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Study the language of home shopping channels.

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Introduction For my investigation I have chosen to study the language of home shopping channels. I chose this topic because I thought it would be interesting to investigate the discourse of this persuasive language, as such channels represent a growth area in British television. However to make this method of shopping effective the presenter needs to go into great detail in order to describe the product to its full potential as the audience will know what the product is really like as they can not physically touch it. The presenter aims to obscure the fact that the text is monologic and tries to make it like dialogue. She does this by trying to create solidarity with the audience by using a number of techniques as for example the use of personal pronouns and creating that idea of a group definition. To add prestige and worth to the product she makes reference to royalty. She uses sales talk and collocates to add coherence but most importantly she uses sales talk as a means of persuasion. Aim The aim of my investigation is to examine how the presenter uses persuasive techniques in order to influence the audience to buy the products. The main topics I will be looking at are: * Description of the products * Generic features of discourse I expect the features I will find are quite typical of this type of discourse. It will also be interesting to find out the presenter's technique to create solidarity with the audience. Methodology To carry out my investigation I recorded a short segment of a jewellery product programme of QVC shopping channel. The presenter is selling women's jewellery, which means the target audience will be predominately women. The advert consists of one presenter who is talking to a non co-present audience. I did not find it hard to transcribe my data as the presenter spoke in clear Standard English. On an ethical level as subscription is paid for problems with informed consent are not applicable. ...read more.


She attempts at being conversational intimate so that the audience feels like they know the presenter and will trust what she is saying. Line 62-64: 'I've just realised something (2.0) but all will become clear (2.0) in just a couple of moments. I have changed the ear in which I wear my earpiece... I used to wear the earpiece on my right ear' She speaks about herself here as an incident has occurred and she feels obliged to explain what has happened in order to include the audience. She adopts a chatty, friendly tone. The presenter uses personalised comments to be deliberately informal. 2) Generic Features of Discourse The text has a number of generic features that are found in this type of discourse and spoken language in general. The presenter possesses some of these features, although they are kept to the minimum. This could be because she is a professional and experienced in this field. She makes informed comments, which adds authority to her utterances. She does this by using pseudo-scientific talk. Pseudo-scientific talk and Field Specific Lexis She uses pseudo-scientific lexis throughout the text as it gives the product prestige and this acts as a persuasive device. Line 13: 'Look at the shape of the vial it's almost as slightly' Here she uses pseudo-scientific 'vial', which is also a quasi-technical word. This adds prestige to the product and it makes her sound professional, and authority and the repetition of this lexeme adds emphasis. Line 23-24: '...turn it to the light here you can see that swirl of silver' Phonological patenting like sibilance and alliteration make the products more memorable. The use of sibilance in 'swirl of silver' adds rhythm and interest in the description of the product in order for the presenter to attract the attention of the audience. Line 40: 'Have a look at these the diomodice saltier dangle drop earrings' Here she guides the audience, using a mitigated imperative form, to look at the product without sounding too authoritative. ...read more.


The linguistic features used above work together to make the show interesting and capture the audience attention but also work as persuasive device. Some are used overtly like sales talk and covertly as for example exaggerated intonation. The personal pronouns like 'we' make the audience feel included and other pronouns like 'you' and 'I' also work to create an exclusive relationship between the audience and the presenter. From the analysis I found that qualitative adjectives were not used too often however this was not by any means disadvantaging to the product. It was interesting to find out that the presenter uses the less exaggerated adjectives like 'pretty' but she intensifies them by going into detailed description of the product. I also found that neologism has an impact on the audience and it is an effective technique, which works as an attention-seeking device. The mix of formal and informal language is appropriate because although the presenter is seeking to establish a relationship with the audience she still tries to fulfil her purpose and that is to sell her products. She does this by occasionally using imperatives. Other feature that was interesting to find were phonological patterning, which make the products more memorable. Limitations In order to make a full analytical description of the way the presenter uses persuasive devices and in order to capture the attention of the audience paralinguistic features could also be taken into account as for example her facial expression and how they are used to convey her meaning. However my aim was examine the presenter's linguistic features and not paralinguistic features. Therefore to make a full analytical description in the way persuasive techniques are used other features need to be taken into account. Other practical limitations were the length of the project, which does not give the freedom of analysing every aspect of the techniques used by the presenter. During my research I found that there was a lack of supporting linguistic studies so therefore it was hard to find any research that would help towards my data. ...read more.

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