"We are Proud to be a Leading Company with Global Reach and Worldwide Impact": Positively Evaluative Lexis in the Language of Recruitment Advertising

Pavel Reich

Abstract


Companies’ positive self-presentation has become an essential part of job advertising and helps employers attract potential applicants for the vacancies they are offering. This paper focuses on the various forms of positively evaluative lexis that appears in the company profiles cited on the employment website Monster.com. Evaluative or loaded words can be defined as words that evaluate reality either in a positive or a negative way, thus evoking in people a positive or a negative attitude towards a particular subject, in this case the potential employer.

The analysis is both qualitative and quantitative and is based on the three-pronged approach, i.e. the combination of manual analysis of individual texts, small-scale corpus analysis and large-scale corpus analysis. It is based primarily on Appraisal Theory, focusing predominantly on the category of attitude expressed in the vocabulary used. However, the analysis has shown that the persuasive techniques of employers trying to attract applicants are rather complex and it has proved necessary to take into account notions from other theories, namely Orientational Metaphor and the concept of the so-called Purr Words, i.e. words whose conceptual meaning is backgrounded by its positive connotations. This concept has recently been developed mostly under the name of Schlagwort within the field of Politolinguistik in Germany, but, as the analysis has shown, can usefully be transferred from political discourse to corporate discourse, including the discourse of recruitment.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.sal.33.0.20081


Keywords


recruitment advertising; evaluation; appraisal; purr word; orientational metaphor; semantic prosody; doublespeak

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Print ISSN: 1648-2824
Online ISSN: 2029-7203