Emotional Rhetoric in Tea Advertising


Drawing on rhetorical and pragmatic (Relevance Theory) approaches to emotions, this article examines claims of cultural and patriotic identity in British tea websites as examples of emotional rhetoric. I hypothesise that such claims operate as persuasive strategies designed to elicit empathy towards the product in potential consumers and ultimately to persuade them to identify with it. Results indicate that cultural identity in the form of patriotism, understood as social identity, collective memory and a feeling of belonging to or pride in one’s country, can fulfil a threefold creative effect: at a rhetorical level, it contributes to the design of a stylistically pleasing text; at an informative level, it introduces an unexpected or foreign element into the advertisement; and at a pragmatic level, it involves potential addressees in the recovery of a message that can be tailored to suit their specific individual experiences.

Author Biography

Marisa Díez-Arroyo, Universidad de Oviedo
Marisa Díez-Arroyo is Senior Lecturer in English Studies at the University of Oviedo, Spain. Her research interests include pragmatics, discourse analysis and ESP, with a special focus on the language of advertising. Some of her recent contributions have been published in journals such as Lingua, Pragmatics, Terminology, English Today and Ibérica.


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