Alan C. Harris, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Communication
and Linguistics, California State University, Northridge
Speech Communication Department
Northridge, California 91330
wk: (818)885-2853/2874
hm: (818)780-8872
C Copyright, 1989, Alan C. Harris, Los Angeles, Ca.

Advertising may be viewed as the construction of semiotic worlds for the rhetorical purpose of swaying purchasers to buy what is advertised. Print advertising often involves manipulation of linguistic structures and forms to achieve the suasion. The author conducts a linguistic and communicational semiotic analysis of this type of manipulation by means of a linguistic foregrounding framework. Several exemplary print advertisements are reviewed and instances of linguistic manipulation are identified, categorized, and explained. The study results in an applied, interpretive "heuristic" for semiotically analyzing language phenomena in an advertising genre.

Advertisers have as their rhetorical purpose the presentation and exhibition of a product or service and the exhortation and coercion of the potential purchasing population to the extent that that population becomes actual. Simply put, advertisers try by the various means at their disposal to get people to buy the product or service advertised. Moreover, advertisers want potential purchasers to consider what is advertised to the exclusion of all other similar products or services. They therefore attempt to construct an advertisement that will fully involve the attention of the potential purchaser and which will have a suasive effect. Advertisers thus create a semiotic world in order to persuade their audience of the essential "rightness" of purchasing the product or service advertised.

Print advertising offers a particularly rich medium for understanding how advertisers attempt to achieve suasion and thereby motivate potential purchasers to move to active status. Sometimes, print advertising is mostly visual, a "picture" that is coupled with minimal linguistic material. This is the case with the eminently successful, well-known Marlborough cigarette ads whose only linguistic material is the exhortation to come to "Marlborough country." Sometimes, the visual is almost entirely removed and linguistic material is utilized. The many and varied "letters of explanation" put out by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company ostensibly to explain the tobacco industry's position in the face of in-public, no-smoking measures over the last ten years is an example of this. Or one will view ads for books, encyclopedias, and dictionaries that are of this type.

The creators of most print advertisements, however, couple some kind of visual material with ample linguistic material and, often, this linguistic material is manipulated over and above the more commonly expected rhetorical uses of language. What is meant here is that it is, of course, the case that advertisers will use language in as clever, tight, stylized, and suasive a way as they can to persude someone to go out and buy the product or purchase the service which is the subject and substance of the advertisement. However, what often occurs is that the very structure and form of language is additionally manipulated -- we may say that rules are intentionally and sytematically broken --presumably to achieve an even greater, more salient, more pervasive, more penetrating, and ultimately more persuasive effect on the viewer/reader. It is to this type of manipulation that we now turn.

Manipulation of linguistic form and structure implies that linguistic material beginning with the smallest or most discrete of segments or forms and leading to quite large linguistic entities will be fashioned to undergo some change, transformation, mutilation, mutation that is relatively unexpected on the part of the viewer/reader. This is done clearly with the purpose of providing another means of directing the viewer/reader's attention squarely onto what is the subject and substance of the particular discourse in which the manipulation occurs. In print advertising, this comes out to manipulating some linguistic item -- breaking a rule in some systmeatic fashion --so that maximum suasive effect for the product or service advertised is achieved in and by the ad. It seems almost trivial to state that to the extent that the creator of an advertisement can find and achieve more and more means and devices of getting the attention of the potential purchasing population riveted onto the product or service advertised and to the extent that these means have the suasive effect of getting the potential purchasers to view and consider the product or service to the exclusion of all others, then the ad will have its proportionately successful outcome -- an increase in the actual purchasing population for that product or service. The claim inherent here is that manipulation of linguistic structure and form over and above the commonly understood and utilized rhetorical uses of language coupled with visual material in print advertising will increase the probability of that happy effect.

One must view the manipulation of linguistic entities as a type of foregrounding. Foregrounding is a linguistic process in which some elements, such as words, phrases, sentences, stressings, intonations, or the like are given prominence or made more meaningfully significant by the communicator/language-user, in this case the creator(s) of a print advertisement. The author utilizes the conceptual linguistic framework--a synthesis of the concepts and insights relating to foregrounding--as devised in Harris (1981) in order to examine and explain several advertisements (see the appendix) below. It is the contention herein that only by attempting to account for the knowledge of formal processes (in this case, "foregrounding/backgrounding" and, therefore, "communicative intent") which are available to and utilized by communicators in discourse (here, print advertising) do we avail ourselves of necessary and sufficient information to be able to interpret adequately the symbols each lexical, phrasal, or sentential utterance of the discourse conveys. This information allows us to assign and to distinguish between possible meanings that the individual brings to and takes from a particular environment. As Pelz (1982: 1) says,
The fact of the matter is that only when meaning or sense is attached to words, linguistic expressions, to sentences, texts, indications, symptoms, syndromes, signals or to symbols in brief, to signsdo we deal with the semiotic concepts of meaning or with the semiotic concepts of sense.

Thus, this is both an investigation into the syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic properties of a sign and into applied semiotics, i.e., semiotic (here linguistic and communicational) methods are used to analyze some fragment of reality. Pelz (1981: 17) mentions,
Nonetheless, the results of the application of semiotic methods to a walk of life, field of knowledge, or branch of art can be presented in the form of theorems which are subject to proofs, classifications, orderings, and some of which follow from other theorems; to put it briefly, a system of knowledge, sometimes a scientific discipline which is precisely a semiotics of the given fragment of reality, appears.

Finally, investigations such as these may be viewed as abductions or "guesses" that are made regarding specific aspects of the studied culture (in this case, the "world" of the advertiement). These abductions arise from a linguistic theory of foregrounding and a communicative theory of language behavior. Virginia Fry (1987) mentions that these investigations are the type of "guess" that Peirce says takes the form of an hypothesis which then requires validation through concrete observation. She contends, furthermore, that guessing and confirming are often correlative and simultaneous activities rather than distinct processes and that what allows one to discriminate among observations and also to evaluate the trustworthiness and validity of those observations is "canons of judgment," a concept attributed to Hymes (1977). Just as Fry contends that the dramatism of Burke and the semiotics of Peirce and Eco are distinct abductions for studying communication and culture, so we contend here that foregrounding and communicative intent are equally valid abductions for studying aspects of the communication and culture in print advertising.

It is important to clarify the linguistic means by which the material in the ads will be analyzed. Typically, in any sentence or longer piece of discourse, the communicator signals the intention of bringing some element of information into prominence, i.e., the information is foregrounded. He or she marks that element, emphasizes it, stresses it, or contrastively signifies it by manipulating various linguistic structures or devices. Concommitantly, other elements are systematically backgrounded or disappear from the linguistic string entirely. After Wallace Chafe (1976), we may say that passivization of a relatively basic sentence such as "Tom kicked Harry" to "Harry was kicked by Tom" or "Harry was kicked" is an example of the fairly wellunderstood foregrounding/backgrounding phenomenon. Clefting of the same sentence to "It was Harry whom Tom kicked" is another example of the phenomenon of foregrounding. Chafe observes that foregrounding and backgrounding constructions or devices are concerned principally with how the communicator presents certain information to the addressee (the auditor, the audience), thereby altering the meaning or significance of that information. This choice of the linguistic device reveals some special intention or decision, contrary in some sense to usual expectations, on the part of the communicator and is, then, at the heart of the notion of "foregrounding."

As Kenneth Pike (1975: 27) says, " A crucial characteristic of human nature is our ability to select and guide into attention almost anything that we please." Essentially, then, foregrounding is a semiotic, linguistic process of establishing significance or special prominence given the intentions or decisions of the communicator. By means of various linguistic devices, the communicator decides to mark, emphasize, stress, or contrast in a significant way, and this information, and this information alone, is conveyed to the addressee (Cf. Harris 1981 or, especially with regard to markedness, Shapiro 1983). In examining the process of foregrounding with regard to the material in print advertisemts, I will attempt to see how the manipulation and use of elements or forms in the sentences, here sound, morphological, lexical, phrasal, sentential, supersegmental, supersentential, and /or orthographic items, alter the relative prominence of those elements and forms. In other words, I will attempt to reveal, by a careful, abductive, linguisticallybased analysis, the degree, type, and extent of meaningfulness conveyed by the manipulative use of items within the linguistic masterial of the selected ads and what, then, may be construed semiotically as the actual meaning of those items with regard to the rhetorical purpose of the ads.

Communicative Intent It is also important to clarify what the notion of communicative intent is and how I will use this notion to explain and describe the manipulation of elements within the linguistic material of the ads. I refer to the interpretation of communicative intent in the work of Albert Mehrabian as made explicit in his book, Silent Messages (1981), based upon earlier work by Wiener and Mehrabian (1968). Although Mehrabian (1981) treats both the phenomena of verbal and nonverbal communication, we center on his notions of the manipulation of "language" and how that manipulation is made manifest in the earlier Language Within Language.

Mehrabian (1981: 130) suggests that it is quite important to note "the numerous and frequently overlooked subleties of speech itself that are a part of the expression of feelings and likedislike." He maintains (147) that the concept of approachavoidance, which he has explained with reference to relatively nonverbal communication, may now be ". . .helpful in understanding the seemingly arbitrary and stylistic aspects of speech, as well as the apparently inconsequential variations in implicit [nonverbal] behavior."

Mehrabian claims that many kinds of speech variations indicate the speaker's attempt to place something at a spatial or temporal distance or otherwise to minimize the speaker's relation to or involvement with the thing described. Mehrabian (1981: 147-148) says,
Variants of verbal avoidance subtly minimize the speaker's responsibility for what he says by implying that the contents of this message are obvious to everyone including himself; or the contrary, that these statements are conditional and doubtful. Alternatively, responsibility is minimized by implying that the events were beyond the control of the actors, one of whom may be the speaker.

Thus, by entwining a careful, linguisticallybased analysis with a explanation of communicative intent, I will attempt to reveal the degree, type, and extent of meaningfulness conveyed by the manipulation of linguistic material in the selected ads and what may then be construed as the actual meaning of those ads. In some sense, therefore, a reinterpretation of the manipulations in these ads along the lines of the foregrounding phenomenon and the correlation of that analysis with the notion of communicative intent will reveal, abductively, the semiotic "world" of the subject of the ads. Pelz (1981:18) sums it up very neatly from a semiotic perspective:

Thus the theoretical foundations of semiotics . . . are always: first of all, logic and linguistics, since it is on them that the structure of theoretical semantics rests, and then the theory or methodology of the disciplines to which we apply semiotic methods. Theoretical foundations are, albeit indirectly, psychology and epistemology since interpretation of sign is a psychic and cognitive process, neurophysiology because thinking is an activity of living organisms, history and sociology, since the process of thinking occurs in time and in a community. Such then are the foundations of semiotics.

From both a linguistic and communicative point of view, then, we will perhaps be able to grasp what the creator(s) of an advertisement had in mind to say, or not to say, in the design and construction of the "best" means to achieve a suasive effect over the potential purchasing population.

Manipulation of Forms In analyzing the content of the advertisements below from a foregrounding perspective, it is immediately apparent that the advertiser manipulates forms and structures, i.e., makes decisions regarding which form or structure will appear in the surface sentence string, within well-understood linguistic categories. The advertiser intends the manipulation of -- or breaking of rules for -- certain structures, primarily sound (or its equivalent in print), word formant, word, phrase, sentence, idiom, spelling, orthographic style and the like in order to convey different, more suasive meanings. The analysis utilized here proceeds both from an assumption of the validity of abduction [cf. inter alia, Fry's explanation (1987: 82) of Peirce] as a bona fide scientific perspective and from the assumption of the existence of canons of judgment (asserted by Hymes, 1977) as a means of discriminating among observations and evaluating the trustworthiness and the validity of those observations. The analysis is a slight modification, therefore, of an implicitly abductive conceptual framework as constructed in Harris, From Linguistic Theory to Meaning in Educational Practice (1981), for the categorization, analysis, and treatment of linguistic structures that foreground or background information (Cf. Harris 1981: 170236, and, e.g., Bolinger 1975; Chafe 1976; Halliday 196768; Hymes 1968; Stockwell 1977, for a more thorough explication of the foregrounding phenomenon).

Application Two essential principles are seemingly adhered to by advertisers in practically all linguistic manipulations and it is important to state them at the outset:
1) it is rarely if ever the case that one component, such as sound or word-form or lexical item, is manipulated in isolation; that is to say, rules are broken or manipulations operated at several levels and are, therefore, inextricably bound up amongst several entities. Even, say, in the case of so simple an ad as the picturing of a single bottle of Stolichnaya vodka with the words, "Stolichnaya The Vodka," must we note that the viewer/reader of the ad is presented with a manipulation at several levels: one must know that the underlining (orthographic manipulation) of "the" refers to the pronunciation of the item as "thee" (sound manipulation) and that this, in turn, signals a particular interpretation and use of the article other than "definiteness" (morphological manipulation), i.e., the is to be read as "the unique, the singular, the only" (lexical and idiomatic manipulation).

2) the last observation above leads immediately to this second principle -- the viewer/reader must be familiar with the environment of the ad visually, on the one hand, and linguistically, on the other. This implies a maxim that advertisers must adhere to:
"Fashion the ad visually and linguistically so that the potential purchasing population will recognize the visual material of the ad easily and will also be familiar with the words, idioms, etc. that are manipulated."
In other words, as an hypothetical linguistic example, one would not expect an ad that involved the now almost archaic idiom "be hoist on one's own petard" [to be defeated by one's own device] since the general population would find the words and meaning opaque. The success of the ad, then, would be marginal at best!

In line with the above, let us review several ads and attempt to understand the manipulations in situ.

A very simple, elegant manipulation is performed in providing a phonetic rendering of a word such as was done with lexical items such as "performance," "manage," or "direction" in Rockewell International ads. The purpose here was to draw the viewer/reader's attention, for example, to a word such as 'man-ij paired with a dictionary-like definition in order to convey the notion of Rockwell's excellent record and competence in the aerospace, electronics, and automotive industries. Clearly, this involves manipulation of sound rules and orthography, but also implies by the highly technical presentation a highly technical and ultimately competent company.

Often, one can find manipulations of sound that are referred to as alliteration, rhyming, and the like. In an ad for Ford Motor Company, a smiling, ten-person, car-assembly team is grouped around a new, partially assembled Ford. "Body Builders." is placed squarely above. In addition to the familiar, comfortably-repeated sound, the viewer/reader is also impressed by the noun-noun compound that is, in fact, in this health-conscious age, a well-known bound idiom. The idiom conveys the notion that the team is strong and dependable and so, therefore, will be the product. Similarly, an elegantly dressed couple, the male with gin-and-tonic in hand, the female with martini, are seated above a bottle of Beefeater London Distilled Dry Gin. Juxtaposed in the middle are the words: "Befittingly Beefeater." Here, besides the repeated sounds, the viewer/reader is enticed by a lexical item that is closely associated to British usage and which conveys a "posh" connotation. Lastly, in a Myers's Original Rum Cream ad, a bottle and a ladle that is filling a glass of the liqueur are placed besides the rhyme: "Cream & Rum. Yum!" From both a sound and lexical perspective, a lucsious combination is achieved.

Often, the pronunciation of a word is purposely violated to achieve a particularly dramatic effect. This kind of punning is evidenced in an ad for Ford Escort. A red Ford Escort Turbo GT is pictured broadside. Remember, at the outset, the American penchant for and love-affair with fast, red cars. There is a good deal of explanation in four tightly-worded, short columns below the picture of the car. Above are the words, "Raise your standard of leaving." The manipulation is achieved at the lexcial level, the sound level, and the idiomatic level. At the syntactic level, the viewer/reader is impressed with the message that tells him/her by means of an imperative sentence that purchase of the Escort will lead to the American dream of a "hotter" car and, therefore, a better life.

At a morphological level, we have manipulations such as in a Nissan advertisement for a 4x4, flatbed truck. Over the words, "To sport," we see a very flashy, well-equipped, black Nissan 4x4 ST. Below this, occupying the lower half of the frame, is the same flatbed now loaded with a flashy yellow motorcycle and yellow-shirted motorcyclist/driver. This is above the words, "Or transport." Note that this is to be considered more properly as a morpho-phonological manipulation in that the viewer/reader experiences the similar sound of the "sport/transport" alternation as well as the necessity to re-form (morphologically) the word "transport" to conform with the word "sport." Moreover, note that this is an allusion to the Shakespearean "To be or not to be," but that this is more of a veiled imperative than it is syntactically a rhetorical question begging of a decision. The message conveyed must be construed as something like: "Here is the ultimate in sporty automobiles for you. Not only is it sporty but it will transport whatever you need or want and it will never lose its allure. Therefore, if you want to be the best, purchase the best!"

Another type of morphological manipulation is the pairing of a morpheme with a nongrammatical counterpart or the creation of a pseudo-morpheme. In the case of the former, one is immediately reminded of the Seven-Up Corporation's eminently successful "uncola" ads in which the negative morpheme "un-" was paired with a noun rather than an expected adjective. Clearly, we were not talking of "Coke" here! In the case of the latter, we have as an example the GTE Phone Mart ad which depicts products from the store with the words, "How to keep up with the phoneses." This pseudo-morpheme then calls to mind the spelling and pronunciation of the Joneses and the newly-created, phrasal pseudo-idiom sends the message: "If you want to be at the same socio-economic level as all your friends and neighbors, purchase your phones at our store." In both cases, this purposeful rule-bending and -breaking rivets the viewer/reader's attention and conveys definitive and clear-cut messages regarding the "rightness" of purchasing the particular advertised products.

At the lexical level, punning is at a premium. In an ad for Dexter shoes, we have a picture of a Dexter shoe worn by a foot and leg in a jean on one side and the same Dexter shoe worn by a foot and leg in a dress pant on the other. The word below says it all: "Ambidexters." The fortuitous similarity of the company's name is capitalized upon to achieve a manipulation over the word "ambidextrous." Although at first blush this seems only a lexical manipulation, as I have pointed out before, this is virtually impossible. The pronunciation of the word hinges, of course, on the breaking and reforming of sound rules as well.

Lexcial manipulations are often puns over well-known, bound idioms. We have examples such as the Brooks ad for its running shoes ("Roads Scholar."), the Levi-Strauss advertisement for its painted denims ("Painted Denims. Strokes of Levi's Jeanius."), the Holland-America Trans-Canal ad for its less-expensive voyage across the Isthmus ("Connect the docks and save $600."), the Nissan "Feel your Pulsar quicken." ad, or the Martini & Rossi vermouth quip: "Martini & Rossi. In a glass by itself." These all constitute manipulations at the levels of sound and spelling, "roads/Rhodes," "genius/jeanius," "docks/dots," "pulse/Pulsar," "glass/class" which lead immediately to manipulations at the level of bound idiom: a Rhodes scholar, a stroke of genius, connect the dots, feel your pulse quicken, in a class by itself. This in turns leads, semiotically, to our messages:
If one buys Brooks's shoes, one becomes an expert in running on the roads; the idea of painted/colored jeans is a stroke of genius and one who wears them will be a fashion "genius"; one need only look at the map, connect the dots leading to the dock where one embarks and the dock where one debarks to see how one is getting a good bargain in traveling with Holland-America across the Isthmus of Panama; if one drives a Nissan Pulsar, one will be excited -- one's pulse will quicken because it is an exciting car; if one drinks Martini & Rossi vermouth, one will be drinking a product which is incomparable to others.

Sometimes, a lexical manipulation may be achieved by capitalizing on the meaning of a foreign word which happens to be part of the advertisement. A particularly poignant example is Goodyear's depiction of its tires on a Pontiac Fiero: "Fiero means 'proud," performance means Eagles." Here, a pseudo-definition is concocted out of the fortuitous pairing of the foreign-named car with the advertised Goodyear tires. Out of this, the viewer/reader get notions of "proud performance = Eagles," a rather neat, albeit somewhat bogus, formulation.

Almost all syntactic manipulation emerges directly from lexical manipulation. The psychological term, "alter ego," supports the manipulation sententially of "Alter your ego." in an advertisement by Chevrolet for the purchase of its Celebrity Eurosprt car. "Moosehead Beer stands head and antlers above the rest" is the manipulation of the sentential idiom "One stands head and shoulders above the rest." Smithsonian magazine tells readers that "The F-Stops Here." an allusion to the wonderful and qwuality pictures that are a hallmark of the magazine and a clear alteration of the sentential, well-known bound idiom: "The buck stops here." (In this same ad which depicts a huge lens, Smithsonian also quips in tiny letters in the lower right corner: "2,000,000 subscribers put their money where their minds are.") Maxell Gold disks are proclaimed as "The floppy disk that turns Apples golden, keeps AT&T on-line, and makes every Texas Instrument a gusher." This multiple idiomed, multiple-allusioned advertisement contains manipulations at the morphological, lexical, idiomatic, historical, environmental, referential, and syntactic levels.

There is more. Again at the level of sentential manipulation, Nissan tells us that a Nissan Sentra XE going uphill in the photo implies that you must "Make the grade, no matter what course you take." An ad for Palm Springs, California, with all of its sights, relaxations, and refreshments, depicts a beautiful woman in a bathing suit lying on a floating mat in a pool with the appropriate and requisite male at her side. The caption tells us that "In times like these, you need times like these." A Seagram's Gin bottle poses as the letter "I" in between two gold letters, "G" and "N" with the caption: Seagram's Gin makes your screwdriver letter perfect." This is a somewhat long-winded sentential extension of the well-known bound idiom, but it seems to achieve its rhetorical purpose.

Up to this point, I have avoided several ads in my collection which manipulate in much the same way as the above but have the additional dubious feature of being exploitative in a way that is, in my opinon, somewhat noxious. Of course, all advertisements exploit in the sense of wanting to convey the impression of the "rightness" of the product or service advertised. These ads, however, are different in that they typically contain manipulations aimed at the sexual appetite of the viewer/reader. Most often, but not always, the target is the American, purportedly to-be-dominated-and-therefore-to-be-exploited female.

While it is clear that in a society and culture which makes a regualr habit, nay a ritual, out of being titillated sexually, advertisers in that society can be expected to attempt to capitalize on that tendency, one can hardly find a reason for necessarily condoning such manipulation. It is not my purpose to discuss it at length here. It is, indeed, the subject of an entirely different piece. I merely present a few examples for your interest and understanding:

Shofar kosher frankfurters and salamis depicts a very shapely female posterior in a pair of almost revealing cut-off jeans. A package of Shofar kosher midget salami is crammed in one back pocket. The ad is titled "Little Nosh." [Yiddish for "a little something to eat]. Suffice it to say that "salami" has a phallic connotation in the popular culture and let your imagination do the rest!

In a milder yet equally exploitative fashion, Sassafras swimwear presents a photo of four very comely young ladies all dressed in fashionable, not particularly risque', swimwear. However, they are all posed full length, from the rear. The title of the advertisement is "Beach bums," an obvious allusion to the posteriors as well as to the well-known bound idiom. Solorflex somewhat less mildly or subtley exploits males by depicting the very well-muscled and proportioned Ken Norton with the linguistic manipulation: "A hard man is good to find." Lastly, an ad that drew so much criticism a few years back that it was eventually pulled: the Canadian Black Velvet whiskey bottle is placed under a very comely young woman in a strapless, black-velvet evening gown. The caption, "Feel the Velvet Canadian" is placed over the figure in such a way that the words, "feel the," are squarely over her breasts. The seeming message: "If we men [and men as potential purchasers are the obvious target of the ads] would but purchase the whiskey, we may vicariously experience this woman's breasts." Again, this is a very clever linguistic manipulation at the lexical and syntactic level. It is however, a poignantly exploitative and noxious example of the kind of semiosis American advertising as an institution could well do without!

If we take such extruded statements above regarding the linguistic manipulations to be found in print advertising in summed or holistic manner, that is to say, if we form of these a semiotic of our age, we have before us boldly and clearly what seem to be many of the commonly held images or symbols of American culture and the American people, their beliefs, judgments, and values.

Thus, we may construe the extruded statements based upon the linguistic and communicative interpretations above to constitute a semiotic subsection of the "advertising world," i.e., we may say that the lexical, phrasal, and sentential entities are representative and symbolic of the intentions and perspectives of American advertisers. The "picture" (meaningfulness) that the viewer/reader actually gets from the advertisements and ascribes to the material within is clarified, less confused and obfuscated, and relatively more informed. It is a picture that is richer and deeper. In short, it leaves one "wondering" less and yet, in some sense, surer about the nature of American culture, life, and times.

When we "read" or "extrude," by means of the interpretations, the inherent meaningfulness underlying the surface entities, we get a symbolic representation of the actual intentions of American advertisers. They wish to SELL! They devise manipulations of linguistic form and structure so as to create, semiotically, a world in which our only choice as potential purchasers is to become actual purchasers of the product or services advertised.

They wish us to BUY! The semiotic that emerges from applying the framework to this material is, in some real and complete sense, the world of American advertising. This study, then, is a step in devising an applied, interpretive "heuristic" for analyzing language phenomena emerging from a visual and literary creation. This semiotic analysis can only serve to reveal, i.e., to "shed more light on," our culture, our times, and the meanings those revelations may have for us. ach 09/08/89


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