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Concept of the month September 2010: ADVERTISING

LangPep’s blog is close to its first anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, this one is on advertising. On the concept of advertising, that is. The blog is doing plenty of advertising for LangPep as it is. However, if I were to pass over the refined choice of words, the versatile linguistic instinct and rapid delivery LangPep stands for, we’d suddenly be addressing a figure of speech known as preterition. It was Classical Roman rhetors who applied this instrument whenever they were supposed to withhold certain facts. Using preterition they would mention them anyway, accidentally in passing them by (Latin: praeter ire). This is obviously at odds with advertising.

The differences between the Dutch, Spanish and English word seem to form a sliding scale. Firstly, Dutch ‘reclame’ is related to the verb ‘reclameren’, which means ‘to claim or demand back´. English ‘advertising’ is in its turn close to the verb ‘to advert’: ‘to bring to people’s attention’. Last but most modest is the Spanish word: ‘publicidad’. This seems to derive from the verb ‘publicar’: ‘to publish, making known to the public’.

As we’ve seen, the Dutch appears to have the sternest sense of the three. If we now look for Dutch words that in form are related to the terms used by the other two languages, we find concepts that can be used perfectly in an advertising context: ‘adverteren’ (to advertise) and ‘publiceren’ (to publish). English, in turn, is right between the two others. While ‘to reclaim’ has no relations with advertising, ‘publicity’ does. Again, it is ‘modest’ Spanish that comes last in line: neither ‘reclamar’ (to object or to claim back) nor ‘advertir’ (to bring to people’s attention). All this reflects another sliding scale, similar to the one in terms of ‘sternness’ of meaning, this time in the ‘flexibility’ of the form. Dutch is followed by English and Spanish at equal intervals.

This linguistic discourse was made possible by: LangPep: for all your translations, ranging from hardcore science to everyday prose.

Later, when I'll be all goose...
Later, when I'll be all goose...
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