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Euphemisms in advertising discourse: Putting on a positive face and maintaining speech etiquette

The study describes advertising discourse as unique in terms of its manipulative potential and attempts to observe the way euphemistic units are used in English commercial and social advertising. The authors highlight the two key functions: a ‘call-to-action’ function of commercial ads and the ‘raising awareness’ function of social ads. The study relies on the theory of politeness and the concept of face suggested by Brown and Levinson to apply the same principles in the analysis of English advertising texts. The authors consider different categories of goods and end products in both commercial and social advertising discourse to identify the main goals and strategies behind euphemisation as a manipulating mechanism and a language tool allowing to observe the socially accepted standards of speech etiquette.

KEYWORDS: advertising discourse, euphemism, politeness, speech etiquette, manipulation


Elena Danilina. CSc in Education, Senior Lecturer in Foreign Languages Dpt, Faculty of Economics, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University). Research interests mainly cover foreign language teaching methodology and training of students of non-linguistic majors. Author of numerous articles on language training history and perspectives.

Ekaterina Kizyan. MA student at Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Faculty of Economics, Foreign Languages Dpt. Research interests cover Applied Linguistics, Stylistics and Advertising Discourse.

Daria Maksimova. MA student at Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Faculty of Economics, Foreign Languages Dpt. Research interests mainly cover issues of Applied Linguistics and Discourse Analysis. Previous work focused on the theory of translation and its practical implementation.


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