Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Steve Evans: Language Usage 8-12

I picked up a few brochures on campus today (July 15). They have some interesting uses of the American English language.

The first is from the Sherrod Library. It’s actually a bookmark, rather than a brochure. It reads: Get Hooked on a Banned Book. Then says: Banned Books Ahoy! Treasure Your Freedom To Read. The illustration is one of a pirate – patch over eye, sword in one hand, a hook for the other. He’s standing on the deck of a ship. There are several interesting things about this. First is the phrase: Get Hooked on a Banned Book. It’s almost poetical. It’s musical and rhythmic. It has rhyme and alliteration (of a sorts – the double usage of the letter “B”). Of course, the topic is intriguing, as well is the tie of the word “hooked” with the pirate’s hooked hand. Then there’s the phrase: Banned Books Ahoy! This relates to a sense of adventure, but even a type of “forbidden” adventure (the pirate and piracy). Then there is an appeal to our “rights”: Treasure Your Freedom To Read. (entry 8 & 9)

The other two are brochures, both from the University Center. One is a brochure on International Education Scholarships. On the cover it reads: Placing Pieces of the World Within Your Reach. There are images of puzzle pieces depicting Amsterdam and Thailand. The brochure then advertises International Programs & Services and says: Pursue Your Dreams Here. I love both phrases: Placing Pieces of the World at Your Fingertips and Pursue Your Dreams Here. They are emotive, challenging and picturesque, conveying a “Yes, you can really do it!” attitude and spirit. (entry 10 & 11)

The other brochure has to do with one’s dreams as well. Design Your Dream, it says, advertising the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. Both of these convey the spirit of the American dream; to dream the impossible dream; and a “you can do it” spirit. This one too is emotive and challenging. It’s imperative and commanding, has the alliteration of the double “D”, short and terse – yet it offers reward and fulfillment. (entry 12)

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