Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

2.1. Use strategies for extracting implicit messages in texts.

ryanrori December 29, 2020

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Source of text is identified and discussed in terms of reliability and possible bias. 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, admirers or circuses everywhere…” Roll up, roll up, roll up to the Circus Extraordinaire, the grandest, most splendid circus in the universe. Death-defying chills on the trapeze, ferocious man-eating animals just arrived from the deepest jungles of South America, big top thrills beyond description, amazing acrobats, dazzling dancers and comical clowns! All of this and much more, all brought to you especially for your enjoyment by the greatest of circuses, the most unique of circuses. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I give you… the Circus Extraordinaire! So come on folks, get your tickets before they’re all sold out. Just step this way for the circus ride of the century.”

This advert for a circus is difficult to resist, and who would want to? A fairytale world of excitement has been painted. Look at how the words have been used. They are not factual, but exaggerated, persuasive and emotive. Clearly, language is a powerful tool. Concept: Emotive language persuades us to adopt the point of view of the writer or speaker. It influences, manipulates and creates emotions in people.

The Media

Fact and OpinionLearning to distinguish between fact and opinion puts us in a good position to judge whether we are being manipulated or not. A factis something that is known to be true; an opinionis a judgement or estimation. It expresses a point of view. Language is a mixture of fact and opinion. Usually a writer will make more use of one than the other, depending upon their intention. Can you say whether the following are facts or opinions?

□   Thabo Mbeki is the second president of a democratic South Africa

□   Soweto is an acronym for South-Western Townships

□   The Vaal river is one of South Africa’s main arteries

□   The most famous South African is Desmond Tutu

□   South Africa became a republic in 1961

□   Bloemfontein is the legislative capital of South Africa

□   Es’kia Mphahlele is South Africa’s best writer of fiction

Numbers 1,2,3 and 5 are facts, they can be proven; numbers 4 and 7 are opinions. But what do you make of number 6? It looks like a fact, but the information is incorrect. Bloemfontein is actually the judicial capital of South Africa. You should not believe everything you read. When you are uncertain, you need to do some research.

Advertising aims at providing informationabout a particular product or service. It describes and promotes products or services in order to persuadepeople to buy or use them. Advertisers compete with one another. Therefore, they have to promote their products in exciting, innovative and attention-grabbing ways. We need to be aware of the ways in which this is done. Then we will not be manipulated into buying products or services we don’t need. The discussion of advertising has been divided into four sections, Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.Advertising aims at:

  • Attracting the Attention of a specific audience
  • Arousing and maintaining Interest
  • Creating a Desire for the product
  • Manipulating the consumer into taking Action

Attentionis vital for the advertiser to obtain from their consumers. It can be attracted by :

  • Eye catching images or pictures
  • Clever use of language
  • Posing a question
  • Catchy headlines
  • An attractive layout

Visual techniques

  • Cartoons
  • Statistics
  • Colourful, attractive photographs
  • Unusual layouts
  • Graphs
  • Outline diagrams

Linguistic techniques

  • Punchy headlines and captions
  • Repetition
  • Opinion stated as fact
  • Distorted language
  • Rhetorical questions
  • Puns
  • Clichés
  • Alliteration
  • Jingles and catchy songs
  • Slogans
  • Unusual trade names
  • Emotive language
  • Exaggeration
  • Incomplete sentences
  • Jargon
  • Technical language                               

Attitudes, beliefs and intentions are explored in order to determine the point of view expressed either directly or indirectly. 

Advertising aims at providing information about a particular product or service. It describes and promotes products or services in order to persuadepeople to buy or use them. Advertisers compete with one another. Therefore, they have to promote their products in exciting, innovative and attention-grabbing ways. We need to be aware of the ways in which this is done. Then we will not be manipulated into buying products or services we don’t need. The discussion of advertising has been divided into four sections, Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.Advertising aims at:

  • Attracting the Attention of a specific audience
  • Arousing and maintaining Interest
  • Creating a Desire for the product
  • Manipulating the consumer into taking Action
  •  

Attention is vital for the advertiser to obtain from their consumers. It can be attracted by :

  • Eye catching images or pictures
  • Clever use of language
  • Posing a question
  • Catchy headlines
  • An attractive layout