Language and Sex in Electronic Advertisement: A Case Study of Automatic Answering Machines

Alabi Bukola Abosede


Over the years, there have been writings on the differences in the use of language by men and women in the society. Among other positions by writers is the claim that women’s language is inferior, ineffectual and weak. It is equally claimed that women’s speech tend to be euphemistic, tentative, flowery and qualified – qualities, which Hartmann (1976) posits make it a lesser or deficient form.While this paper sees the latter qualities in a positive light than negative (as Hartmann portrays), it queries the former, especially in the light of what is operational in the electronic adverts today. If women’s speech are really weak, ineffective, and inferior to men, in what contexts and how do we reconcile this position with the fact that today in most electronic automated advertisements the female voice is more frequently used compared to that of the male. This is the question this paper sets out to answer, particularly when we consider the enormity of the role played by advertisement in moving any society forward industrially.

Keywords: language and sex,speech,electronic advertisement,answering machines.

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