AP English Language 8:00
February 12, 2009
Reader Response Chapter 2 “A Bridesmaid’s Bad Breath” “A Bridesmaid’s Bad Breath” focuses on warning signs of trickery. Politics and advertisements are full of deceptions which one should not buy into. Today we are being affected and swayed by others and their bold statements. Language can easily deceive and swindle us out of our money and individual thoughts. Select Language Awareness articles and 1984 can provide insight into the extremities that could occur if we are not warned about the dangers of speech. Symbols cause us to think about the thing being symbolized (pg. 55 “Language and Thought”). A dove causes one to think of peace and all words associated with nature, white, and the world. When one sees a dove, several thoughts can erupt in the mind about its significance. Companies, such as Coca-Cola, have a symbol and slogan for their product. When one sees the Coca-Cola circle logo, they will become thirsty and want the product. Also, the well known phrase ‘Coca-Cola: The Real Thing’ may pop into their head. The warning sign entitled ‘A Story That’s Too Good’ is stock full of stories with percentages (symbols of success) that are too good to be true. When someone hears that a product has a high percentage of success, one will think that it can help them too. By adding the, sometimes, false percentage, it causes consumers to believe in the product. The Origins of a National Gun Culture written by Michael A. Bellesiles made many false claims about past gun ownership just to prove his point. Bellesiles falsified numbers, statistics, and percentages, and claimed a ten year study on the material to sound more credible. These perfect symbols struck readers, but in the end, all of these claims were false. Advertisements promising unbelievable products are usually not believable. According to William Lutz, author of “Weasel Words: The Art of Saying Nothing at All” unfinished words are common in advertisements to give consumers the impression that their product lasts longer or is stronger. In an advertisement for Duracell batteries, the speaker announced that the battery can last up to twice as long. Unfortunately, the consumer believes it as a better product than the others because it can last up to twice as long, but the advertisement never states what this battery is compared to. “The Superlatives Swindle” and “The Dangling Comparative” are other ways to express and use unfinished words to sway one’s listeners. Politicians have a huge influence on the way we live our lives. They create and edit laws, as well as take money from us. In a reelection speech given by President Bush in 2003, he stated that John Kerry had voted for tax increases in the past and would raise taxes higher if he were to be elected. Unfortunately, these claims were made by going through wormholes and twisting the truth. By using a dangling comparative in the claim and stating a bad thing about his opponent, he promoted himself for president. In “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell, President Bush used a lot of words to get around the truth. He was not concise or direct, which helped him to win the election. If the bridesmaid was aware of her bad breath, she would be able to pop in a mint. Like the bridesmaid, as voters we should actively listen to what is really being said. We should investigate the meanings behind the words given, and figure where the information is gotten from.