Sociolinguistics Essay

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The research paper trades with personal advertizements presented via the medium of the Internet. This sort of advertisement is a comparatively new genre because the medium of the Internet is non a really old phenomenon ; therefore it is about undiscovered. The undermentioned analysis of personal advertizements appears to be rather interesting as today personal advertizements represent one of the really popular and frequently used agencies supplying possibility to run into new friends and possible life spouses. Ads offer a rich beginning of written linguistic communication. every bit good as research stuff. They normally facilitate in directing right messages to people of opposite gender individualities on dating web page. The most of import end of the research paper is to concentrate on the characteristics of on-line dating from the point of position of gender differences. It tries to happen out whether and how the differences between work forces and adult females influence the linguistic communication of personal advertizements. It wants to research whether some general gender stereotypes besides occur in this new sort of personal advertizement.



In our society it is believed that work forces and adult females talk as they belonged to two different entities. Since personal advertizements are written by both sexes. the research paper tries to research how linguistic communication relates to gender and how stereotypic premises and beliefs are reflected in the text of on-line personal advertizements. The paper focuses on how work forces and adult females characterise themselves. every bit good as their possible spouses. what sort of looks they use for this intent. From the point of view of gender stereotypes. the paper will concentrate on the issues of garrulity and a hedges use as it is presupposed that adult females will be more chatty and will utilize hedges more often. It is besides presupposed that work forces will underscore success in their ego – description and visual aspect in their spouse –description. Womans are presupposed to set greater accent on their visual aspect every bit good as on partner?s success.




1. Ad in general
1. 1. Role of advertizement Nowadays. advertizement is a usual portion of mundane life. Wherever we are. ads are ever environing us. We can see it everyplace: on Television. wireless. newspapers. magazines. hoardings. agencies of conveyance. the Internet or in public topographic points. Its end is to pull people ?s attending and give information about some concrete merchandise or service. The ultimate purpose of ads is to carry people to purchase what is advertised. Information provided by the Godheads of the advertizement has a strong impact on the addressees. either negative or positive. Ad is really frequently rejected and invokes passionate treatments. However. thanks to it. people or companies can rapidly inform about their merchandises or services in a really easy manner.

1. 2. Language of advertizement A great assortment of advertizements for different topics emerges on the market. ads for e. g. : merchandises. services. thoughts or images of organisations. charities. companies. persons. Language of present advertizements is particular. It tries to pull possible clients or addressees and focal points on their attending and consciousness to act upon them positively. „ Ads usage fictions. word drama. compressed storytelling. stylized playing. picture taking. sketchs. wordplaies. and rhythms in ways which are frequently memorable. gratifying and diverting. The word and inside informations of ads frequently come to people?s heads more readily than those of novels and verse forms and dramas. and they are frequently recalled with more laughter and enthusiasm“ ( Cook. 2003. p. 3 ) .

It can be said that linguistic communication used in advertizements plays a really of import function. It is obvious that the more extraordinary. peculiar. interesting and original the advertizement is. the greater opportunity it has to pull addressees? attending and to travel profoundly into their subconscious.

2. Personal advertizement
2. 1. The function of the advertizement As any sort of advertizement. personal ads are portion of mundane life. They can be seen in all media ; chiefly on the Internet and print media. Personal advertizements serve for the intent of communicating between people. The primary purpose is to catch attending of an ideal spouse. The 2

options for making personal ads are limited as their authors depend on the infinite given and words showing their purpose. 2. 2. Language of personal advertizement As it was said. linguistic communication of advertizement is really specific. particularly linguistic communication of personal advertizements. “Communication version theory ( CAT ) ( Burgoon. Stern. & A ; Dillman. 1995 ; Giles. Coupland. & A ; Coupland. 1991 ) holds that persons vary their linguistic communication picks within interactions. depending on their societal ends. Therefore. talkers may take to stress ( or deemphasize ) peculiar facets of their individualities as a manner of alining with ( or distancing from ) interaction partners“ ( hypertext transfer protocol: //pdfcast. org/pdf/enacting-gender-identity-in-written-discourse-

responding-to-gender-role-bidding-in-personal-ads. p. 401. cited 30. 11. 2010 ) As Winn and Robin ( ibid. cited 30. 11. 2010 ) continue. the authors of the personal ads regulate their self- presentations by agencies of linguistic communication pick. On the other manus. prescribed demands of e. g. infinite can hold an influence on the manner of writers? presentation. The writers of personal ads must be brief when they portray themselves.

However. they besides have to utilize such linguistic communication agencies which help the authors to present elements of their individualities that are supposed to be most of import to happening spouses. Therefore it is obvious that personal ads authors “ will frequently meet with. or lucifer. the address forms of their interlocutors” ( ibid. p. 401. cited 30. 11. 2010 ) . As the writers of article printed in a magazine Journal of linguistic communication a societal psychological science point out. authors of personal ads construct their text and usage such a vocabulary to be in harmoniousness with what is preferred by their readers ; “ persons are seen to accommodate their language” ( ibid. p. 401. cited 30. 11. 2010 ) .

3. Gender differences

Gender survey appears to be non a really old subject. It was introduced in the 2nd half of the last century and explores the field of differences between work forces and adult females. It is by and large assumed that adult females differ from work forces in many properties. Nowadays. remarks like adult female will ne’er understand adult male and frailty versa about become a adage. Of class. differences between adult females and work forces are of assorted types ; nevertheless for the intent of this research paper merely difference refering linguistic communication usage will be discussed. A theory covering with issues of gender differences in utilizing linguistic communication is called sociolinguistic. Its major subject is “ the connexion between the constructions. vocabularies. and ways 3

of utilizing peculiar linguistic communications and the societal functions of the work forces and adult females who speak these languages” ( p. 315 ) .

3. 1. Gender and linguistic communication Nowadays. linguists still have the same sentiment that work forces and adult females differ in the linguistic communication usage. The differentiation is partially caused by biological differences. e. g. a fundamental law of human encephalon depends on gender ; nevertheless the fact is that adult females and work forces are besides psychologically different. e. g. “women are more concerned with doing connexions ; they seek engagement and concentrate on the mutualities between people. Work force are more concerned with liberty and withdrawal ; they seek independency and concentrate on hierarchal relationship” ( Boe qtd. In Holmes. 1995. p. 7 ) .

Harmonizing to Coates ( 1993 ) . normally. emotiveness is a typical characteristic of adult females. while rational thought is characteristic property of work forces. Work force put accent on success. efficiency. power and ability. whereas adult females regard as the most of import relationship. feelings. household. and assurance. We can state. all these countries affect women?s and work forces ?s moving. their determination devising. thought. and their expressing of their emotions. demands and sentiments. The differentiations mentioned can be reflected besides in personal advertizements.

3. 2. Cultural stereotypes and linguistic communication Not merely history and civilization of the society but besides gender differences influence the being of certain relentless stereotypes in the society. There are some lingual stereotypes refering communicative competency of work forces and adult females based on gender differences that are believed by about each member of our society. Harmonizing to Coates ( ibid ) . each of us are familiar with lingual stereotypes. like that “ adult females talk more than work forces. that adult females “gossip” . that work forces swear more than adult females. that adult females are more polite and so on” ( Coates. 1993. p. 107 ) . Coates references besides other linguistic communication countries in which adult females are distinguishable from work forces. which are “tag inquiries. hedges. bids and directives. forbidden linguistic communication. regards. subject and subject development. formal versus informal linguistic communication. and minimum responses” ( Coates. 1993. p. 114 ) .


3. 2. 1. Garrulity As for garrulity. “ there is a widespread belief in our society that adult females talk more than men” ( Coates. 1993. p. 115 ) . In spoken linguistic communication Coates calls this stereotype “verbosity” ( Coates. 1993. p 114 ) . Continuity of this stereotype is closely connected with the subject discussed. In societies. it is believed that adult females like to speak more about ?trivial? subjects. as household cookery or personal issues. and they avoid subjects that could be titled ?serious? . The pettiness of subjects is normally connected with abundant use of words. Coates points out another ground for continuity of this belief that is “different outlooks of male and female talkers: while work forces have the right to speak. adult females are expected to stay soundless. Then speaking at any length can be viewed as talkativeness” ( Coates. 1993. p. 115 ) . However ; it should be emphasized that no research has proved this general belief ( Coates. 1993 ) .

3. 2. 2. Markers of vacillation. uncertainness As Coates ( 1993 ) says. women?s address is frequently viewed as ?tentative? . While work forces and adult females stating the same. adult females are supposed to utilize more characteristics of vacillation like remark clauses. hedges. ejaculations. and pauses than work forces. Harmonizing to Coates. hedges are “linguistic signifiers such as I think. I ?m certain. you know. kind of and possibly. possibly which express the speaker?s certainty or uncertainness about the proposition under discussion” ( Coates. 1993. p. 116 ) . The more frequent usage of hedges can be a mark of possible adult females ?s markers of vacillation based on some stereotypes once more as screening of certainty or assurance during conversation could be viewed as less feminine. This stereotype about adult females ?s vacillation for the intent to be feminine correlatives besides with another constituent of conversation. tag inquiries.

3. 2. 3 Asking inquiries. tag inquiries Refering the inquiry use during a treatment. it is known that adult females frequently ask inquiries to maintain conversation in procedure. As Holmes says. they normally ask “supportive elicitations” ( Holmes. 1995. p. 43 ) to attest involvement and acquire deeper into a subject. The writer continues and points out: “While adult females elicit more inquiries in private conversations. work forces tend to inquire more questions in formal and public contexts” ( Holmes. 1995. p 39 ) . The ground why work forces use more inquiries in public topographic points could be that they incline to be dominant in public as they are 5

by and large more aggressive than adult females. Womans differ from work forces besides in the frequence of utilizing tag inquiries. Preisler claims that “women use tag inquiries more frequently than men” ( Preisler qtd. in Coates. 1993. p. 119 ) .

3. 2. 4. Subjects of conversations As it was already mentioned. certain subjects that are called ?trivial? . such as relationships. household etc. . are frequently applied to adult females and subjects considered to be serious. such as political relations. autos. engineering. etc. are related to men?s conversation. Harmonizing to Coates ( 1993 ) . for adult females an conversation serves for the intent to portion jobs. consolidate relationships. addition experience or to offer support. On the other manus. for work forces an conversation means a beginning of information. giving advice and showing cognition. This different outlook really frequently leads to miscommunication between work forces and adult females. The lingual differences between work forces and adult females can be represented besides in personal advertizement. The manner of personal ads reflects women?s desires and thoughts approximately work forces every bit good as men?s wants and demands refering the opposite sex.




The practical portion of the paper research will concentrate on the analysis of women?s and men?s advertizements. gender differences from the position of self- and partner-description. utilizing hedges and garrulity. 1. Methodology The sociolinguistic analysis was applied on the stuff of 40 personal advertizements presented on the web page World Wide Web. datingdirect. co. United Kingdom that belong to the UK ?s largest dating services. The principal consists of 20 women?s and 20 men?s advertizements that were under a sociolinguistic analysis. The personal ads were chosen indiscriminately. The age of respondents was between 35 and 45 including. All of the respondents came from Great Britain. Texts of all advertizements that underwent the analysis can be found in Appendix 1. 2. Analysis and consequences

2. 1 Graphic agreement of on-line personal advertizements The overall graphical agreement of on-line personal advertizements on the web page World Wide Web. datingdirect. co. United Kingdom is as follows: a ) prescribed points with merely one pick from the list. e. g. : relationship position. business. organic structure type. tallness. hair coloring material. eyes. kids. personality. country/residence. smoke. day of the month of birth. instruction. ethnicity. I live… . my manner. visual aspect. my best characteristic. political position. faith. love affair. etc. ; B ) prescribed points with a multiple pick from the list. e. g. : amusement. involvements. athleticss. my gustatory sensation in music. my favorite movies. my pets. etc. ; degree Celsius ) prescribed partner?s description with a multiple pick from the list. e. g. : relationship position. kids. organic structure type. personality. smoke. positions on matrimony. ethnicity. nationality. visual aspect. tallness. weight. hair. eyes. manner. best characteristics. instruction. business. faith. political position. involvements. athleticss. movies. income. etc. ; vitamin D ) free-production portion that is limited to maximum of 2000 characters. and where respondents compose more about themselves and the spouses they are looking for ; this is the most of import portion of the personal advertizements as it serves as a stuff for the research paper sociolinguistic analysis. 7

There is besides possibility to add exposures on the web page. 2. 2. Self – description of visual aspect 2. 2. 1. Womans Concentrating on the description of visual aspect. merely six adult females depict their visual aspect ( ads No. 1. 2. 4. 5. 7. 20 ) . As it is obvious from Figure 1. bulk of the adult females ( 5 of them ) put accent on their overall feeling instead than on depicting individual parts of their visual aspect. The words that are used for that intent are: sexy ( used 2 times ) ; attractive ( used one clip ) ; tantrum ( used 2 times ) ; reasonably ( used one clip ) . Two adult females put accent on their hair. Both use the word blonde. Merely one adult female describes her eyes by utilizing the look bluish eyed. In merely two ads an accent is put on figure. which is described with the words curvy and slim. There is merely one advertizement ( advertisement No. 7 ) where a adult female depicts all classs which are mentioned above. “I am a pretty bluish eyed blonde. slim…” By and large considered. adult females do non set great accent on depicting their ain visual aspect.

Majority of the adult females. that is 13 of them. make non advert their visual aspect at all. Although we predicted that the visual aspect is considered to be important for adult females to pull work forces ?s attending. this anticipation is non proved. 2. 2. 2. Work force Refering the description of their visual aspect. the work forces do non set a great accent on their visual aspect. Merely four of them ( ads No. 2. 7. 8. 11 ) attempt to catch adult females ?s attending by concentrating on their expression. They use adjectives good looking ( 1 clip ) and fine-looking ( 1 clip ) for depicting of their overall visual aspect ; looks athletic ( 1 clip ) and in good form ( 1 clip ) for their figure.

As it can be obvious from the Figure 1. the work forces perfectly do non set an accent on their eyes or hair. One of the advertizements ( No 9 ) is particular refering the manner how a adult male describes himself. He chooses a wholly different manner how to pull a adult females ?s attending. He does non state whether he is “handsome” or “ugly” . The writer of this advertizement likely wants to remain cryptic as for his visual aspect and so to rouse a adult females ?s involvement: “I am no George Cloony but am non a Frank Galliger either” By and large considered. as we antecedently predicted. the work forces do non look to set a greater accent on their visual aspect. 8

2. 2. 3. Differences in ego – description of the visual aspect

80 % 80 % 60 % 40 % 20 % 0 % 70 % 25 % 10 % 10 % 10 % 10 % 0 % 0 % 5 % adult females work forces

Figure 1: Comparison of women?s and men?s self-description of their visual aspect

Covering with the visual aspect. Figure 1 illustrates the fact that neither adult females nor work forces put accent on their ain visual aspect. 70 % of the adult females and 80 % of the work forces do non depict their expression at all. This fact does non match with the stereotype that visual aspect is really of import for adult females. 2. 3. Description of spouse ?s visual aspect 2. 3. 1. Womans Refering the description of partner’s visual aspect. merely four adult females picture how their ideal spouse should look like. They use general adjectives. such as attractive ( used in No. 17 ) ; tall ( used in No. 16 ) ; handsome ; and young-looking ( both used in No 18 ) .

One adult female puts accent on the spouse ?s eyes. as she uses look attractive eyes ( No 1 ) . and one adult females is even more specific in her description of an ideal spouse as she writes: … . taller work forces. with nice dentitions. 34/36 waist ( in No 16 ) . An overall bulk of the adult females ( 16 of them ) do non advert their ideal spouse ?s visual aspect at all. 2. 3. 2. Work force At the beginning of the analysis we assumed adult male will underscore the visual aspect of their ideal spouses. However ; the analysis shows that merely two work forces concentrate on the women?s expression. Those work forces who mention visual aspect of their spouse use general adjectives such as attractive and slender: I am looking for person slim and attractive ( No 12 ) ; …someone …that…is attractive… ( No 1 ) The remainder of the work forces do non advert the adult females ?s expression at all. It seems work forces prefer other qualities instead than visual aspect of their ideal spouses. 2. 3. 3. Differences in partner-description of the visual aspect

100 % 80 % 60 % 40 % 20 % 0 %

90 % 80 % 5 % 10 % 10 % 0 % 5 % 0 % 0 % 5 % adult females work forces

Figure 2: Comparison of women?s and work forces ?s spouse visual aspect description

Concentrating on the description of the ideal partner?s visual aspect. the consequences are really similar in both groups. 80 % of the adult females and 90 % of the work forces do non advert how their ideal spouse should look like at all. The stereotype that work forces emphasise the adult females ?s visual aspect is non proved. 2. 4. Self- description of qualities and personality 2. 4. 1. Womans When making a personal advertizement. to advert people?s positive qualities seems to be a really of import portion. It is a utile manner how to easy pull a possible partner?s attending. The writers of personal ads do it by assorted agencies. nevertheless ; the most common is utilizing adjectives that help to depict human qualities clearly and briefly. In the advertizements the adult females use a broad scope of adjectives to picture their qualities and personality in the best manner. More than 40 adjectives have been used for this intent. The adjectives are divided into several groups showing the same component of character: sense of temper ; feminity ; mind ; emancipation ; moral qualities ; societal qualities ; success ; and others.

Figure 3: Womans ?s description of their qualities and personality

To compare description of visual aspect with the description of qualities and personality. merely one adult female make non set accent on description of her personality. It is obvious this portion of personal ads is important for the adult females. The most of import qualities are those belonging to the classs of emancipation. sense of temper and feminity. Refering the class of success that is connected with a good occupation. having a auto. or a house. the adult females to depict themselves as being successful do non utilize adjectives. but other looks. such as … I work hard. ain my house and auto … ( No 10 ) ; … I have a great occupation in advertisement and media which I love. I work hard and long hours. … ( No 12 ) ; or …

I have my ain place auto and good occupation so one am looking for the same… ( No16 ) . 2. 4. 2. Work force Concentrating on work forces ?s qualities and personalities. the work forces use about the same scope of vocabulary as the adult females. They use more than 40 adjectives for the intent to depict themselves from the point of personal qualities. Again. the adjectives are divided into several groups harmonizing to their significance ( see Appendix 3 ) . The undermentioned classs were possible to make: sense of temper ; affectionate ; mind ; moral qualities ; societal qualities ; success ; maleness ; others.

Figure 4: Work force ?s description of their qualities and personality

As it is obvious from the Figure 4. the huge bulk. even 75 % of the work forces. put accent on their success. This class includes non merely adjectives. nevertheless other looks. such as adverting their profession. a successful calling. having a company. a auto or a house: . . . one own a little yet busy picture and dec house. . of which ive been making for 15years now ( No 4 ) ; I have a successful professional calling that I enjoy ( No 7 ) ; I own a plumbing and warming company ( No 10 ) ; I have a twosome of occupations – foremost I head up an International Charity… ( No 11 ) ; I have a antic occupation. I’m financially solvent and I own my place own. which is located within a beautiful portion of Wales ( No 11 ) . The work forces put great accent non merely on their success ; nevertheless they stress besides such qualities that belong to the class ?affectionate?- even 55 % of the work forces. which is really surprising. Six of the work forces depict themselves as caring. five of them as romantic. or three as hearted. By contrast. personal qualities that are portion of the group ?masculinity? appear merely in seven ads. which is 35 % .

2. 4. 3. Differences in self-description of the personal qualities Refering the qualities. some considerable differences have been found between work forces and adult females ( see Figure 5 ) . As it was predicted at the beginning of the analysis. adult females do non emphasize their success at all. It seems to be unimportant for
them when they try to pull possible spouses. Surprisingly. the adult females attach importance to the personal qualities that are portion of the class ?emancipation? . They describe themselves as adventuresome. confident. hardworking. down-to-earth. independent. or even strong. The adult females emphasise besides their feminity. It is in 12

contrast with the visual aspect that the adult females consider being non so relevant for catching men?s attending. They seemingly try to pull more work forces by typical women?s qualities as they depict themselves as feminine. warm. animal. passionate. and caring. The adult females are may be persuaded that work forces desire to hold such a adult females aboard. Unlike the adult females. the work forces put great accent on their success. For the work forces being successful seems to be instead important for pulling an ideal spouse.

On the other manus. they do non emphasize their maleness ; nevertheless emphasise the qualities that soften their personality. Probably. they want to near a adult females ?s ideal of the perfect spouse. As it was antecedently discussed in the theoretical portion. the writers of personal ads write their text and usage such a vocabulary to be in harmoniousness with what is preferred by their readers. The work forces present elements of their individualities that are supposed to be most of import to happening spouses. It can be an account why even 55 % of the work forces stress the qualities belonging to the class ?affectionate? .

2. 5. Use of hedges As it was already discussed in the theoretical portion of this paper. hedges are markers of vacillation and uncertainness. Missikova offers another accounts of hedges: “…hedging is the making and toning-down of utterances…in order to cut down the peril of what one says” ( 13

Wales qtd. in Topics in Linguistics. 2007. p. 76 ) . or hedges are “ lingual looks that enable the talker to avoid being excessively direct in her/his utterance” ( Watts qtd. in Topics in Linguistics. 2007. p. 76. Mentioned antecedently. harmonizing to gender stereotypes. more frequent usage of hedges is typical for adult female address.

Refering frequence of hedge utilizing. the analysis of the personal ads shows following consequences: entire figure of elements in ads 2170 Men ?s ads 3655 Women ?s ads Figure 6: Number of hedges

As it can be seen in the Figure 6. our analysis confirmed the gender stereotype that adult females use hedges in their vocalizations more often than work forces. While the adult females use the hedge looks in every individual advertizement. eight work forces do non utilize them at all. Average figure of hedges per one women? s advertizement is 4. 95 and per men?s merely 1. 85. Probably. the adult females use them non to look really direct or confident. By demoing certain grade of uncertainness ( with the usage of hedges ) . they try to show their feminine individualities.

2. 6. Talkativeness The theoretical portion of the research paper discussed cultural and lingual stereotype refering garrulity. In many societies. it is taken for given adult females talk more than work forces. The analysis of the chosen personal advertizements reveals that the figure of elements per advertizement is 182. 75 in the adult females ?s ads and the entire figure of elements is 3655. which is more than in the work forces ?s ads. where the figure of elements per advertizement is 108. 5 and the overall sum of elements is 2170. The longest woman?s advertizement has 354 elements ( No 3 ) . the shortest 76 elements ( No 7 ) . Surprisingly. the longest man?s ad has 376 ( No 11 ) elements. which is more by 22 elements than in the longest adult female ?s ad. The shortest man?s advertizement has merely 33 elements ( No 20 ) .

Although the analysis finds out that the adult females use more words. the figure of the advertizements under analysis is non sufficient to be able to turn out decidedly the general myth that adult females are more chatty than work forces.



The purpose of this research paper was to analyze men?s and women?s personal advertizements from the sociolinguistic point of view and to happen out whether there are considerable differences between genders. Because personal advertizements are written by both sexes. the research paper tries to research how linguistic communication relates to gender and how stereotypic premises and beliefs are reflected in the text of on-line personal advertizements. The research paper dealt with 40 personal advertizements presented via the medium of the Internet. It concentrated on the issues of garrulity and usage of hedges from the position of gender stereotypes. The givens stated at the beginning of the analysis were proved as the research explored that the adult females used hedges more often than the work forces. every bit good as they were more chatty than the work forces. The guess that work forces emphasise success in their ego – description in order to pull possible spouses was besides proved.

However ; they do non stressed the visual aspect of their spouses at all. For the adult females. neither success nor their visual aspect and visual aspect of their spouses were of import. On the other manus. the adult females put greater accent on their personal qualities. To sum it up. the work forces and the adult females differed in their linguistic communication. Some of the common beliefs and myths were proved. some non. In order to pull attending of a possible spouse. both sexes likely varied they linguistic communication harmonizing the outlooks of the opposite gender.

The extent of this research paper. every bit good as the figure of the advertizements under the analysis did non let traveling deeper into linguistic communication of men?s and women?s advertizements. It was non possible to research and analyze all the differences. However ; this research paper can function as an thought or a beginning for farther research of personal advertizements. There is a great sum of issues which could be studied. such as gender differences in sentence construction or construction of personal ads ; differences in utilizing formal. informal linguistic communication ; differences in making grammar or spelling errors ; manner of ego – designation ; differences in intended relationships ; manner of gap and invitation for respond ; usage of abbreviations. emoticons ; idiomatic and collocative looks ; and others.

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