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 Ling 131: Language & Style

Topic 3 (session A) - Patterns, Deviations, Style and Meaning > Deviation: non-literary examples > Task B

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Session Overview
Overview of foregrounding, deviation and parallelism
Deviation: non - literary examples
Deviation: literary examples
Parallelism: non-literary examples
Parallelism: literary examples
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Deviation for Foregrounding Purposes - A Universal Phenomenon

Task B: Advertising Slogans

Below are two advertising slogans. Again, we have already looked at one of them (in Topic 1 Session B). The other is new. For each one, work out how it is deviant, and what foregrounding results, and then compare your answer with ours.

NTL advert:

ntl advert 'It's not wwwhat you know about eccomerce, it's wwwho you know.

our analysis

Clairol advert:

We'd like you to concentrate solely on the main advertising line.

clairol ad Main advertising line:Whoever heard of brown-hot passion

our analysis


In the examples we have seen so far, deviation has occurred at the graphological, grammatical and semantic levels of language. The joke in the Smiley below involves deviation at the discoursal and phonological levels. In fact deviation can occur at ANY linguistic level. To read more about deviation at different levels of language, try one or both of the following:

Mick Short (1996) Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose, Longman, chapters 1 and 2.
G. N. Leech (1969) A Linguistic Guide to English Poetry, Longman, chapter 3.

Chuckle Stop!


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