Language of Advertising: A Study of Nigeria's Nation Newspaper and Newswatch Magazine

By Robert, Esther | Journal of Education and Learning, September 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Language of Advertising: A Study of Nigeria's Nation Newspaper and Newswatch Magazine


Robert, Esther, Journal of Education and Learning


Abstract

This paper focuses on a critical analysis of the language of advertisement in selected newspapers and magazines; from the aspect of graphology and lexis of The Nation Newspaper and Newswatch Magazine respectively. This work is based on the framework of stylistics. Through this study, it is discovered that the language of advertisement is persuasive, informative and it serves as a reminder to the consumer to patronize the products. The study also reveals that both linguistic and non linguistic features are usually employed to drive and compel consumers to purchase goods whether good or bad. The linguistic forms include the manner and style of composition of texts, lexical choices, use of figurative expression, use of simple diction, use of proper names and emotive expressions etc. The non linguistic forms are the graphitic and graphological features which are put into significant use to rouse the emotions and further catch the attention of the readers/customers; examples include the special use of punctuations, colours, pictorial images and figures. These features help to extensively create effect of the message conveyed in the eyes and minds of the reader. The language features in advertising in the Nation Newspaper and Newswatch magazines qualifies for a unique variety of the English language.

Keywords: advertise, patronize, product, customers, purchase, unique variety, lexical and graphitic features

1. Introduction

1.1 Research Problem

The language of advertising, like every other field or discipline, has a language of its own, very often it does not follow the grammar or logical rules of the everyday language. It is a kind of language that functions and familiarizes itself with the context in which it is used. Disciplines such as law, Journalism, Arts and Humanities etc have kinds of languages peculiar to them such that the linguistic features employed directs one to know the field that such language use belongs. This clearly shows the inevitable power of language and its capacity to influence people and their behaviours. This is also true in the field of advertising where the choice of language affects the way messages are composed and conveyed; and the way of possible inflections and usages that language lend itself to. This paper therefore is set out to investigate the language of advertising in the Nation newspaper and Newswatch magazine.

Advertising of products and article publications are both different aspects of journalism. Sometime ago, analysis was carried out on articles of Adegulugbe's 'St Valentine's Day: The Nigerian Way' and Ekunkunbor's 'Much ado about Valentine' from Punch and Vanguard newspapers of February 10, 2008'. Application of stylistic tools revealed differences between the two texts written by different authors in language use and organization notwithstanding the fact that the subject matter was the same. Other discoveries were differences in the system of writing, paragraphing, spacing, capitalization, punctuation and even font size. Grammatically, both texts exhibited structural and functional sentence types; however, complex and declarative sentence types were highly significant. Semantically too the lexical choices contained few unique usages. This explanation so far shows that language can be put to several uses and quite interesting discoveries could be recorded no matter the number of times a research is carried out on a particular field as it is the case with the work mentioned above and the one in this study.

The language of advertising normally is very positive and emphasizes why one product stands out in comparison with another. It could be assessed from different areas of stylistic analysis such as: to compare and contrast language use in select newspaper and magazine; discover what linguistic features are used and why these linguistic features are used instead of others. Precisely, this paper evaluates the manner in which language is used graphologically and lexically to achieve certain objectives and goals in the field of journalism particularly in advertising. …

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