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 | 330 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: 733,725

Product description

As citizens of capitalist, free-market societies, we tend tocelebrate choice and competition. However, in the 21 st century, as we have gained more and more choices, we have alsobecome greater targets for persuasive messages from advertisers whowant to make those choices for us. In Sold on Language , noted language scientists JulieSedivy and Greg Carlson examine how rampant competition shapes theways in which commercial and political advertisers speak to us. Inan environment saturated with information, advertising messagesattempt to compress as much persuasive power into as small alinguistic space as possible. These messages, the authors reveal,might take the form of a brand name whose sound evokes a certainimpression, a turn of phrase that gently applies peer pressure, ora subtle accent that zeroes in on a target audience. As more andmore techniques of persuasion are aimed squarely at the corner ofour mind which automatically takes in information without consciousthought or deliberation, does 'endless choice' actually mean theend of true choice? Sold on Language offers thought-provoking insights intothe choices we make as consumers and citizens and thechoices 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 thecontent of any third-party websites that can be linked to from thiswebsite. Users assume sole responsibility for accessing third-partywebsites and the use of any content appearing on suchwebsites. Any views expressed in such websites are the viewsof the authors of the content appearing on those websites and notthe views of Wiley or its affiliates, nor do they in any wayrepresent an endorsement by Wiley or its affiliates.]

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Author information

Julie Sedivy is Adjunct Professor of Linguistics andPsychology at the University of Calgary, Canada. She has publisheddozens of research articles on her experimental studies of languagecomprehension and production in children and adults. She has servedas Associate Editor for the journal Linguistics andPhilosophy, and as a consulting editor for the Journal ofExperimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. Greg Carlson is Professor of Linguistics, Philosophy, andBrain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester, US. Hehas authored or co-authored more than a hundred articles on naturallanguage semantics and psycholinguistics. He is the Editor ofLanguage, the journal of the Linguistic Society ofAmerica.

Review quote

"Students and teachers of persuasion would benefit greatly fromreading Sold on Language. Other professionals in communication,marketing, change management, sales, negotiation, and politics willfind the examples and techniques of influence to be useful as bothbest practices to emulate and pitfalls to avoid." (PsycCRITIQUES,11 January 2012) "The result is a truly enjoyable, ironic and fresh volume, easyand pleasant to read for any type of audience." (Metapsychology, 15November 2011) "This is a well-written, entertaining, and penetrating book onadvertisers' ubiquitous attempts at persuasion to influencemarketplace behaviour, including the basis for an argument thatadvertisers are bent on making choices for the consumer... Highlyrecommended. Upper-division undergraduates throughprofessionals/practitioners; consumers, general readers." (Choice,1 October 2011) "I highly recommend the landmark and must read book Sold onLanguage: How Advertisers Talk to You and What This Says About Youby Julie Sedivy and Greg Carlson, to anyone seeking an open,honest, as well an engaging study into the nature of advertisingmessages, brands, and the words used to market products. This eyeopening book will change the way readers approach advertisingmessages and the illusion that the market offers real choice."(Blog Business World, 28 April 2011) "For a university student with nascent interests in language andthought, reading this book might well provide a stimulus to takesome philosophy or psychology or language sciences, which would beno bad thing." (Times Higher Education Supplement, 21 April2011)

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 TheySay). 6 Acting Out. 7 Divide and Conquer. 8 The Politics of Choice. Sources. Index.