Idioms in Commercials Pragmatic Aspect

Features of the study and classification of phenomena idiom as a linguistic element. Shape analysis of the value of idioms for both conversational and commercial use. Basic principles of pragmatic aspects of idioms in the field of commercial advertising.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид курсовая работа
Язык русский
Дата добавления 17.04.2011
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А good example of an altered idiom in commercial is following:

Comfort is in the eye of the beholder

This ad one for Focus contact lenses, which appeared in Marie Claire in March, 1997. The main part of the ad is taken up by a picture of a woman dressed in a white knitted polo jumper, cuddling a fluffy toy animal that might be a teddy bear. The headline above the picture is written in white against a green background and reads Comfort is in the eye of the beholder, a variant form of the idiomatic expression or proverb Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As with the previous ad, the headline is ambiguous and may be interpreted both literally and metaphorically. Again, the fact that the idiom has been altered triggers the otherwise non-salient literal meaning, but perhaps not as strongly as in the previous ad, since Comfort is in the eye of the beholder may actually be understood in an entirely metaphorical sense, as opposed to Don't get your panty liners in a twist, where a literal interpretation is inevitably highlighted.

Let us start with the original idiom, which is partly motivated by the conceptual metaphor `feelings are objects' or in this case rather personal characteristics or abstract notions are objects. Being seen in terms of an object is what enables beauty to be located in different places, in this case in the eye of the beholder as opposed to in the face of a woman. Fittingly enough, contact lenses are also objects that are located in the eyes of some beholders, namely those with poor eyesight. The source domain objects is elaborated as a more specific space, which will be referred to as lenses, and it includes the simple scenario in which lenses are worn or placed in a person's eyes [22; 130]. In addition, we can identify two elaborations of the target domain feelings/ characteristics, where one may be labeled comfort and the other beauty. In the comfort space, there is the feeling of comfort, which exists in the opinion of the person experiencing the event, while in the beauty space; there is the characteristic of beauty, which exists in the opinion of the observer. In the altered idiom in the headline, all these spaces are activated simultaneously, and contribute to the understanding of what it means to use the Focus lenses. Not only will they improve a person's eyesight, they are also comfortable for the wearer and make her/him look good in the eyes of other people. Moreover, all three input spaces may be understood to be reflected in the image, in particular the comfort space, to which the warm jumper and cuddly toy belong, but perhaps also the beauty space, which in that case is reflected in the face of the woman, and possibly also the lenses space, if we assume that the woman in the ad is wearing them. However, they are also signaled in the text or slogan at the very bottom of the ad, which says “see better,” “feel better” and “look better,” and these are of course linked to the three different input spaces lenses, comfort, and beauty.

The altered idiom in the headline may also be seen as a comment on the image, which actually illustrates some examples of what comfort may involve, but at the same time asks what it really means for something to be comfortable. Is it wearing a warm jumper and cuddling a fluffy toy as the woman in the picture is doing, or is it something else? That is all up to the beholder, which of course carries a possible negative implication as far as the aim of the ad is concerned. Are the contact lenses really comfortable or is that also, metaphorically, in the eye of the beholder?

The role played by metaphor and conceptual blending in these creative examples shows that advertising language follows the same cognitive principles as everyday language, but many processes, which are normally unconscious and therefore largely go unnoticed may be highlighted and made more noticeable


In this paper we tried to analyze and identify the impact, which is produced by the usage of the idiomatic language on the recipient of the information in terms of the pragmatic aspect of the usage of idioms in commercials. To keep it simple, usage of idioms is a powerful source for creation of the desirable effect with the potential customer. The basis of this phenomenon lies within the sophisticated subliminal organization of the idiomatic expressions. We do not split these expressions into parts but perceive them as a holistic thing.

The idioms are found either in the headline or in the body copy of the ads and occur in two main patterns, which we referred to as extended idioms and altered idioms, respectively. The extended idioms are found in their original form, accompanied by an additional piece of text that is either a continuation of or a comment on the idiom, hence the label. This comment or complement provides an elaboration on the idiom itself, sometimes by drawing attention to its literal meaning, as in Burn the candle at both ends. Then get rid of the smoke. In the altered idioms, on the other hand, one lexical item has been replaced in a context where in normal cases it would not be replaced, for example in Don't get your panty liners in a twist, or syntactically altered in a way that does not occur in regular use. In short, the main difference is the location of the creative or unexpected surface element--as a complement to the idiom or inside the idiom. Besides, every person has a clear and instantaneous image in mind that is tightly welded with the particular idiomatic expression. So whereas the motivation of the promoters is quite clear, the mechanism of the linguistic influence through idioms leaves much to be learned about.

However, it is important to note that this paper does not state exactly what features are mapped or which conceptual links are established each time a particular idiom is deconstructed. Similarly, no claims are made as to how individual people would interpret the ads and there is no suggestion that everybody would understand them in exactly the same way, which means that there are many questions that still need to be answered.


Курсова робота під назвою «Ідіоми в рекламних слоганах. Прагматичний аспект» торкається проблеми вікористання ідіоматичниго словнику в рекламних оголошеннях та слоганах з огляду на прагматичний аспект використання фразеологізмів та їх похідних.

Головна мета роботи полягає у дослідженні феномена ідіоми в англійській мові та використання ідіоматичних виразів як інструмента маніпуляциії свідомостю покупця.

Робота включає в себе декілька основних завдань:

- Проаналізувати ідіоматичнє мовлення, виділити основні типи ідіом

- Проаналізувати використання ідіом в усному мовленні і в сфері реклами

- Дослідити вплив ідіом на свідомість покупця

Об'єктом дослідження є ідіоматичні вирази та сталі вирази в англійській мові, шо використовуються в рекламі як ідіоми.

Суб'єктом дослідження є використання ідіом в рекламі (друкованій та на телебаченні) з огляду на прагматичний аспект.

Робота складається зі вступу, двох частин, висновків, резюме та списку використаної літератури.


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