Abstract Title

Rhetorical Criticism of Ambigrams in Advertising

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising | Speech and Rhetorical Studies

Abstract

This rhetorical analysis explores how ambigrams, or words that can be read normally and upside-down, are effective at illustrating the complexity of depression. The framework of Purposeful Diachronic Polysemy was used to analyze a depression awareness campaign entitled “The Hidden Pain.” This framework requires that multiple meanings are intentionally constructed in the mind of a single viewer. Analysis shows how having multiple distinct meanings can actually promote one collective message. Implications include recognizing how the limitations of language can be textually/visually mediated by ambigrams and other instances of multiple meanings.

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Poster #Th47

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Rhetorical Criticism of Ambigrams in Advertising

This rhetorical analysis explores how ambigrams, or words that can be read normally and upside-down, are effective at illustrating the complexity of depression. The framework of Purposeful Diachronic Polysemy was used to analyze a depression awareness campaign entitled “The Hidden Pain.” This framework requires that multiple meanings are intentionally constructed in the mind of a single viewer. Analysis shows how having multiple distinct meanings can actually promote one collective message. Implications include recognizing how the limitations of language can be textually/visually mediated by ambigrams and other instances of multiple meanings.