Impoliteness and hypermasculine language in Japanese shock advertising
Keywords:impoliteness, politeness, gender, masculine language, advertising
This article shows that by using hypermasculine language in shock advertising, advertisement creators highlight its aggressive and crude image. Hypermasculine language has been commodified as a marker of impoliteness. This analysis utilises the concept of indexical field and makes two theoretical contributions. First, it shows that one can employ the concept in the analysis of styles, which are broader linguistic resources than individual variables. The analysis thus expands the applicability of the concept. Second, the article shows that advertisement creators are changing the indexical field of hypermasculine language. The analysis thus corroborates the characterisation of the indexical field as fluid. This article also argues that, because many in Japan believe in the importance of avoiding offending others and the prominence of linguistic politeness, hypermasculine language, with its foregrounded meanings of aggressiveness and vulgarity, violates the perceived code of linguistic politeness and serves as a useful apparatus for shock advertising.
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