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Essentials Of The English Language Essay

1682 words - 7 pages

As children, we learn to read and write the typical English language taught to us by our elementary school teachers. Although we are fully capable of speaking and writing it, we are not fully aware of the ways the english language has been used to trick and deceive us. Language is misused in many different ways, and it is rarely identified by the average citizen. According to some known authors, like William Lutz, Donna Woolfolk, William Zinsser and others, language is being used to manipulate the minds of the average citizen. Average citizens should become fully aware of the language used around them. Many times, the language used is full of honest lies, that are being blindly believed. Commercials on television are constantly advertising their products, doing everything they can to convince their audience. Writers are constantly writing things to make things sound better than they really are. These writers tend to be the ones who end up working with advertising companies or political parties to increase their chances of being bought out. Big words seem to be doing the job when it comes to convincing people. Those who are fully aware of the ways language can be manipulated are constantly misusing it to their advantage, they find ways to deceive the average citizen. Being aware of the language used around us is a very important aspect of becoming a well informed citizen; if one is not fully aware of the tricks language can pull, they will quickly and foolishly be betrayed on a daily basis.
As a young girl, watching television was my favorite pastime, I remember watching toy commercials and begging my parents to buy them for me. The kids on television seemed so convincing and their parents made it seem as if it were well worth their money. Looking back at Donna Woolfolk’s essay, “Propaganda: How Not to Be Bamboozled,” I realize that I was completely bamboozled as a little girl. There are many different ways one can be bamboozled, especially when it comes to propaganda, “the testimonial device consists in having some loved or respected person give a statement of support (testimonial) for a given product or idea” (150). The kids on television were simply doing an act that was part of their script, the toys were really not all that, and were not worth anywhere close to the amount of money they were asking for. Acne products are also constantly being advertised on television. The advertising companies have begun to use famous actors and actresses as their bait, not only are these people saying they have used the product, but they are using words that easily convince the audience. For example, words like help, fast, reduce, works and many others. Like William Lutz says in his essay, Weasel Words: The Art of Saying Nothing At All, “If you start looking for this weasel word in advertising, you’ll be amazed at how often it occurs” (444). These weasel words are often being used, and not completely analyzed. People do not often realize what it means for...

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