Sold on Language: How Advertisers Talk to You and What This Says About You

Sold on Language: How Advertisers Talk to You and What This Says About You

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By (author) Julie Sedivy, By (author) Greg N. Carlson

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  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Format: Paperback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 228mm x 20mm | 481g
  • Publication date: 15 March 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Chicester
  • ISBN 10: 0470683090
  • ISBN 13: 9780470683095
  • Sales rank: 680,801

Product description

As citizens of capitalist, free-market societies, we tend to celebrate choice and competition. However, in the 21 st century, as we have gained more and more choices, we have also become greater targets for persuasive messages from advertisers who want to make those choices for us. In Sold on Language , noted language scientists Julie Sedivy and Greg Carlson examine how rampant competition shapes the ways in which commercial and political advertisers speak to us. In an environment saturated with information, advertising messages attempt to compress as much persuasive power into as small a linguistic space as possible. These messages, the authors reveal, might take the form of a brand name whose sound evokes a certain impression, a turn of phrase that gently applies peer pressure, or a subtle accent that zeroes in on a target audience. As more and more techniques of persuasion are aimed squarely at the corner of our mind which automatically takes in information without conscious thought or deliberation, does 'endless choice' actually mean the end of true choice? Sold on Language offers thought-provoking insights into the choices we make as consumers and citizens - and the choices that are increasingly being made for us. Click here for more discussion and debate on the authors' blog: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sold-language [Wiley disclaims all responsibility and liability for the content of any third-party websites that can be linked to from this website. Users assume sole responsibility for accessing third-party websites and the use of any content appearing on such websites. Any views expressed in such websites are the views of the authors of the content appearing on those websites and not the views of Wiley or its affiliates, nor do they in any way represent an endorsement by Wiley or its affiliates.]

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Author information

Julie Sedivy is Adjunct Professor of Linguistics and Psychology at the University of Calgary, Canada. She has published dozens of research articles on her experimental studies of language comprehension and production in children and adults. She has served as Associate Editor for the journal Linguistics and Philosophy , and as a consulting editor for the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition . Greg Carlson is Professor of Linguistics, Philosophy, and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester, US. He has authored or co-authored more than a hundred articles on natural language semantics and psycholinguistics. He is the Editor of Language , the journal of the Linguistic Society of America.

Review quote

"Students and teachers of persuasion would benefit greatly from reading Sold on Language. Other professionals in communication, marketing, change management, sales, negotiation, and politics will find the examples and techniques of influence to be useful as both best practices to emulate and pitfalls to avoid." (PsycCRITIQUES, 11 January 2012) "The result is a truly enjoyable, ironic and fresh volume, easy and pleasant to read for any type of audience." (Metapsychology, 15 November 2011) "This is a well-written, entertaining, and penetrating book on advertisers' ubiquitous attempts at persuasion to influence marketplace behaviour, including the basis for an argument that advertisers are bent on making choices for the consumer... Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; consumers, general readers." (Choice, 1 October 2011) "I highly recommend the landmark and must read book Sold on Language: How Advertisers Talk to You and What This Says About You by Julie Sedivy and Greg Carlson, to anyone seeking an open, honest, as well an engaging study into the nature of advertising messages, brands, and the words used to market products. This eye opening book will change the way readers approach advertising messages and the illusion that the market offers real choice." (Blog Business World, 28 April 2011) "For a university student with nascent interests in language and thought, reading this book might well provide a stimulus to take some philosophy or psychology or language sciences, which would be no bad thing." (Times Higher Education Supplement, 21 April 2011)

Back cover copy

As citizens of capitalist, free-market societies, we tend to celebrate choice and competition. However, in the 21st century, as we have gained more and more choices, we have also become greater targets for persuasive messages from advertisers who want to make those choices for us.In "Sold on Language, " noted language scientists Julie Sedivy and Greg Carlson examine how rampant competition shapes the ways in which commercial and political advertisers speak to us. In an environment saturated with information, advertising messages attempt to compress as much persuasive power into as small a linguistic space as possible. These messages, the authors reveal, might take the form of a brand name whose sound evokes a certain impression, a turn of phrase that gently applies peer pressure, or a subtle accent that zeroes in on a target audience. As more and more techniques of persuasion are aimed squarely at the corner of our mind which automatically takes in information without conscious thought or deliberation, does 'endless choice' actually mean the end of true choice?"Sold on Language" offers thought-provoking insights into the choices we make as consumers and citizens - and the choices that are increasingly being made for us.

Table of contents

About the Authors. Preface.1 The Power of Choice. 2 The Unconscious Consumer. 3 The Attentional Arms Race. 4 We Know What You're Thinking. 5 Why Ads Don't Say What They Mean (Or Mean What They Say). 6 Acting Out. 7 Divide and Conquer. 8 The Politics of Choice. Sources. Index.