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English Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Visuals and Verbals

Putting down the Anchor

The major visual images in posters and advertisements - usually pictures or photographs - are often associated with words. The central focus, or dominant image, in a poster or advertisement may be obvious from its positioning at the centre of the poster or advertisement. However, words often anchor the meaning of the visual image and reduce the number of possible interpretations by removing some of the ambiguities and by suggesting a dominant or most likely reading.

Anchorage is an important function of the words in any advertisement. The imperatives, questions, statements, or slogans, often using the first and second person pronouns "we" and "you", are ways of anchoring meaning. So are the puns, hyperboles, cliches, metaphors, and similes that attract attention. Jargon, neologisms, colloquialisms, slang, and repetition are features of verbal language common in advertisements and help to anchor meaning. The punctuation can also clarify meaning or be designed to cause the reader to pause and examine the meaning closely.

Summary of Terms

anchor anchorage

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Published on: 07 May 2009