“Linguistic manipulation” is one of the most essential problems of modern linguistics. The theory of speech impact deals with several concepts – “speech impact”, “speech manipulation”, “linguistic manipulation” which are used both as related concepts and as opposite ones, furthermore, one can be defined as a component of the other. Speech impact is of an intentional nature, when a person is being influenced, and the impact is carried out in a verbal form . Linguistic manipulation is a fruitful communication between the speaker and the recipient, where the speaker aims at getting the desired result by correcting, at his own discretion, the recipient’s behavior using speech. P.B. Parshin characterizes this phenomenon in a broad sense as an influence exerted on the consciousness of an individual or a group of persons with the help of linguistic means, and in a narrow sense, the formation of an utterance that has a force capable of changing the attitudes and mode of action of the recipient .
N. A. Ostroushko and P.B. Parshin distinguish two aspects in the definition of this phenomenon. According to the first, “linguistic manipulation” is understood as manipulation carried out through the conscious and purposeful use of the features of the structure and the use of language [5, P. 86-91].
The second aspect is associated with the concretization of the essence of linguistic manipulation, focused on a specific area of human life. In this case, it is appropriate to talk about linguistic manipulation only insofar as the instrument of manipulation is what was called by P.B. Parshin and V. Sergeev a significant variation [6, P. 127-138], namely, the choice from a variety of linguistic means of description of a certain state of affairs, precisely of those methods of description that carry the shades of meaning and associations important for the speaker (manipulating), represent the situation in a favorable light for the speaker, evoke the necessary response for the speaker in the consciousness of the recipient.
Therefore, linguistic manipulation in our understanding is a situationally significant variation of consciously and purposefully selected semantically effective linguistic means. From this definition, it becomes obvious that not all spheres of human activity, but only some of them actively use language manipulation due to their status in society.
Manipulation, with all its psychological characteristics, is also a specific linguistic implementation of a latent, and perhaps explicit, addressee's strategy . And in this regard, leaving priority to linguists and linguistic means, let us permit ourselves the following statement: after all, everything ultimately comes down to language.
The essence of language manipulation in advertising is as follows: advertising information is presented in such a way that the consumer draws certain conclusions based on it .
Since the consumer comes to these conclusions himself, he automatically takes such knowledge for his own, and, therefore, treats information less critically and with more confidence.
There are three main areas of language manipulation that are used in advertising.
The first thing is emotions. For advertising, the impact on the emotional sphere is very important, since:
— the general emotional reaction to advertisement of a product is automatically transferred to the product itself and has a significant impact in the situation of consumer choice;
— emotional memory is one of the most stable types of memory;
— emotions are stronger and more direct than logical reasoning, so they are easier to model.
It is common knowledge that there are positive and negative emotions. Undoubtedly, in advertising it is important to refer specifically to positive emotions in order to subsequently associate them with the product. Addressing negative emotions in advertising is undesirable. However, there are a number of products whose main task is to solve a problem, and therefore, when describing a problem, one has to use negative emotions. Advertising of drugs, types of insurance, social advertising actively works with negative emotions.
Furthermore, there come social attitudes. For any person, the relationship “I — society — me in society” is very important. Therefore, advertising often manipulates various social attitudes of a person: self-esteem, self-affirmation, public opinion, etc.
And finally there is the worldview. Each person has his own ideas about the world and its laws. Knowledge, skills, experience, emotions and sensations gradually add up to a single picture of reality that coincides with the generally accepted, but, of course, differs in subjective personal assessments. As a result, in advertising we are not dealing with an objective worldview, but with its interpretation. This difference in perception allows advertisers to create their own “versions of the world” (its emotionally evaluative images) and pass them off as real ones.
Language manipulation is present in all spheres of social life. This means that in all spheres of life there is the ego of the manipulator, who imposes his system of values secretly, due to the impossibility of doing it explicitly. In the spiritual sphere, manipulation is aimed at spiritual values through the priorities of upbringing, through education, art and literature. In the social sphere, social ideas are manipulated . This is implemented through building a system of social myths and socially significant rituals (for example, a military salute). And, finally, in the material sphere, priority is given to the achievement of material values. Love for things as such is beneficial for the manipulator, as it facilitates his work. This is done through commercial advertising.
There are a lot of classifications of language manipulation methods, we will consider some of them. B.L. Borisov suggests highlighting such methods of linguistic manipulation as:
1) Euphemization — replacing a word with negative semantics with a positive or neutral one in meaning. “The power of words is so great that one has only to come up with exquisite names for some of the most disgusting things for people to immediately accept them” [3, P. 96].
2) Substitution of concepts. The concept known to us is put on a par with negative / positive concepts, as a result of which it acquires a negative / positive connotation of meaning. At the same time, nothing is said directly — the person himself does the work of negativization / positivization of meaning.
3) Comparison in favor of the manipulator. The trick comes down to finding an object to lean on to make the product look at advantage.
4) Rethinking. An obvious and well-known fact, event, person, phenomenon is assigned a new meaning, convenient for the manipulator. Everything looks like a new acquaintance with the subject.
5) Implant assessment. The attribute of an object is constantly placed next to its name, turning into its immanent property. And no one has a desire to dispute or clarify this.
6) Speech binding. The technique is taken from the practice of neurolinguistic manipulation. This is a technique with the help of which two or more actions in a sentence are linked by temporal connectors “before”, “prior to”, “after”, etc. The effect of this method is due to the fact that it is difficult for a person to give a double negation to such a double temporary construction in a sentence, if he does not agree with at least something.
7) Implicatures. “An implicit way of transmitting information is a way when it is not present in the message in plain text, but is necessarily retrieved by the reader due to stereotypes of thinking and linguistic conventions” [8, P. 543-553].
8) Rhetorical questions. You are being asked questions that cannot be answered “no”. But our “yes” subsequently turns out to be a trap, since it means much more than just an answer to a question” [1, P. 617].
As a result, we can say that many methods of manipulation are very actively used in today's advertising market. They are effective due to addressing the knowledge and stereotypes that are stored in the minds of people. However, advertising, unfortunately, does not always carry truthful and honest information. Therefore, the very fact of such an impact on the audience is subject to moral assessment. Indeed, in fact, almost no advertisement is able to get a positive moral assessment of its content. But, despite this, manipulative methods in advertising have existed, and will always exist regardless of our opinion about them, like any other tools that have already proven their effectiveness in solving the problems of stimulating demand. The methods of manipulation have already become so accustomed to this area that they are taken for granted .
The modern stage of advertising activities should acquire a social orientation and be characterized by the desire not only to best meet the various needs of people, but also to preserve well-being, not to harm society. Advertising should generalize the interests of all parties involved in it. Therefore, the question is not to use them or not, but how to use them. Each company decides it for itself, however, in our opinion, this is the very situation when the benefit should be consistent with the moral foundations of society.
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