationship between the article and the audience. The purpose is usually to entertain and inform, sometimes shock the reader, especially when writing a “true life” story. Middle-aged females, particularly for magazines like “Bella” or “Take A Break”, usually dominate the audience, and because of this the narrative is talkative and often reflects speech patterns, using a variety in speaker tags such as “he said” “I replied” and “she asked.”

Quotations like this are used throughout the articles to so the story appears to be told through the perspective of the narrator, and dramatic or significant quotations are taken from the story, enlarged, and placed in the body of the text to emphasise them. There is heavy use of the personal pronoun “I” to also add to the idea of the story being told by the character that experienced it, even though the author is usually a journalist.

Throughout there will be constant use of emotive language generally, in particular emotive verbs and stative verbs that state what the character is feeling, for example some stative verbs are “believe” “know” “seem” and “have”. Passages commonly open with present participle non-finite verbs, such as “seeing” or “falling”, and sometimes also past participle to make it seem as if the action is happening as it is being read by the audience. Its also common for co-ordinators such as “however” and “but” to open sentences for continuity to the story and by doing this the audience are more likely to follow on reading the article.

The use of adverbials help to develop the story and add extra information so that the reader can have a clear image in theirs heads of what is happening, this is a feature that helps the audience feel a connection with the story.

In conclusion, as the uses of the English language increase with the development of new technology, the more Standard English will be manipulated to suit our needs. Archaic English is not being forgotten, but changed and expanded in a number of different ways, and the modern forms cannot be understood without an understanding of the old.

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 10 July 2017

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