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Revista Digital de Investigación en Docencia Universitaria

versión On-line ISSN 2223-2516

Rev. Digit. Invest. Docencia Univ. vol.12 no.2 Lima jul./dic. 2018 



Anglo-Saxon Advertising: The Search for Sound

Publicidad Anglosajona: la Búsqueda del Sonido

Publicidade anglo-saxã: A busca pelo som


Matthew Allen *

Dirección Académica del Área de Inglés, Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, Lima, Perú.

Correo de correspondencia: * E-mail: matthew.allen@upc



Anglo-Saxon poetry may seem quite distant to English language learners; however, it all depends on the purpose for which it is used in the classroom. In the activity described in this article, students are asked to listen carefully to the sound of spoken words, and then apply two powerful patterns of discourse in their writing: alliteration and alternation; this after reading and debating examples. Created by intuition and need, and developed through trial and error, Anglo-Saxon Advertising quickly became a cornerstone of the introductory British literature course for university students of English as a second language (ESL). As a further part of the process of applying this teaching tool, it was found that this type of classroom activity is supported by current international research on the didactics of English as a second language (Boers, Lindstromberg & Eyckmans, 2012; Eyckmans & Lindstromberg, 2017). In retrospect, the use of stimulating traditional literature in an English as a Second Language teaching environment raises fundamental questions about the importance of creativity in the classroom (Tsui, 2003), the need for a contemporary curriculum (Xie, 2014), the combination of language and literature (Zitlow, 2004), and the use of multiple modes of instruction (Traore & Kyei-Blankson, 2011); issues which are considered at the end of this document.

Keyword: Teaching, Literature, Language, ESL, Creativity


La poesía anglosajona podría parecer bastante lejana para estudiantes del idioma inglés; sin embargo, todo depende del fin con que se use ésta en el aula. En la actividad descrita en este artículo, se pide a los estudiantes que escuchen atentamente el sonido de las palabras habladas, para que luego apliquen en su redacción dos poderosos patrones de discurso: aliteración y alternancia; esto después de haber leído y debatido ejemplos. Creada por intuición y necesidad, y desarrollada a través de prueba y error, Anglo-Saxon Advertising se convirtió rápidamente en una pieza fundamental del curso introductorio de literatura británica para estudiantes universitarios de inglés como segunda lengua (ESL). Como parte posterior al proceso de aplicación de esta herramienta didáctica, se encontró que este tipo de actividad en el aula está respaldada por investigación internacional actual sobre la didáctica de inglés como segunda lengua (Boers, Lindstromberg & Eyckmans, 2012; Eyckmans & Lindstromberg, 2017). En retrospectiva, el uso de literatura tradicional estimulante en un entorno de enseñanza de inglés como segunda lengua, plantea cuestiones fundamentales sobre la importancia de la creatividad en el aula (Tsui 2003), la necesidad de un currículo contemporáneo (Xie, 2014), la combinación de lengua y literatura (Zitlow, 2004), y el uso de múltiples modalidades de instrucción (Traore & Kyei-Blankson, 2011); cuestiones que se consideran al final de este documento.

Palabras clave: Enseñanza, Literatura, Lengua, ESL, Creatividad


A poesía anglo-saxã poderia parecer distante para os estudantes do idioma inglês; no entanto, tudo depende da finalidade com que seja usada na sala de aula. Na atividade descrita neste artigo, pede-se aos estudantes a ouvirem atentamente o som das palavras faladas, para depois serem aplicadas em sua redação dois padrões poderosos de discurso: aliteração e alternância, isto depois de terem lido e debatido exemplos. Criada por intuição e necessidade, e desenvolvida através de teste e erro, a Anglo-Saxon Advertising tornou-se rapidamente em peça fundamental do curso introdutório de literatura britânica para estudantes universitários de inglês como segunda língua (ESL). Como parte posterior ao processo de aplicação desta ferramenta didática, encontrou-se que este tipo de atividade na sala de aula está respaldada pela pesquisa internacional atual sobre didática do inglês como segunda língua (Boers, Lindstromberg & Eyckmans, 2012; Eyckmans & Lindstromberg, 2017). Em retrospetiva, o uso de literatura tradicional estimulante no contexto do ensino do inglês como segunda língua, prevé questões fundamentais sobre a importancia da criatividade na sala de aula (Tsui 2003), a necessidade de um (currículo) contemporâneo (Xie 2014), a combinação de língua e literatura (Zitlow, 2004), e o uso de múltiplas modalidades de instrução (Traore & Kyei-Blankson, 2011); questões que se consideram no final deste documento.

Palavras-chave: Ensino, literatura, língua, ESL, criatividade

Context & Creativity

It’s difficult enough to make the case for Anglo Saxon in the modern North American college curriculum for native speakers, let alone second language learners. Many survey courses of English literature now start with Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in Middle English instead of Beowulf and The Battle of Maldon in Old English as they did a generation ago (Cunningham, 2000; The University of British Columbia, 2018). So, I wondered what my students—all native Spanish speakers with varying levels of English—would make of Old English (Anglo Saxon) literature and language, and what help, if any, it might be to them in their speaking and writing and future careers.

The activity which I call "Anglo-Saxon Advertising" came to me in a moment of inspiration- desperation as I was prepping for my Introduction to British Literature class here in Peru— an English elective for Upper-Intermediate EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students in business and the professions whose normal language of instruction was Spanish. Although such risk-taking can be intimidating to professors, Tsui (2003) and others have justified intuitive departures from normal practice as one aspect of teaching excellence—an important pedagogical point which I explore further in the conclusion of this paper.

A brief description of and rationale for the activity

The classroom activity described in this paper takes two instructional hours, and the take-home message for second language learners is the importance of the sound of English: particularly the power of alliteration (repeated initial consonants) and the alternation of short, direct words with elegant polysyllabic ones—the mastery being in the mix.

In previous classes, my students had learned that English was a kind of linguistic melting pot comprised of Celtic, Latin, Anglo Saxon, Norse, French, Arabian, Greek, and Indian words. A stock of simple, direct Anglo-Saxon words such as "clean," "cold," and "cup" was spiced with polysyllabic niceties such as the French "parliament" and the Indian "pajamas" to give English its peculiar power and flavor. This class in "Anglo-Saxon Advertising" was designed to help students apply the alternation of long and short words and the sound of alliteration—as in clean, cold, cup—to their compositions. So, practical outcomes—crafting slogans, titles, and speeches—, as well as an increased appreciation of sound effects—as a result of an unusual, abstract activity. The over-arching idea here being not only that EFL students can learn practical writing strategies from listening to the sound patterns of English (including Anglo- Saxon), but also that the best EFL teaching may involve taking risks, thinking creatively, and promoting playfulness in the classroom—further evidence in support of previous studies (Cekaite & Aronsson, 2005; Prošić -Santovac, 2009).

A Multifaceted Method—an overview of the technique

My lesson plan was simple but multifaceted, encouraging students to listen, discuss, read, and write, aiming both for student engagement and development of the four skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. I also tried to blend tried and true "old school" techniques—Q & A and worksheets—with contemporary online resources.

Briefly, the plan was as follows.

  1. Explain the importance of alliteration and alternation in written and spoken English and why paying attention to the sound of English might matter to them.

  2. Illustrate the point by giving students the Anglo-Saxon Advertising handout and asking them why the slogans work. (An activity which could be done in pairs.)

  3. Further emphasize the power of alliteration by playing brief YouTube clips of Anglo- Saxon verse, then reading aloud modern passages with the same sounds. (Alternately, students could be asked to read the modern pieces themselves.)

  4. Have students write their own alliterative slogans and/or short speeches similar to those just read. (Students might then read their work to the class.)

  5. End with George Orwell’s dictum from "Politics and the English Language" in favor of using short words whenever possible.

Notice the blend of innovation and accepted practice here. Admittedly, using Anglo- Saxon in the EFL classroom is unusual and may seem questionable, but integrating the four skills and incorporating audio-visual material is best TEFL practice and appeals to different types of learners. This activity also provides an example of the kind of pedagogical judgement advocated by Tsui (2003) and others, as we will see in the conclusion of this paper.

Presentation of the technique in detail or alliteration & alternation step by step

Step 1—piquing their interest. My hook was frankly pragmatic, appealing to the students’ academic aspirations and career goals. I presented the mastery of these inherent English sound patterns as a "secret weapon" for their success as writers and speakers—presentations which would shine and proposals which would sell. More nakedly yet, I wondered aloud how much the writers of well-known advertising slogans were paid for their efforts. I could see the interest in their eyes as they did the math.

Step 2—prompting their analysis. We discussed the wording of six out of the twenty advertising slogans listed in the worksheet. (See the Appendix A) You can consider as many as you have time for. Three slogans will likely prove your point; ten might beget boredom. What follows is a paraphrase of some of the student observations made after a pair and share activity.

Volkswagen – Think Small. A great slogan because it sounds like what it says (small is good), partly because it ends with short, simple words.

Energizer – Keeps going and going and going. Similar strategy to "Volkswagen" with a polysyllabic product name followed by short words. We hear the sounds of continual performance in the repetition of the word "going," a sound which is intensified by the alliteration of the initial "Gs".

Blogger – Push button publishing. A pleasing alternation of short and long words ("push" and "publishing") enhanced by the alliteration of the "p" and "b" sounds.

Holiday Inn – Pleasing people the world over. Effective alternation of long and short words ("Holiday" and "Inn") with key concepts ("Pleasing" and "people") associated by the alliteration of the repeated "p" sound.

Fortune – For the men in charge of change. Perhaps a bit sexist in content, as the business women in the class were quick to point out, but an effective sounding slogan because of the alliteration of the repeated "Fs" and "Cs". (Try saying "responsible for" instead of "in charge of" to see the difference.)

As business students, the class was keen on advertising in general which helped to fuel the analysis; however, they had thought of advertising previously more as a matter of corporate strategy than a series of sound effects. New perspectives were creeping in.

Step 3—enlisting the digital scope—optional depending on the English ability of your class and your own literary interests.

You don’t need to be a literature teacher—much less an Anglo-Saxon scholar—to make this activity work in your classroom. Although I had long since forgotten most of the Anglo-Saxon I once knew, YouTube clips of "Caedmon’s Hymn" and the Lord’s Prayer in Old English filled the gap. (See ) Better yet, these clips not only provided correct scholarly pronunciation of the Anglo-Saxon but also allowed students to hear the strong alliterative beats and simultaneously read the Old English text with interlineal Modern English translation. "Caedmon’s Hymn" proved practical partly because it was so short and partly because of its inherent interest as the first poem we have in English (Marckwardt & Rosier, 1972, pp. 244-250).

Nu we sculon herigean   heofonrices weard,
Now we must hymn   the Protector of the heavenly kingdom,
meotodes meahte   ond his modgeþanc,
the might of the Measurer   and His mind’s purpose,
weorc wuldorfæder,   swa he wundra gehwæs,
the work of the Father of Glory,   as He for each of the wonders.

Although Anglo-Saxon poetry might seem a long stretch for English language learners, it all depends on what you expect them to do with it. I simply asked my students to pay attention to its strong alliterative beats—to hear the sound of the spoken word—and (out of general interest) to see which words were still recognizable ("Nu we = now we" etc.)

Some of the words seemed strange, even grotesque, but students could still pick up the strong sound of repeated initial consonants, if only from the modern English: "hymn" and "heavenly," "might" and measure," "work" and "wonders." For in "Caedmon’s Hymn," the story of Creation resonates richly with alliteration like a symbol struck.

The Lord’s Prayer also worked surprisingly well in this TEFL context, partly because students already knew the words in Spanish and could translate readily enough to follow the text in Modern/Old English as they listened to its rolling rhythms. Again, all they had to do was listen to the cadence—to let the sound of the words sink slowly in. And, as an insightful Peruvian colleague reminded me, alliteration is common in Spanish as well as English poetry, providing students a cultural context for this exercise (Ortiz, 2015).

Step 4—moving from old to modern English with the same sounds in mind

In terms of the sound of the language, which was the focus of this activity, it actually proved to be a short step from the alliteration so evident in "Caedmon’s Hymn" to the rolling rhythm of Shakespeare, the King James Bible, popular poems, and political speeches. The chief difficulty here was not picking passages but confining myself to a few and reminding myself as an English teacher that my job was not to explicate the text but rather to help my students listen to it.

And as we listened together, I was reminded that these texts often spoke for themselves. Once we had attuned our ears, we could hear how the now-familiar alliterative cadence carried the day as Henry rallied his troops, how it underscored the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet’s love, and how it conveyed the corruption of the witches’ chant in Shakespeare:

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers." (Henry the Fifth, IV, 3: 60)

"From forth the fatal loins of these two foes / A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life." (Romeo and Juliet, Prologue: 5-6)

"Fair is foul, and foul is fair: / Hover through the fog and filthy air." (Macbeth, I, 1:11-12) We could also hear the same sounds in the majestic cadences of famous passages from the King James Bible such as Ruth’s pledge of fidelity to her aging mother in law, Naomi, and the moving meditation on time from Ecclesiastes:

"And whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God." (Book of Ruth 1:16)

"There is...A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted" (Ecclesiastes 3:2). In comparison, the translators of the New

International Version seem curiously tone-deaf when they describe "a time to uproot."

For maximum effect, sound should echo sense as well as speech rhythms, even in prose.

Almost any well-known poem / poet would do to demonstrate the prevalence and power of alliteration in modern English verse; however, Blake’s "Tyger, Tyger," sometimes said to be the most popular poem in English, is a particularly good candidate, partly because of its bounding rhythm and bold rhetoric (Harmon, 1983, p. 1077).

"Tyger, Tyger burning bright / In the forests of the night... What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?" (lines 1-4). Although the imagery of this poem is puzzling at times, its sound is unmistakable. In fact, the alliteration is so strong that it overshadows the alternation of short and long words which is equally important for our purposes. ("Symmetry" and "immortal" catch our eye / ear because of their relative length.)

The Frost (1989) poem, "Stopping by Woods," is a gentler reminder of the effects of both alliteration and alternation: "The woods are lovely, dark and deep / But I have promises to keep/ And miles to go before I sleep" (lines 13-14). Here, the eerie, even deadly, attraction of the woods is emphasized by the alliterative association of "dark" and "deep," while other key words such as "lovely" and "promises" stand out because of their relative length, especially after such a parade of monosyllables beforehand. We linger where we are meant to—in the dark—despite the weight of work awaiting us.

Of course, alliteration and alternation are the stock in trade of politicians as well as poets, and my students appreciated this segue to the (comparative) here and now. Winston Churchill was fond of recalling the remedial classes he received in English—in lieu of Latin for the brighter boys—while at Harrow, and he put his learning to good use later as a writer and speaker (Manchester, 1983). Doubtless, Churchill also absorbed the stately rhythms of the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer during chapel services—an inevitable part of his daily diet at school. Consequently, Churchill’s speeches are deeply infused with alliteration and alternation. Indeed, Churchill’s speech following the declaration of war and his later commemoration of the RAF following the Battle of Britain still cut to the bone and raise our spirits largely because of their sound:

"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind...many, many long months of struggle and of suffering... Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few" (Sebag Montefiore, 2005, pp. 90-95).

As war is declared, Churchill draws on a deep reservoir of ingrained English speech patterns to signal the seriousness of his people’s plight. Notice the powerful alliteration of "toil" and "tears," "struggle" and "suffering," and the deft alternation of short Anglo-Saxon words such as "blood" and "sweat" with longer Latinate ones such as "grievous" and "ordeal." And whether he was consciously imitating Henry the Fifth’s speech or unconsciously echoing it, Churchill’s praise of the "few" RAF pilots protecting the homeland likewise rings with alliteration and relies on alternation.

These sound patterns come up again and again in effective speeches and popular sayings because they are so deeply embedded in the English language—both British and American (Bu, 2009; Rezaei & Nourali, 2016). For example, we hear the same powerful pattern of alliteration and alternation in both Winston Churchill’s speeches and Martin Luther King’s famous "I have a dream" speech:

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check...I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations...even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream" (Sebag Montefiore, 2005, pp. 148-154, emphasis mine).

Notice how King says "I am not unmindful," alternating short and long words, when he might simply have said "I know," and how he makes use of alliteration with "trials and tribulations" and "today and tomorrow," not to mention "dream deeply." King’s words strike a common chord here, both literally and metaphorically, as the cadence of Caedmon continues to chime through the centuries.

Step 5—sounding out my students. Now that they knew what to listen for, it was time for my students to try their hand at writing, and advertising jingles proved an easy place to start, especially with the handout in mind. Working at home, they were also able to write their own speeches—or at least lines from imagined speeches—modelled on the quotations from Churchill and King which we had just heard. With the words of Churchill and King ringing in my ears, however, I needed to remind myself about the object of the activity as well as what I could reasonably expect. Despite my preoccupations with poetry and politics, the point for my students was to recruit a related language skill (writing) following listening and reading, and to check for understanding in the process. In this case, "the proof of the pudding" was in the writing, and it was well for me to remember—and to remind them—that their goal was not so much to write beautifully, memorably, or even correctly as it was to showcase the sound (and sense) of the language.

Because of their variable competence in English, my students naturally produced a mixed bag of advertising jingles and political slogans—some rough and ready, some polished and precise, but all showing some sensitivity to sound. Although they were shy to share their first efforts, it was important to get them started in class to make sure that they were on the right track and had the confidence to continue. For homework, I simply told them to describe a product/ service, devise an appropriate advertising slogan, and explain why they chose it. In the end, their slogans rang true to the task. What was halting and hesitant when spoken in class became comparatively clear when written at home. What follows is a selection of some of the best.

One young man wrote, "Your T-bone steak—tender and tasty" and "Delicious dinner, then dessert." Down to earth to say the least, but alive with alliteration and alternation, and careers in advertising have been made with less finesse. Some of the slogans showed quite a sophisticated sense of audience appeal, for example: "We work, you win" (emphasis mine) and "Be brilliant, be brave." The latter demonstrates a good "ear" for English—especially for a second language learner—with the polysyllabic "brilliant" stretching out as it does, compassed round by monosyllables. Subtle sound effects such as this are usually the province of poets.

Students were also able to sound much like native-speaking politicians when they put their minds to it. For example, "It doesn’t get better; you get better" (emphasis mine) and "You’re in charge of changing your own destiny." Statements such as these not only draw on a deep well of sound sensitivity but also demonstrate the art of motivation. People can be convinced to change with words such as these, as politicians know so well.

But my teacherly heart fairly brimmed when I heard deep human insight married to masterful sound patterns as in "The heart wants what’s hard to get" and "Call it mystery, call it magic, call it true." In the first example, the sound of the repeated "w"s alerts us to one the many mysteries of the human heart, and in the second example, we linger on the polysyllabic "mystery" as we are meant to. All in all, I was happily surprised by what my students could do and wondered whether native English speakers would do much better.

Step 6—rules and regulations. To round out the class and give the keeners more to consider, I concluded by quoting the end of George Orwell’s essay, "Politics and the English Language," in which he provides a few "rules" for English composition, stipulating that it would be better to break any of them rather than "to say anything outright barbarous." It is difficult to argue with any of Orwell’s (1946) simple dictums: avoid the passive voice and tired metaphors; instead, favor brevity and simple words. Generally, "less is more in business writing," as I told my students. Brief memos, direct letters, executive summaries, and pointed presentations are the order of the day. Indeed, I would have been happy if my students had left the class with a belief in brevity—good general practice, especially for second language learners who tend to think that the longest English words must be best because they seem somehow sophisticated.

The class dutifully recorded Orwell’s dictum about short words—"never use a long word when a short one will do"—brilliant because the longest word is "never." But I was particularly pleased when one of my students asked, "what about the sound of the words apart from their length?" Such a question was all the answer I needed.

CONCLUSION: benefits, support, and limitations of the technique

Although Anglo-Saxon or Old English literature may seem far removed from the TEFL classroom, the sound effects of alternating long and short words and repeating initial consonants (alliteration) are deeply entrenched in the English language (Eyckmans & Lindstromberg, 2017; Hanson 2007). We hear the rolling rhythm of "Caedmon’s Hymn" repeated in Shakespeare, the King James Bible, modern poems, political speeches, and advertising jingles. While native speakers may take these sounds for granted, alliteration has been identified as a key aspect of modern English—including advertising slogans and political speeches—by researchers in Poland, China, and Iran, as well as the USA and UK (Boers & Lindstromberg, 2005; Bu, 2009; Corbett, 2007; Prošić -Santovac, 2009; Rezaei & Nourali, 2016).

As it turns out, my approach is not without precedence. Creative Language Arts teachers in elementary and middle schools in the US and UK have devised similar lessons to mine, linking alliteration to newspaper headlines and advertising slogans (Novelli, 1998; Pollard, 2007), and a UK consultant has advocated the use of alliteration to promote general literacy in Britain’s schools (Corbett, 2007), supporting my contention that opening our students’ ears to sound patterns such as alliteration and alternation can provide them with powerful tools for speaking and writing.

Indeed, "Anglo-Saxon Advertising" proved to be well-grounded in TEFL methodology. Emphasizing alliterative speech patterns has been demonstrated to help both child and adult ESL learners retain idioms and other language clusters (Boers & Lindstromberg 2005; Boers et al., 2012; Cekaite & Aronsson 2005; Eychmans & Lindstromberg 2017). There is good evidence to suggest that ESL students increase their English language learning by combining literary study and composition classes with traditional English language classes (Sambolin & Carroll 2015; Zielinska, 2003; Zitlow, 2004). And the discerning use of multiple technologies has proved effective in ESL instruction (Traore & Kyei-Blankson, 2011). Note that my lesson made use of both contemporary modalities (YouTube clips) and traditional strategies (handouts, reading aloud, written work, and discussion).

My only pedagogical caveat is that it may not be enough to simply emphasize alliteration in the hopes of increased language skills. The best lesson plans have students put this realization to use in memorable ways, and some research suggests the limitation of teaching sound/other structures without application or critical thinking (Boers et al., 2012; Melles, 2009).

Ironically, however, "Anglo-Saxon Advertising" may be limited more by cultural constraints than pedagogical concerns. Although alliteration is all around us in everyday English, its origins are becoming less known. For example, Oxford University famously dropped its traditional Anglo-Saxon requirement from its English degree (Cunningham, 2000) and many North American college survey courses of British Literature now begin with Middle English (Chaucer) rather than Old English (Beowulf) for the sake of ease and simplicity. And just to take one instance among many, only one of five sections of the traditional second year survey of English literature at the University of British Columbia currently includes Anglo- Saxon (for the sake of novelty); the others all begin with Middle English, mostly Chaucer (The University of British Columbia, 2018).

Unfortunately, students can’t use what they haven’t been taught, and teachers can’t teach what they don’t know. Finally, our collective appreciation of the roots of English sound effects—especially Anglo-Saxon alliteration—may be hampered by the "Pluricentric Approach" to teaching English (Xie, 2014). If we can no longer conceive of a corpus of traditional English language and literature and are left to puzzle over a plethora of postmodern "Englishes" instead, we are bound to lose sight of some of the rich roots of our ancient tongue.

All cultural and curricular considerations aside, however, the greatest lesson to be learned from "Anglo-Saxon Advertising" may be for us to think twice as teachers. There is a productive light-heartedness to such activities, ably described by Cekaite et al.: The joking was quite rudimentary. Yet it included artful performance and collaborative aestheticism, involving alliteration and other forms of parallelisms... ("Language Play" 161). For example, Prošić -Santovac (2009) found that heavily alliterative tongue twisters such as "Peter Piper" were popular with 73.5% of the adult ESL learners in her study.

But making this kind of playful learning possible requires both an aspect of teaching excellence described by Tsui (2003) as "the judgement to know when to deviate from routines" and a kind of learned selflessness. As teachers, we need to learn not just to think beyond the textbook but also to repress our expectations of eloquence and our habit of correction to bring out the best in our students, giving them ample time just to listen attentively to the rolling rhythms of the language and to apply them playfully to their prose.



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Revisado: 10-07-18

Aceptado: 09-10-18

Publicado: 20-12-18



Anglo-Saxon Advertising Worksheet

Although these popular slogans are in Modern English, not Anglo-Saxon or Old English, they reflect our discussions of the development of the language in interesting ways. Consider their sound rather than their meaning for a minute: particularly the interplay of short and long words and the prevalence of alliteration (repeated initial consonants). Which slogans do you like the most? How do they work and why do they appeal to you? Circle/underline the sound effects and be ready to explain your observations to the class.

  • Harley Davidson – American by Birth. Rebel by Choice.

  • Volkswagen – Think Small.

  • IBM – Solutions for a smart planet.

  • Energizer – Keeps going and going and going.

  • PlayStation – Live in your world. Play in ours.

  • Blogger – Push button publishing.

  • Canon – See what we mean

  • Kodak – Share moments. Share life.

  • Disneyland – The happiest place on earth.

  • Holiday Inn – Pleasing people the world over.

  • Fortune – For the men in charge of change.

  • Ajax – Stronger than dirt.

  • Coca Cola – Twist the cap to refreshment.

  • M&Ms – Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.

  • IBM – Solutions for a smart planet.

  • Energizer – Keeps going and going and going.

  • US Cellular—Believe in Something Better.

  • Raid—It Kills Bugs Dead.

  • Yellow Pages – Let your fingers do the walking.

  • Microsoft—where do you want to go today?


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