Writing Assignment 6 (Semantics)

There are two options for questions you can answer:

  1. One popular advertising technique is the use of language that tries to sound like it’s making a stronger claim than it actually is.This technique is sometimes known as “weasel words”. It can be very interesting to look carefully at the language of an advertisement and try to determine what claims are actually entailed. Consider for example the advertisement claim “No other chewing gum keeps your breath fresh longer!” What might they like you to conclude? Is this conclusion entailed by the language in the ad? Can you prove whether it is? Another example is the ever popular claim “Everything is up to X% off!”. They want you to make certain conclusions which are not actually true. What sort of Maxims are being violated by these companies? Find some other examples of advertisement where they are leading you to make certain assumptions that aren’t actually what they are saying. 
  2. Today we talked about how jokes especially play on the concepts we’ve been discussing in our semantics unit. Find some jokes that play on these concepts and explain how they work. Be sure to discuss a variety of jokes that show different semantic concepts.  Below is a video of 51 jokes (in Four Minutes) if you need some material. NOTE: Some of these jokes are ‘dirty’ and are not necessarily being endorsed by me or the University. If you do not want to hear these jokes, then do not watch the video and look for joke material elsewhere.