The narrative we find in TV advertisement especially abounds in scientific terms that the viewers hardly understand. The apparently ‘scientific’ language induces them to believe in the modern myth of science as absolute truth, which inevitably produces alienation from reality. The more such language triumphs, the more alienation they suffer without knowing it. Such is our situation today that reminds us of the time of Nazi in which alienating language was dominant. However, whether the use of scientific language on TV advertisement becomes alienating or not depends on the socio-cultural context of the viewers. For example, in Japan where the tradition gives more power and space to the ‘signifiant’ than the ‘signifié’, scientific terms used in advertisement are not necessarily meant to indicate ‘truth’ but just play the role of fascinating signifiants that stimulate the viewers’ dream of paradise, of a wonderland. Those viewers momentarily impersonate ‘the modern Westerners’, enjoying the participation in a collective dream which gives them much pleasure. If they purchase the advertised product, it is not because they believe its effect is scientifically proved but because it invites them to share the collective dream stimulated by the advertisement. One may say it is a semiotic paradox for the ununderstandable makes sense in their mind.
De Prada Vicente, Maria Jesus.
"A Semiotic Paradox: Scientific Language in the Narrative of TV Advertisement-."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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