Why Do Advertisers Use Puns? A Linguistic Perspective

This article explores the role and interpretation processes of puns in print advertising. The function of punning (wordplay) in advertising varies from double meanings to humorous effects.

Why Do Advertisers Use Puns? A Linguistic Perspective

Elmira DjafarovaNorthumbria University


The conditions of advertising texts force the advertisers to adopt various verbal and visual devices to attract more customers. The language of advertising is the product of a linguistic context in which messages are aimed at enormous audiences representing a range of backgrounds that can only be guessed at by the advertisers. Writers of advertising have no personal interaction with the customers of their linguistic production, and there is no scope for the instant reaction that may let advertisers correct any interaction mistakes (Bruthiaux, 2000). Thus, advertisers...

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