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What is Emotive Language? Definition, Examples of Emotional Language

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Emotive language definition: Emotive language is word choice that is used to evoke emotion. Emotive language could also be called emotional language.

What is Emotive Language?

What does emotive language mean? Emotive language pertains to word choice. Specific diction is used to evoke emotion in the reader.

Word choice greatly effects how writing and speech is received. Different words can be used to cause different reactions in the audience.

Define emotional language

  • This sentence is not emotive. It is a command, but it does not cause an emotional reaction.
  • This sentence is emotive. It suggests an action that elicits an emotional response. Don’t you want to save the planet? How could you choose to not recycle since it saves the planet?
  • The emotive response causes a reaction or a response.

Examples of Emotive Language in Everyday Life

What does emotive mean

Oftentimes, news headlines use emotive language to hook the audience.

Here are a few examples.

  • The words “innocent” and “murdered” and the phrase “in cold blood” are the uses of emotive language in this sentence.
  • The words “monster,” “violated,” and “underage” are the uses of emotive language in this sentence.
  • The phrases “defenseless victims” and “cover of night” and the word “attacked” are the uses of emotive language in this sentence.

In each example the emotive words do not need to be used to communicate a fact. However, this diction creates an emotional response in the audience.

The Effect of Emotive Language

Emotive words

This audience manipulation is a type of rhetoric. Consequently, emotive language can cause an audience to take action or to argue with the speaker.

Emotive language should not be overused. Furthermore, it should be used when there is a purpose the speaker wishes to achieve. Using emotive language effectively can be very beneficial to a speaker.

How Emotive Language is Used in Literature

Emotive words definition

One strong use of rhetoric throughout his speech is emotive language. The following is just one excerpt.

“One hundred years later the life of the Negro is still badly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.”

Here, Doctor King uses emotive (and figurative) language to stir up his audience. He wants them to feel unsettled and bothered. He wants them to take action in the Civil Rights Movement. Vividly, he depicts what the African American’s life is like in contrast to a White man’s experience.

Define emotive language: the definition of emotive language is language used to evoke emotions from an audience.

In summary , emotive language:

  • is intended to cause an emotional response in the audience
  • is a type of diction that can be used to persuade the audience
  • should be used purposefully and mindfully

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Emotive Language

What is emotive language.

  • The regime's soldiers massacred the untrained and unwilling combatants.
  • Our soldiers heroically captured the terrorists' lair.
  • Our soldiers neutralized the enemy threat.

Table of Contents

Easy Examples of Emotive Language

Real-life examples of emotive language, emotive language using connotation.

Why Emotive Language Is Important

emotive_language examples

  • The victims were executed in cold blood.
  • The men were killed.
  • Non-emotive version : Another person in the bar was injured by the man's glass.
  • Emotive version : An innocent bystander suffered facial injuries when the thug launched his glass across the bar.
  • Non-emotive version : The government will reduce interest rates.
  • Emotive version : The government will slash interest rates.
  • Non-emotive version : Mr Smith was attacked by Mr Jones for two minutes.
  • Emotive version : For what seemed a lifetime, Mr Smith was subjected to a vicious, cowardly assault by the unemployed, steroid-pumped monster.

Tell It and Judge It

  • He is svelte.
  • He is skinny.
  • You are meticulous.
  • You are nitpicking.
  • You are unassuming.
  • You are plain.

(Reason 1) Influence others.

  • Lee begged / asked / pestered passers-by for help.
  • The flames barely illuminated Lee's svelte / willowy / skinny figure.

(Reason 2) Don't be influenced by others.

  • State the facts and judge the facts using emotive language.
  • Use the subtle differences between synonyms to influence your readers unassertively but effectively.

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For a Persuasive Speech, Use Emotional Language

Giving a persuasive speech? You'd better start out by being credible. And that means coming across as hard-headed and all-business, without any emotional involvement.

Accessing Your Emotional Intelligence

When was the last time you made an important decision solely from facts without any emotional involvement? Chances are you’ve never done that. We all make critical decisions from the gut. Only afterwards do we justify our choices with rational arguments. 

The more important the decision, the more likely we are to do so.

In fact, there's a very good biological reason we act this way.

You know the left brain-right brain dichotomy: the left brain controls logic, language, and reasoning; and the right hemisphere takes care of creativity, emotions, and decision-making?

Notice that decisions and emotions are located in the same part of the brain? Obviously, removing all emotional input would be a terrible personal choice when it comes to making an important decision. How then could we eliminate emotional arguments when we're trying to persuade an audience?

Listeners are Persuaded by Emotional Language

When it comes to persuading people through speech, it's helpful to remember that audience members want to be influenced. That means that most of your listeners will not be actively resistant to your message. But for true influence to occur, an audience must believe in your honesty and trustworthiness as well as your expertise.  And that's where emotional language and emotionally-based arguments come into play.

Perhaps focus groups have shown that your company's marketing approach makes sense . . . but what was the strongest emotional argument that you heard from those groups? You can tell your team that you're going to be providing them with information they need to use the new software . . . or that you and they are going to have a blast today learning the features of this fabulous new product. Do the numbers look good for the new product roll-out . . . or is everyone fired up about how this is going to blow away the competition?

Yes, your presentation has to be professional.  But don't forget that you're usually speaking to the hearts as well as the minds of your listeners. Let outsiders think your material is dry as dust. Your job is to wear your passion on your sleeve.

Any time persuasion is involved in speaking, emotions will be (must be) part of the mix. Count on it.

So learn to use emotion to your advantage whenever you speak. Deliver the results and the numbers that are expected of you. But also find the emotional heart of what you’re saying—the thing that makes your message beat with a discernible pulse.

Your information will educate your audience. But emotion will intrigue them and make you a memorable speaker.

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Tags: persuasive speaking , public speaking , emotional speaking , emotion in speeches , emotional intelligence

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Understanding emotive language and connotations

Understanding emotive language and connotations

It can be easy to spot emotive language and connotations in persuasive texts, but for effective analysis, the deeper meaning and intent behind their use needs to be explored. This week, Insight writer and English teacher Kylie Nealon outlines how to explore and analyse emotive language and connotations for Section C of the English exam.

Emotive language and connotations are language features that are often used to persuade an audience to feel a certain way. While these features are generally easy to identify, the deeper meaning and intent behind their use is not always immediately clear. In order to succeed in analysing the use of argument and persuasive language, you must be able to identify and explore the effects of these techniques.

Before you master analysis of the techniques, you must first ensure that you have a sound grasp of the basics of both emotive language and connotations.

What does emotive language actually mean?

Emotive language refers to language designed to target an emotion – positive, negative, sometimes deliberately neutral – and to make the audience respond on an emotional level to the idea or issue being presented. For example, further below we see Martin Luther King talk about the innocence of ‘little black boys and girls’ in relation to the issue of racism.

What does it look like?

Let’s take a look at an extract of a speech given by actor Charlie Day in 2014:

‘You cannot let a fear of failure or a fear of comparison or a fear of judgement stop you from doing the things that will make you great. You cannot succeed without the risk of failure. You cannot have a voice without the risk of criticism. You cannot love without the risk of loss. You must take these risks.’

All of Day’s language choices in this speech are designed to evoke an emotional, heartfelt response in his audience. He attempts to evoke this response by using a number of words with strong positive and negative associations. The terms that convey negative emotions include ‘failure’, ‘criticism’, ‘risks’ and the repeated ‘fear’; these all work to create feelings of unease or anxiety in the reader. However, Day’s repeated use of ‘cannot’ encourages the reader to reject these negative feelings, and to give much more importance to the terms with strong positive emotions: ‘great’ and ‘love’.

As with all persuasive techniques, emotive language does not work alone but combines with other techniques. In Day’s speech these other techniques include:

  • challenging/confronting his audience with the use of the second-person pronoun ‘you’
  • confronting his audience with the idea that achievement comes at a cost, but one that is necessary
  • concluding his point with an imperative, through the command term ‘must’.

Another notable example of emotive language use is Martin Luther King’s 1963 ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Throughout this speech King uses repetition (e.g. the phrase ‘I have a dream …’), but his genius comes from the emotive approach he takes. One example of this is his reference to his ‘dream’ that children (connoting innocence) will be liberated from ‘vicious racists’ (connoting destruction and hatred): ‘little black boys and girls … able to join hands with little white boys and girls as sisters and brothers’. King’s use of highly emotive language was intended to appeal to his listeners’ sense of compassion and empathy. As a preacher, he called on his language skills and sounded as though he was giving a sermon; his cadence and flow were deliberately paced throughout, heightening the impact of his emotionally loaded language.

What is connotation ?

Connotation refers to what is suggested or implied by language – in other words, the extra meanings beyond a literal interpretation. Different words carry different associations, which makes word selection very important when trying to evoke a specific reaction in an audience. Colour association is one of the simplest ways to understand this concept. We associate red with passion and danger, white with purity and black with death. Sometimes connotation can be deliberately played with by the writer/speaker in order to call attention to, or subvert, a specific association.

In her stirring speech to the troops at Tilbury in 1588, Elizabeth I deliberately called attention to her physical limitations while emphasising her inspirational strengths:

‘I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king …’

In this extract, Elizabeth uses the words’ heart’ and ‘stomach’ not for their literal meanings, but for their connotations of spirit and courage. That is, she is stating that although she is a woman in a man’s world and lacks the physical strength of a man, she has the strength of feeling and courage – the inner strength – generally associated with a king.

Analysing emotive language and connotations

Now that you have a sound grasp of what emotive language and connotation are, it is time to get analysing! Your first step should be to consider what emotional response the writer/speaker desires from their audience. Is it anger, pride, pity, sadness or joy? Secondly, how does this emotional response relate to the writer’s overall argument and purpose?

Another key aspect to consider when analysing language techniques is placement . If a writer or speaker starts off with angry phrases, might this enrage or turn off the intended audience? Or does it create a ‘them and us’ scenario with which the reader might identify?

It is crucial to consider emotive language in the context of the argument(s) being presented in the piece. Ask yourself these questions as you’re analysing a text:

  • How does the use of emotional language change according to the argument being presented?
  • Does the language ‘amp up’ or soften depending on what is being discussed?
  • What kinds of connotations would different audiences respond to?

Remember, religious beliefs, gender, age and socioeconomic factors also influence the effects that emotive language and connotations can have on an audience. A text that is interpreted positively by one person could be taken in a very different way by someone of a different background.

Focus on the intent and the execution of emotive language and connotations in the piece(s) you discuss, and explain their effects on the audience . Having said that, there are a number of ways you can approach the analysis of argument and language, and assessors like to see independent, well-supported ideas. Let that guide you as you continue your preparations for the end-of-year exam.

Need help with analysing argument and persuasive language? Insight’s Argument & Persuasive Language by Melanie Napthine is a workbook and textbook in one, and covers the analysis of argument and of persuasive language in a variety of media texts, including newspaper texts, web-based texts, oral texts and visual texts.

Argument & Persuasive Language is produced by Insight Publications , an independent Australian publishing company .

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6 Best Persuasion Techniques That You Can Use in Your Speeches

persuasive speech emotive language

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6 Best Persuasion Techniques That You Can Use in Your Speeches

Should you learn verbal persuasion techniques that can make your speeches more effective? 

Well, if you aim to inspire, convince, and transform perspectives about a specific topic, or perhaps to bargain more effectively, the answer is yes. 

The power of persuasion can not only help you in your professional life but in your personal life too. These persuasion skills and influencing tactics can make you a more effective and competent speaker, irrespective of your topic or industry.

Is it Ethical to Use Persuasion Techniques as a Speaker? 

When you can convince the world of your authenticity with your words alone, you are not just a better orator, but a better communicator, with the ability to play many roles.  For instance, as a sales executive, you can use your persuasion skills to influence others, gain their trust, and ensure that they like you right away and are willing to listen to you. This is the key to selling .

As a speaker, persuading your audience helps them relate to you, so they understand and agree with your viewpoint. 

Learning how to persuade, convince, or sell your innovative ideas to your audience while delivering a speech is an invaluable skill that helps you excel.

If a speaker is misleading their audience for their personal gain or promoting something unethical or unlawful, using persuasion techniques for these purposes is a bad idea.

Ethical persuasion techniques have some general characteristics that let you:

Explain your viewpoint

Explore and discuss the other person's viewpoint

Create resolutions

Notably, when a speaker adopts an ethical approach, they get input from their audience, and they offer an authentic, truthful explanation of their outlook. 

As a speaker you must carefully consider your persuasion strategy and topic to ensure that you communicate a message that is ethical. To avoid coercing your audience, it is also imperative for you to use emotional and logical appeals responsibly.

Best 6 Persuasion Techniques You can Use in Your Speeches 

Here are some expert-recommended ways you can command your audience's attention during a speech and convince them of your expertise. 

Rhetorical Questions 

Asking rhetorical questions is a great way to persuade your audience when delivering a speech. This adds a dramatic effect to your address; your audience knows you aren't expecting an answer, but it gets them thinking about the point you’re making. 

So rhetorical questions and comments effectively engage your audience and keep them hooked to your speech. However, don't make the mistake of overusing rhetorical techniques because that can make you sound unsure, repetitive, and unprofessional. 

Also, know that this persuasion technique forces your listeners to think. It asks open-ended questions to the audience without providing them with an answer. This encourages them to think about different solutions and explore unique and innovative ideas/possibilities that they might not have considered otherwise.

Rhetorical questions also evoke emotions and help you emphasize a point. They help you better convince listeners to consider what you're saying seriously.

Personal Anecdotes

Telling brief stories about your life experiences is an excellent persuasion approach to public speaking. As long as you can tell your story in an engaging, shocking, touching, proactive, or humorous way, rest assured that you've made an impact.  Typically, these stories last no more than a few minutes, preferably much less, and give your audience a deeper understanding of what you're trying to tell them, while also entertaining them. 

However, that doesn't mean that you should make your entire speech into a personal anecdote. Leverage this technique sparingly but practically. 

Present a story by backing up your arguments with facts, hammer down your central idea, and highlight your takeaway to the audience. Also, it is imperative to position your anecdote in your speech tactically, as that is a big part of what will determine its purpose and effectiveness.

Used well, an anecdote can introduce an idea, make it relatable to your audience, reiterate the message, and ultimately ingrain your message/idea into the minds of your audience.

Be Descriptive And Authentic

It is vital to bring your story to life by describing it appropriately and authentically. When relating an anecdote, elaborate on what you heard, saw, and felt at that point in your time.

It is also important to ensure that you sound credible and genuine to the audience. Otherwise, you can't earn the trust and integrity needed to persuade listeners. Don't make anything up, because more often than not, audiences will quickly catch on to that and you will lose them. 

For example, in this video, you can learn to structure and write a persuasive presentation or speech and include the problem, solution, and advantages in the same order.

Follow The "Rule Of Three" Or Tricolon 

A Tricolon, also referred to as the "Rule of three," is another useful persuasion technique. 

The human brain absorbs and retains information more efficiently when that information is packaged in threes. Consider three to be the magic number, and try using a set of three phrases, clauses, or words to get a point across. As long as you don’t overdo it, doing so makes what you say more memorable, interesting, and exciting. This rule works well in writing too.

You can learn more about persuasive speaking basics here.

Decide on an Overarching Theme

Don't share too much information too quickly. You need to communicate your ideas in a way that provides value to your audience.

You should unify your address under a centralized and overarching theme to create simplicity and coherence in your presentation. Avoid disparate tidbits, unrelated rants, and long-winded tangents. 

Doing this will make it more manageable for your listeners to follow along and understand the predominant theme of your presentation.

Convey Your Message Through Emotive Language

One of the most actionable persuasion techniques is to leverage emotive language in your speech. Choose phrases and words that appeal to your audience's emotions. 

Emotional triggers can be experiences, events, or memories that spark an intense reaction emotionally. Using these also helps you connect with, engage, and hook your audience to your speech and the message you are trying to convey.

Therefore, building your speech's structure around emotion is a powerful way to convince your audience. However, it is important to ensure that you don't confuse an emotional appeal with manipulation.

Great Resources on Improving Persuasion Skills 

Speaking persuasively is a talent that requires effort and consideration. However, the hard work will pay off spectacularly in the long run. 

Here are some resources to help you learn and practice your persuasion skills:

Workshops And Courses

You can increase the quality of your interactive and engaging sessions with your audience by enrolling in a speaking course. 

Training will provide practical, actionable, and valuable tips that you can implement in your speeches and everyday communication. Workshops, courses and online learning platforms are excellent places to start building and improving skills you can practice in real-life scenarios.

For example, Skills Converged offers various courses and training sessions to help you hone your persuasion skills.

Great Resources on Improving Persuasion Skills

Books are excellent fonts of information and knowledge. They seep things into your mind, trigger creativity, and transform perspectives. Books can provide excellent advice on presentation skills, public speaking, communication, etc. 

While some books focus on inspiring your audience to help them build confidence and realize their self-worth, others offer practical insights on preparation, writing, and body language. 

So whether you require material advice or motivational energy, books are a great way to achieve your goal.

For instance, an influential and informative book like " Win Your Case: How to Present, Persuade, and Prevail–Every Place, Every Time " by Gerry Spence is a great read that can help you improve your persuasion and presenting skills alike.

persuasive speech emotive language

Another book I would recommend is " Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion " by Robert Cialdini. This is a classic book on persuasion that explains the psychology and reasoning behind people saying yes, and explains how to apply those understandings.

persuasive speech emotive language

Videos are another valuable resource to help you hone and improve your persuasion skills. For many, the visual format is an easy form to absorb tips. You can follow motivational videos at your own pace, and learn new concepts that can help you convince your audience. 

So if you want to invigorate your persuasive techniques through video, you have various platforms available to you. For instance, YouTube has a wide choice of videos addressing presentation skills. You can get transcripts of the YouTube videos quickly by using this transcription service without having to manually listen through it and type down each word.

For example, this video can help you with preparing and delivering an excellent persuasive speech. Also, you can find an expansive list of communication concepts with implementation strategies that you can leverage in your speeches.

There are many other videos on YouTube and other platforms that can help you work on your speaking and persuasion skills. You can find several expert communication coaches who offer comprehensive videos on the art of persuasion. Communication Coach Alex Lyon has a YouTube channel that provides online courses to help people with their persuasion skills.

Communication Coach Alex Lyon

Source : YouTube

Wrapping Up

Whether an influencer, leader, salesperson, or speaker, you can benefit greatly by enhancing your ability to persuade and convince your audience. This is the key to getting people to sit up and take notice of who you are. It gets them to buy into your products, ideas, services, or even social causes and fundraising.

Work on the persuasion techniques mentioned above to deliver a valuable speech, negotiate a sales deal, etc. These are tried and trusted techniques that will help you achieve your public speaking goals.

About the author:

Will Cannon is the founder of Signaturely . He is an experienced marketer with profound knowledge in lead generation, communication, email marketing, demand generation, and customer acquisition. He offers actionable techniques on improving customer experience and increasing business ROI.

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Emotive Language in Business Communication: Definition, Examples, & More

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In business communication, where every utterance is a strategic move, words become not just tools but potent weapons.

The lexicon we use in business communication can be a double-edged sword. Words can influence and impact situations and people around us, both positively and negatively.

In this blog post, we’ll delve deeper into emotive language in business communication and explore the nuances of loaded terms that can make or break a deal, shape a company’s reputation, and leave a lasting mark on the minds of your audience.

We’ll answer the following questions:

What is emotive language?

Is the use of emotive language positive or negative.

  • What is loaded language?
  • How to best show emotion in business communication?

We’ve also prepared examples of emotive language in action, ranging from advertisements to famous speeches. Additionally, we’ve covered the loaded language fallacy and prepared examples of loaded terms.

Let’s start.

Emotive language in business communication - cover

Table of Contents

Emotive language refers to the use of words, phrases, or expressions specifically chosen to elicit strong emotions and reactions . 

Emotive language can evoke positive emotions, such as:

  • Excitement,

However, emotive communication can also evoke negative emotions, such as:

  • Frustration,

Emotive language is used in various forms of communication, including:

  • Literature, 
  • Advertising, 
  • Political speeches, and 
  • Persuasive writing . 

This type of language is used to persuade or influence people by appealing to their emotions rather than relying on rational arguments, especially in advertising and journalism.

For example, consider the following sentence:

“ She held a speech after her win. ”

This is an objective description of events. We have no way of knowing how she felt, what the speech was about, or how the audience reacted.

In contrast, we have the following sentence:

“ Her heartwarming story of perseverance and triumph moved the entire audience to tears. ”

This example evokes emotions in the reader. You may sense a feeling of joy for her win, respect for her hard work, and empathy for the teary-eyed audience.

In this example, words like “ heartwarming ”, “ perseverance ”, “ triumph ”, and the expression “ moved to tears ”, are examples of emotive language. They are specifically used to elicit an emotional response from the reader.

Emotive language can also be used in business communication. Although professional communication typically emphasizes clarity, professionalism, and objectivity, the judicious use of emotive language can be a powerful tool for achieving specific goals.

What kind of words are used in emotive communication?

The words you choose have a significant impact on how your message is received. This is the main principle behind emotive language.

For example, describing a dress as “ vintage” carries a positive connotation. It evokes nostalgic and sentimental feelings and has the reader imagining all the previous good memories made in the dress. However, an “ old ” dress doesn’t evoke any of the positive emotions mentioned before. 

This is because certain words carry more than one meaning — they have an emotive meaning with positive or negative connotations. These words are called loaded terms . 

Here are just a few examples of loaded terms:

  • Traditional (values),
  • Green (energy).

Some synonymous words can carry vastly different connotations. Bertrand Russell first described this phenomenon as emotional conjugation . The most famous example that Russell gave for emotional conjugation is the following:

“I am firm , you are obstinate , he is a pig-headed fool.”

Although all three words are synonyms for stubborn, each one carries a different connotational meaning. 

The word firm has a positive connotation, as it’s often used to describe people who are confident in their beliefs and in control.

Obstinate is usually a fairly neutral term to describe someone who is stubborn.

On the other hand, calling someone pig-headed may land you in trouble because of the strong negative connotation the term carries.

Therefore, your choice of words can greatly influence the way your message is interpreted and what kind of emotions it evokes.

The use of emotive language is not inherently positive or negative. It can sway both ways depending on the:

  • Intent, and
  • Ethical considerations.

When used responsibly and authentically, emotive language can have positive effects and can:

  • Improve communication ,
  • Deepen connections ,
  • Inspire change,
  • Evoke genuine emotions, and
  • Raise awareness about important issues.

However, emotive language can have negative consequences when used inappropriately. 

If emotive language is used in a manipulative and deceptive way, it can:

  • Mislead and deceive,
  • Reinforce bias and prejudice ,
  • Divert attention from a lack of substance or evidence,
  • Perpetuate harm, and
  • Exploit vulnerable individuals.

Is the use of emotive language at work positive or negative?

In the context of professional communication, emotive language can have both positive and negative effects.

Let’s go over some of them.

Positive aspects of using emotive language at work

Here are some positive aspects of using emotive language in business communication:

  • Boosted motivation and team morale — Emotive language can inspire and motivate team members to perform their best. Expressing encouragement, enthusiasm, and appreciation can boost team morale and motivation.
  • Improved leadership communication — Leaders who connect with team members on an emotional level can build stronger relationships and create more supportive teams.
  • Better conflict resolution — Using empathetic language can help resolve conflicts and deal with difficult conversations . Showing understanding and empathy can help de-escalate situations and find mutually beneficial solutions.
  • Positive company culture — Emotive language can contribute to building a positive company culture by reinforcing shared values, goals, and a sense of belonging.
  • Boosted creativity and innovation — Encouraging employees with positive and emotive language can foster creativity and innovation in the workplace. 

Negative aspects of using emotive language at work

On the other hand, emotive language is not always appropriate at work. 

Here are a couple of negative effects emotive language can have at work:

  • Manipulation — Emotive language can be used to manipulate or coerce employees into certain decisions or behaviors. It can also be a gaslighting tactic .
  • Inauthenticity — If employees perceive emotive language as insincere, it can erode trust and damage relationships in the workplace.
  • Conflict escalation — Emotive language can also negatively affect conflicting situations. If used inappropriately, emotive language can lead to heated arguments or misunderstandings.
  • Bias and prejudice — Using loaded language in the workplace can lead to discrimination, harassment, or exclusionary behavior. This can turn a positive work environment into a hostile one.
  • Overemphasis on emotion — If rational and logical aspects of decision-making are overlooked in favor of emotions, it can lead to poor choices and missed opportunities.

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If we take into consideration all of the positive and negative aspects of emotive language in business communication, we can conclude that it’s mostly dependent on context and intent. 

The use of emotive language at work can motivate, inspire, and build positive relationships. It can contribute to a healthy work environment and help leaders connect with their teams. 

However, you should be careful to use emotive language with authenticity, empathy, and sensitivity to avoid manipulation, conflict, or reinforcement of biases.

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Using emotive language in the workplace can lead to heated arguments. If you want to know how to diffuse conflicts in the workplace, here are 15 phrases you may find useful:

  • 15 Conflict resolution phrases to use to diffuse conflict at work

Is the use of emotive language in marketing positive or negative?

Marketing experts are well aware of the impact emotive language can have on individuals and their incentive to spend money. Therefore, emotive language is often used in advertising to influence customers to buy more.

CEO Brand Strategist and Founder of FreshSage Brand Agency, Emma Weise , explains how using emotive language in advertising can be a double-edged sword:

Emma Weise

“People buy based on emotions. So when you’re building a brand [especially one that’s online], emotions are used to connect with potential clients, create a clear picture, and build trust. When used properly, emotive language is powerful. 

We see it playing out on web pages, company brand collateral, and social media.

That being said, there is danger in using emotive language in a disingenuous way — as it could easily break trust or manipulate the audience, and needs to be used wisely.”

Therefore, as in any other sphere, emotive language in advertising can be a powerful tool only if used correctly.

Is emotive language appropriate in all circumstances?

The answer is — not necessarily.

Business communication emphasizes professionalism and objectivity. However, as we’ve explored, there are instances where emotive language can be appropriate and even beneficial. 

However, it’s crucial to strike a balance between emotive language and factual and professional communication. 

You need to be able to discern when using emotive language is appropriate. 

We talked to Douglas Noll , a lawyer and a professional mediator with decades of experience, who agrees that emotional intelligence is needed to be able to use emotive language appropriately:

Douglas Noll

“The emotionally competent person will use discernment when to express emotions. The emotionally incompetent person will have little discernment.”

Additionally, the appropriateness of emotive language may vary on factors such as:

  • Cultural considerations,
  • Level of professionalism, and
  • Situational context.

Therefore, it’s essential to approach each situation with nuance and consideration for the specific context. 

If you want to learn more about emotional intelligence and why it’s so important in the workplace, make sure to read our blog post:

  • Emotional intelligence in the workplace

Examples of positive and negative emotive language

After considering the possible positive and negative effects of using emotive language, let’s see it in action. 

We have a couple of examples of emotive language in advertising and business communication to show how emotive language can be used in different situations.

Emotive language examples in advertising

Firstly, we’ll take a look at a couple of examples of emotive language in advertising. We’ve included famous examples by Nike, Nivea, and Coca-Cola.

Emotive language used by Nike

Firstly, Nike’s iconic slogan, “Just Do It” , is an example of emotive language. It inspires people to take action, overcome obstacles, and push forward.

Additionally, in their Facebook ad, Nike used expressions such as “gear up for your next personal best” , “greatest energy return” , and “propulsive feel through the finish line” to make the audience feel like world-class athletes — or at least the best version of themselves. 

persuasive speech emotive language

As a result, they will connect that feeling and Nike’s shoes, making them more likely to buy Nike’s products over another brand’s.

Emotive language used by Nivea

In the example below, two out of three words Nivea used in their campaign were loaded words ( “white” and “purity” ), which caused accusations of racial insensitivity. 

persuasive speech emotive language

In this example, it’s evident that emotive language was used inappropriately and, instead of bringing in customers, Nivea alienated a big part of their consumer base by using these loaded words.

Some brands go down the route of controversial ads on purpose, as they tend to evoke strong emotional responses. That’s no accident — when people feel strongly about something, it’s more likely they will comment on it and share it, giving the brand free promotion.

This is especially true in today’s advertising, where “going viral” is the best form of marketing.

Emotive language used by Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola’s “Open Happiness” campaign is a prime example of emotive language in advertising. It’s a simple phrase that suggests that by drinking a Coca-Cola, consumers will unlock happiness and share moments of joy with others. 

persuasive speech emotive language

The campaign uses emotive language to associate feelings of joy and happiness with their own product.

Emotive communication in PR

Emotive communication is also commonly used in PR, which comes as no surprise. According to British authors Trevor Morris and Simon Goldsworthy , “Public Relations is the planned persuasion of people to behave in ways that further its sponsor’s objectives.”

They use words that trigger emotions such as anticipation or sadness, as well as words that help the audience envision what they’re talking about. 

For example, “Sorry that I’m organizing this press conference so early in the morning, but I was anxious to share this huge news.” or “I’m heartbroken to announce that…” .

Emotive language examples in business communication

Emotive language can be used in the workplace in different ways. Let’s explore some examples of positive and negative emotive language in business communication.

Examples of positive emotive language in business communication

Emotive language can, for instance, be a way to show passion for what you’re working on. As such, it’s a great tool to motivate your team and inspire them to do their best.

You should give it a try if you want to improve employee engagement .

In the example below, John uses expressions such as “I’m thrilled” , “incredible job” , and “we will continue to do more amazing things” to emphasize how proud he is of his team and to motivate them to keep up the good work. If you got a similar message from your team leader, wouldn’t you feel happy and valued too?

persuasive speech emotive language

Examples of negative emotive language in business communication

On the flip side, emotive language can be used in much sneakier, more manipulative ways — such as using euphemisms and ambiguous wording to:

  • Make difficult tasks sound easier and more desirable to do,
  • Get others to do what’s beneficial for you (but not necessarily for them), or
  • Write a job listing in a way that makes a position sound much better than it actually is. 

In the example below, Sarah uses emotive language to persuade Matt to take on her workload. 

She uses expressions such as “huge favor” , “lend me a hand” , and “save the day” to make him feel obligated to help her. She also emphasizes how hard it is for her by saying that she’s “overwhelmed” and “drained” .

persuasive speech emotive language

Although these phrases are not negative or harmful by nature, using them to manipulate others is an example of how emotive language in the workplace can be a malicious choice.

Pro tip: If a job listing contains phrases such as “we wear a lot of hats” , “our ideal candidate doesn’t rattle easily” , or “you have to be able to work in a dynamic environment” , that probably means you’ll be stressed and overworked.

Examples of loaded language

Loaded language can shape the perception of issues, ideologies, and individuals by using emotional or biased language. 

Loaded terms can be found in various contexts, including: 

  • Everyday life, 
  • Social issues, 
  • Politics, and 
  • Advertising.

Loaded terms have a meaning beyond the literal meaning of the word . They have an emotive dimension, with connotations that are not explicitly stated. 

In psychological terms, loaded words have an emotional valence, because they generate a reaction that leads to an emotion.

Let’s take a look at some examples of loaded language.

Example #1: Freedom fighter vs terrorist

The term “freedom fighter” carries a positive connotation, implying that the fight is for a just cause. 

On the other hand, the term “terrorist” is highly negative and implies unnecessary violence and harm to innocent people.

Example #2: Undocumented immigrant vs illegal alien

The phrase “undocumented immigrant” is seen as a more neutral and empathetic term that highlights the lack of legal documentation. 

However,  “illegal alien” focuses more on the violation of laws and naturally carries a negative connotation. 

Example #3: Renewable energy vs green energy

“Green energy” carries an environmental meaning, implying a commitment to sustainability in multiple areas of life. 

“Renewable energy”, on the other hand , is a neutral term that simply describes energy sources that are naturally replenished. 

Example #4: Estate tax vs death tax

The terms “estate tax” and “death tax” refer to the same tax policy. However, the difference lies in the emotional impact and framing of this tax.

Those in favor of this tax prefer the neutral term “estate tax” . They emphasize the role of the policy in revenue collection and wealth redistribution.

Conversely, those who oppose this tax often use the term “death tax” to create a negative emotional association. They portray it as an unfair burden on grieving families.

Here are some more examples of loaded words paired with their more neutral synonyms:

Using loaded terms isn’t necessarily bad, but it can lead to negative emotional responses or misunderstandings. 

Furthermore, relying on loaded language to prove your point can lead to the loaded language fallacy.

What is the loaded language fallacy?

The loaded language fallacy occurs when emotionally charged words or phrases are used to manipulate and persuade the audience that your claim is true . Instead of presenting rational arguments such as facts or evidence, people who commit this fallacy appeal to emotions.

To better understand how this fallacy comes into play, let’s have a look at the example below.

Imagine a debate about a proposed increase in taxes to fund education. A politician in favor of the tax increase presents their case:

“We absolutely must support this tax increase. It’s the only way to ensure our children have a good education and bright future, and anyone who opposes this is simply heartless and wants to see our children and schools fail.”

In this example, the speaker is using loaded language to make their argument. They characterize those in opposition of the tax increase as “ heartless ” and imply that supporting the increase is the only way to secure a “ brighter future ”. 

By using these loaded words, the speaker tries to sway the opinions of others through emotional manipulation rather than presenting a rational case for the tax increase.

This fallacy is often employed, both consciously and unconsciously, in various situations, including:

  • Advertising,
  • Entertainment,
  • Storytelling, and
  • Persuasive writing.

It’s important to be aware of loaded language and to consider the underlying reasoning behind arguments rather than just the emotional impact of the words used. 

What are instances of famous emotive language?

Emotive language resonates with people and can leave a lasting impact. 

This can be observed in many contexts, such as:

  • Literature,
  • Speeches, 
  • Public addresses.

Let’s analyze some notable examples of emotive language that has had or still has a lasting impact.

Example #1: Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech (1963)

In this iconic speech about civil rights, King used emotive language to convey his message and vision of racial equality and justice. 

His speech has been described as one of the defining moments of modern American history and as one of the greatest speeches ever delivered. Over 200,000 people were present and, with his emotive and motivational speech, Martin Luther King Jr. managed to connect with the audience and leave an impact still felt more than 50 years later.

The phrase “I have a dream” is an example of emotive language in this speech. King repeated it multiple times to create a rhythmic and emotional cadence that reinforced the central theme of the speech. 

Throughout the speech, King appealed to the emotions of his audience and used emotive language to convey the pain and injustice of racial discrimination. Phrases such as “the chains of discrimination” and “the heat of oppression” evoked strong feelings among the audience.

He also spoke of “the sons of former slaves” and employed the word “brotherhood” , both of which are examples of loaded language. 

King also drew references from the Declaration of Independence and the Bible to connect his message to the nation’s foundational values and principles.

King repeated the loaded term “freedom” in the phrase “Let freedom ring” . He created a sense of progression and emotional intensity by repeating this phrase and listing locations where freedom should ring. The ending of the speech was a call to action, where he urged the audience to “Let freedom ring” and work together toward a brighter future.

Example #2: John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address (1961)

Another example of emotive language in speeches is John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address. He used emotive language to engage the audience and inspire in them a sense of unity and duty as American citizens.

The phrase “My fellow Americans” has been used by politicians before and after Kennedy as a means of bringing politicians closer to the regular citizen. Kennedy employs it several times throughout the speech to appeal to the emotions of the audience. 

The famous line “My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” is an example of emotive language used to emphasize the ideas of selflessness, civic duty, and patriotism. 

Kennedy used phrases such as “pay any price” and “bear any burden” to invoke a sense of determination and commitment to the cause of liberty in the American people. 

He conveys the message that a new era of American history has begun by using emotive language, such as “Let the word go forth” and “The torch has been passed” .

Kennedy also used many other loaded terms to emphasize his points and evoke emotions, such as:

  • “Bondage of mass misery” ,
  • “Free society” ,
  • “My fellow citizens of the world” , and
  • “Eternal vigilance” .

The emotive language used in John F. Kennedy’s speech was strategically employed to engage the audience and underscore the importance of the values and goals he strived to achieve.

Example #3: Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” speech (1941)

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s address following the attack on Pearl Harbor is another example of emotive language in speeches. His speech was so powerful and impactful that it galvanized public support for the US to enter into World War II. It’s an example of how emotive language can influence history.

One of the most iconic and emotionally charged phrases in the speech is the famous line “A date which will live in infamy” . The term “infamy” is loaded with a negative connotation and used in the speech to emphasize the shock and outrage felt by the American people in regard to the attack.

Roosevelt highlighted the sense of betrayal by using loaded terms to describe the attack, such as:

  • “Deliberate” ,
  • “Unprovoked” , and
  • “Dastardly” .

He also stated that “the US was at peace with that nation” , where the phrase “at peace” highlights the contrast between the nation’s peaceful status and the sudden act of war. 

The term “premeditated invasion” is another example of emotive language Roosevelt used in this speech. It suggests careful planning and malicious intent on the part of the attackers and further emphasizes the gravity of the situation.

To suggest that the US is on the side of justice and moral righteousness, Roosevelt uses the phrase “righteous might” .

Roosevelt successfully used emotive language to convey the negative feelings of the American people and to mobilize the nation for war.

Example #4: “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin (1813)

On a less serious note, emotive language is one of the pillars of literature, particularly fiction works centered around love, hardships, and complex emotions.

For example, Jane Austin uses emotive language in “Pride and Prejudice” to convey:

  • Character’s feelings,
  • Societal expectations, and
  • Complexities of romantic relationships.

In the pivotal moment of the novel, Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth. His speech is filled with emotive language as he confesses his love. However, his use of terms loaded with negative connotations lead to an initial rejection by Elizabeth.

He describes his love for Elizabeth as “ constant” and “unyielding” , which shows the intensity of his feelings. He uses emotive language to describe her beauty, describing her with the phrase “the most beautiful creature I have ever beheld” .

Mr. Darcy makes readers’ hearts flutter with the most famous line of the book — “You have bewitched me, body and soul” . The term “bewitched” carries a sense of enchantment and fascination and puts into words just how much Elizabeth has captivated him.

However, his emotive language puts him in an uncomfortable position when he references her family’s low social status. He described her background as “inferior” , which carries a very negative connotation. This makes Elizabeth reject his advances and leaves him heartbroken.

Austin’s clever way of using loaded terms can completely change the tone of conversations of the characters and subtly show the social and emotional intricacies of the time period in which the novel is set.

How best to show emotion in business communication?

Leaving aside speeches and literature, you’re probably wondering how you can best use emotive language in your workplace. 

Well, you certainly don’t need to start your next presentation with the phrase “I have a dream” or describe your upcoming project as “bewitching” to show emotions.

So, how do you appropriately show emotion in the workplace?

Here are a couple of tips to help you navigate emotions in business communication.

Tip #1: Know the difference between “I” statements and “You” statements

Knowing how to express yourself in an appropriate way starts with acknowledging your own emotions.

Our contributor, Douglas Noll, believes that knowing the difference between “I” and “You” statements is crucial:

“Appropriately expressing emotions requires knowledge of the difference between “I” statements and “You” statements. “I” statements are used to express one’s emotions, such as “I am disappointed and frustrated that this report is not what I expected.” “You” statements are used to reflect the emotions of others, such as “You are frustrated and disappointed that the report is not what you expected.” These are skills that must be taught and mastered and are not innate.”

The key to understanding the difference is the fact that “You” statements imply that the listener is responsible for something, which can cause hostility and defensiveness on their part. On the other hand, when using “I” statements, you take responsibility for your feelings and it sounds less hostile.

Tip #2: Use emojis when appropriate

Even though remote work has numerous benefits, it has some disadvantages too — one of them being that it can be hard to show your personality through a computer screen. 

When you’re chatting with your team, don’t be afraid to sprinkle a few emojis here and there. According to Statistics on emoji use in internal communication , emojis positively impact likeability (69%) and credibility (59%), as well as make positive news more sincere (72%). The same statistics reveal that 88% of survey respondents are more likely to empathize with a person if they use an emoji.

They can be used to: 

  • Show friendliness, 
  • Express approval, 
  • Laugh, and 
  • Celebrate the team’s successes.

However, there are a few don’ts when using emojis:

  • Don’t overuse them — Your work messages shouldn’t look like middle schoolers’ texts.
  • Don’t use emojis in serious situations.
  • Don’t use them when you’re communicating with serious, older coworkers — unless you know for sure they’re fans of emojis themselves.
  • Don’t use ambiguous emojis, to avoid misunderstandings. 

If you’re unsure about using emojis in business communications, read the article below to find out more:

  • Should you use emojis in business communication?

Tip #3: Regulate your emotions before responding

You shouldn’t bottle up your emotions, it’s very unhealthy. 

You can’t escape from them — even if you repress emotions in your conscious mind, they may appear in your dreams . 

Bottling up your feelings can also make you more aggressive , according to a study from the University of Texas. The same study also states that not acknowledging your emotions actually makes them stronger.

However, you should try to regulate them before you respond. Elizabeth Suárez, director of the HERS (Higher Education Resource Services) Institute, recommended the CURE tactic in her article for The Business Insider :

  • C : Calm your body. The best way to do this is to take deep breaths, as it enables more air to flow into your body, releasing tension and reducing stress.
  • U : Use positive nonverbal cues. Have open body language , maintain eye contact, and use a calm and pleasant tone of voice. 
  • R : Respond by restating what the other person said and asking for clarification. In the heat of a moment, a speaker can say something they didn’t actually mean or a listener may misunderstand the speaker.
  • E : Engage the other person in conversation by being the first one to admit your mistakes, if you were in the wrong. You can also propose a solution or ask them to help you come up with one that will benefit both of you.

By regulating your emotions before responding, you have a moment to think about what the other person said, and, more importantly, think about how you’re going to react. This can prevent conversations from becoming heated and leading to arguments. 

Tip #4: Be solution-oriented

When you’re dealing with negative emotions, such as stress or frustration, you should be very aware of the way you express them. 

Being passive-aggressive with your coworkers or making snarky remarks is not how a professional should behave. 

Instead, try to be solution-oriented:

  • Identify what made you feel that way and if there’s a way to remove the stressor.
  • Analyze the situation and think if there’s something you should’ve done differently.
  • Seek advice or help if needed.
  • Think about what you can do to de-stress.

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Conclusion: Emotive language can be a positive force when used appropriately

Emotive language can be a powerful tool to:

  • Express yourself,
  • Motivate and inspire others,
  • Connect on a personal level,
  • Be persuasive, and
  • Make others see your point of view.

It’s an incredibly useful tool in advertising and public relations, and it can also be employed in everyday communication with team members.

However, the key to successful emotive communication is to be aware of its potential negative effects and try to avoid them as much as possible.

Furthermore, being aware of the dark sides of emotive language can help you discern between manipulation or coercion and genuine arguments supported by facts.

✉️ What are your thoughts on emotive language? Do you use emotive language? Do you have any tips to share on how to best show emotion in business communication?

Let us know at [email protected] and we may include your answers in this or future posts. And, if you liked this blog post and found it useful, share it with someone who might benefit from it.


Dunja Jovanovic is a content manager at Pumble, leading a team of communication authors and researchers. She has been researching and writing about communication and psychology, especially in a professional setting, since her university days. As she has been working remotely since the beginning of her career, she likes helping others not only survive but also thrive in a virtual work environment.

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  • Published: 30 June 2022

The potential of emotive language to influence the understanding of textual information in media coverage

  • Adil Absattar 1 ,
  • Manshuk Mambetova 1 &
  • Orynay Zhubay 2  

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications volume  9 , Article number:  222 ( 2022 ) Cite this article

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  • Language and linguistics

Online media attempts to influence how people think. The promotion of online discourses and the use of extra-linguistic factors enable a tilt towards a desired way of thinking. Internet users seek, make decisions, and act not only according to their beliefs but also according to the ideas propagated by the media. This paper focuses on public relations formation in a media discourse and an emotive response to news coverage. The paper aims to analyze the use of emotive linguistic means at the level of Kazakh media discourse. Through contextual analysis of emotive vocabulary used in media discourse, the paper explores the cognitive perception of media coverage by readers. This method allows for an in-death study of emotivity. The scientific novelty of the study is that it examines the emotive aspect of the Internet media discourse. The results show that emotivity of the Kazakh media texts is expressed using lexical and syntactic means and is crucial for building public relations and influencing the audience. The studied corpus includes media texts from the three largest online media sources in Kazakhstan. It appears that the culture of Internet media readers plays a decisive role in how they perceive products of communication, even if there are other variables involved in the equation. The use of emotive items in online media debates was found to depend on discourse content and writer’s intentions. A sample of emotive items was used. Content published on politics-oriented online media (Zakon.kz) channeled negative emotions, namely sadness and fear. Online media sources with entertainment content (Kazinform and Sputnik Kazakhstan) were characterized by the presence of such universal emotions as fear, joy, and hope. Positive emotions prevail. In general, the potential of Internet media content to influence readers and manipulation tactics vary depending on the content of the coverage.


In recent years, many technologies have developed, which, with the advent of the Internet, led to the rise of new forms of communication and interpersonal expression (Cheshmedzhieva-Stoycheva, 2018 ). Thanks to technological progress and the mass deployment of information technology, communication and self-expression habits have changed dramatically, entailing the emergence of new linguistic practices. Statistics show that 57% of the world’s population use Internet-based media to obtain information, sharpening receptive skills along the way (Fisher and Mehozay, 2019 ). The immersion into a new language setting underlined the totality of new linguistic forms and styles of communication. Internet media became the central platform for social and public activity, which enables readers to receive various kinds of information with the help of technology (Beloedova and Kazak, 2011 ; Chen et al., 2018 ; Clément and Sangar, 2017 ). Today, citizens have an unprecedented ability to express themselves, make themselves heard, share, and expand their knowledge. The rapid development of technology has changed the way people express themselves (Kaliazhdarova and Ashenova, 2019 ; Kazak et al., 2017 ). The advent of the Internet and social media ushered in an era of debate, giving citizens an opportunity to speak without intermediaries and freely initiate discussions. In a way, those networks facilitated public expression and knowledge sharing. New discursive practices have emerged that became paramount methods and means of exchange and expression today. A recipient now speaks in public and talks with multiple speakers in real time (Sahmeni and Afifah, 2019 ). The numerous online media tools offered for individual and collective liberation act as a trigger and accelerant for social change. The choice of the topic is since the Internet media have become an unusually important tool for communication and marketing. The rational use of visual and textual emotive information is very important for social media marketing because such information significantly influences decision making. The question is how different forms of information (e.g., textual, visual, and audiovisual) in social media affect the reader. For this reason, the emotive vocabulary of the Kazakh Internet media and their emotive impact on the recipient are examined as an example. The choice of article title is also duplicated in methods.

Media content is widely used in all spheres of human activity and for various purposes: in everyday communication, politics, political propaganda, art projects, to display events, and to build public relations, especially at the verbal level (Alemi and Tajeddin, 2020 ; Posternyak and Boeva-Omelechko, 2018 ; Solomon and Steele, 2017 ). Through the integration of media content, language users reimagine writing to enable immediate and spontaneous communication (Dong et al., 2021 ; Fisher and Mehozay, 2019 ).

This research focuses on feelings and emotions that constitute an integral part of speech. Recipients were reported to perceive all events covered in media through an emotive-sensual prism. Thus, it can be seen as a medium of subjectivity (Bateman, 2019 ; Koschut et al., 2017 ; MacDonald, 2017 ). That is what unites, to a certain extent, the emotional or expressive function of language, which, according to Jakobson ( 1987 ), is centered on a sender, who expresses his/her feelings and judgments through speech. Subjectivity is inseparable from language and discourse. In the modern world, the language of the mass media is the leading language used to cover social and other events in the form of a media text (Suvorova and Polyakova, 2018 ), an extra-linguistic unit, the structure of which can vary from a grapheme to sound recorded in an audio file. The media text’s genre is determined by its content. At the same time, media texts are associated with the following four principles: functionality (i.e., influencing the masses), communicativeness (i.e., degree of orientation to different strata), content, and intentionality (i.e., planning to affect the recipients) (Alba-Juez and Larina, 2018 ; Demetriou, 2018 ; Hiltunen, 2021 ). Even with one principle in place, a media text is a media discourse.

This research deals with emotivity concept at the junction of several disciplines (Pawliszko, 2016 ; Polyakova and Suvorova, 2019 ). Previously, researchers did not describe an emotive media discourse in its traditional sense, nor did they analyze the meta-terms associated with the concept of emotion (such as subjectivity, affectivity, and expressiveness). At least, there were none found. The challenge lies in conceptualizing and language in the context of communicative linguistics, language theory, differentiating emotive lexicography, and identifying linguistic means (i.e., language units and context) that make an expressive discourse. The emotive potential of media discourse will define a range of innovative concepts for media communication and uncover the extent to which media texts can manipulate one’s emotions. The present paper presents and explains a typological picture of emotive vocabulary usage in the Kazakh Internet media with their emotive impact on the recipients. In doing so, this work makes a substantial contribution to the study of the emotive code and functional stylistics. The study results can be used to design lecture courses in humanities, in particular journalism.


The analysis of emotive lexemes (different parts of speech) collected from different online media sources made it possible to investigate various emotional expressions used in the Internet media. The selection was carried out according to the classical criteria of emotivity. The study results showed how quite different and quite mixed expressive processes can construct the meaning of the message and influence the reader. The texts of the selected online media are characterized by multimodality, polyphony, hypertextuality, heterogeneity, and carry bifurcated denotational meaning. It was revealed that these forms are predominantly the most expressive emotive process. The present study recognized and described emotive lexical units, analyzed the different layers of information that make up the emotionality of a media text and determine the conditions of the described lexical units’ functioning. The pattern markers that are present in the text and influence textual variations were also studied.

Multimodality was also considered, which characterizes media writing. This research shows that expression of feelings and emotions in a digital discourse requires special linguistic and extra-linguistic means. Online media are a place where people can express themselves freely. Hence, it can be said that media favor self-expression. Content writers have the freedom to integrate any expressive process. Unlike the traditional written discourse, where affective categories are often channeled through lexicon, the digital space is associated with the presence of linguistic and extra-linguistic layers. This study identified lexical and linguistic means that integrate emotions into the online media texts. Those expressive processes are a function of the immediacy and spontaneity of media discourse. Basic emotive vocabulary and possible extra-linguistic elements actualized in Kazakh media discourse appeared to exploit paraverbal expressions to replace expressive means used in face-to-face communication. Such tactics allow conveying emotions in written debates. When it comes to digital media texts, it is not enough to look at what has been said. Attention should be paid to both linguistic and non-linguistic processes. Depending on the purpose of the media text, content writers who seek to influence readers can use emotive lexemes in specific ways. Therefore, it is important to examine emotive language from the standpoint of linguistics and extra-linguistics. The results of this study can be used in teaching aids and courses in philology, psychology, journalism, and semiotics.

Suggestions for future research

Future research should investigate the integration of emotions and their linguistic and non-linguistic manifestations in a discourse. Attention should be paid to the new method of writing that is currently used in the Internet spaces—iconic emotive forms. Such research will form a cognitive basis for studying the iconic coding principle, a mechanism of human associative memory.

Data availability

Data will be available on request.

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Absattar, A., Mambetova, M. & Zhubay, O. The potential of emotive language to influence the understanding of textual information in media coverage. Humanit Soc Sci Commun 9 , 222 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-022-01232-2

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16 Effective Persuasive Language Techniques

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Persuasive language is the language being used when convincing others for something. It can be seen and heard around you every day. You’ll see it in TV commercials, social media, magazines, billboards, and any other medium where advertisement campaigns are placed. While you may think persuasive language is only for the ones who communicate with the public to convince, it is actually helpful to learn it. At one point or another, you may have used it without noticing it, and you may also need to use it in the future. Persuasive language can be employed when you want others to believe your viewpoints and conclusions, accept your facts, and get someone to take a certain action. It can be done verbally, nonverbal, or even written. To make your message easier and more compelling, different techniques can be used. Your audience and your motive become the basis on which technique to use. Scroll down and read to know the commonly used techniques in persuasive language.

Your claim is your main point. It is the gist of your argument. When delivering a persuasive message, state your claim as clearly as possible. This will enable you to get your point across vividly and have your message be understood by your audience correctly. It also ensures that there is only one interpretation thus prevents leading to other interpretations. 

“I’d like you to eat dark chocolates because it is a healthier option compared to other sweet foods.”

2. Repetition

To emphasize your point, and reinforce an argument, you can do repetition. As you keep on repeating words or phrases, it creates a familiarity with your main point or message. This eventually stays in the mind of your audience thus making your message more memorable. To do this, choose the key points that you want to emphasize. Keep on repeating those words throughout your text or speech, however, remember to do it judiciously. If you overdo it, people will think the content of your message is redundant. Do it fluidly by repeating your main point in different ways. You can put it on your details, evidence, examples, and summary.

“You can easily choose from the alternatives that I offered you. Both of them are easy solutions.”

3. Colloquial Language

Using colloquial language is effective when persuading others because it makes your message clearer to them. Since it is common for people to use it, they will understand your point easily. Your audience can identify with you and feel as if you are on the same wavelength as them. Moreover, it sounds more friendly and can make your point appear more practical and realistic. To do this you can use slang when delivering your message. 

“If you follow their demands then you’re a bunch of half-wits.”

“Did you travel abroad just to follow his instructions? What a joke!”

4. Jargon words

While we are often told not to use jargon or complex terminology as much as possible, using them in the persuasive language is effective. This is helpful if your audience is professional or intellectual. Using jargon words and formal language can make you sound knowledgeable thus making your point sound reasonable and rational. 

“Share your advocacy to your clients to guide them to be aware of value-based purchasing.”

5. Emotive appeals

Engaging people’s feelings is another technique used to convince others. Most of the time, emotions become the motivation for why people do things. When people emotionally get in touch with you and are swayed by their emotions, they are more likely to agree with you. Through carefully choosing your words, you can evoke emotion from them. It may invite them to feel sympathy, disgust, guilt, anger, or excitement. To do this use emotive language or euphemism. 

Learn more about emotive language by reading  our article:  How To Communicate Your Emotions Into Words

“In some places across the country, you can see people agonizing from poverty. The locals are living without food nor shelter to live in. That’s why giving something of what we have no matter how small or big it may be would mean a lot to them.”

6. Inclusive language

Inclusive language is a technique where you try to create an impression that you and your audience are on the same side and share the same viewpoint. This is effective in persuasive language because you position your audience to agree with you by showing that you belong in a team, campaign, or project that they can be part of. To employ inclusive language use ‘us’, ‘we’, and ‘our’.

“We are in this together.”

“By doing your part we can mitigate the effect of this virus crisis.”

7. Rhetorical question

Rhetorical questions are questions that are asked but not required to be answered. They are often used to get the audience’s attention, imply certain answers, emphasize a point, or guide audiences to draw certain conclusions. When a rhetorical question is asked, an obvious answer is already posed to a particular issue. You just ask to make the audience think about the same question and realize that your point is rational, and to disagree with it seems foolish.

“Who wouldn’t want to progress to live in comfort?”

“Should we allow this malpractice to continue?”

8. Hyperbole

Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration. It is often used to make a point or emphasize it. Overstating can be effective as your point can be viewed as greater than it actually is and more urgent and important. Using exaggeration can make two things, to communicate value, or make the situation seem worse. By describing an extreme version of events, it creates a dramatic impact. This provokes strong emotional responses from your audience which makes them more likely to accept your viewpoint.  However, when using exaggerations, make sure that it is done appropriately and can be backed up by proof. 

“They are selling the best ice cream in the country.”

“They can do it in one second.”

9. Anecdotal evidence

An anecdote is a short story involving real-life events. It is used to illustrate a point and simplify complex issues. It triggers imagination thus makes your point more vivid and relatable thus keeps your audience engaged. By providing real stories your persuasive message sounds more realistic, credible, and interesting. It is effective especially when backed up by facts.

To know more about storytelling read:  How To Tell A Story In English

“Recently a colleague of mine experienced this dilemma first-hand”

“To give you an example, I’d like to share my experience on this issue.”

Bias is providing only a partial or one side of an issue to influence others. It is commonly used to highlight good reasoning to motives and ignore counter-arguments. To make this effective, state your claim and biases then explain why this one-sidedness helps and makes sense to your audience. 

“Our product is environmentally-friendly thus assures you that it is safe, sustainable and value for money.”

“The newly released phone is the best in the market today.”

11. Expert opinion

Quoting expert’s opinions can help your persuasion message sound more credible. Not only does it add substance but also puts more weight on your argument. When people see that experts agree with you, people are influenced and believe that it would be rational to agree with you. Do this by including quotes that refer to experts who agree with your viewpoint. Make sure that the personalities you will quote are respectable and well-known to make your claim stronger and believable.

“Dr. Murphy’s extensive research on the virus proves that it can be transmitted via… “

12. Facts and statistical evidence

Add weight to your argument by incorporating statistics and facts into your persuasive message. This is effective especially to an analytical audience. Including facts and statistics in your message shows that you researched and investigated your claim. It makes you appear that you know what you are talking about. Your message will be seen as valid since facts and statistics are unquestionable and irrefutable. Make sure that when using statistics it is accurate and taken from reliable sources.

“According to the survey presented by ABC statistics, 90% are… ”

“A recent survey conducted by ABC Statistics found that…”

13. Generalization

Generalization is a statement that suggests that what is true for some is true for the majority. It is often used to simplify an issue, and to prove that your claim is logical because the effect is experienced by many. This is effective if your audience stance is already on the same side as yours, but uncompelling to those that have doubts and proofs to disprove it. If you are going to employ it, use generalizations that tell commonly held beliefs that many accept or support. 

“Teenagers today are more expressive, vocal, and bolder.”

“The locals are skillful and entrepreneurial.”

14. Comparison

Comparison is a technique where you compare two things to present a point. It is another way to simplify complex issues. It can guide your audience to see the connection of things thus will help in making your audience agree with your point. Similes, metaphors, and analogies are often used to illustrate comparisons. 

“The shade of the newly launched lipstick is like red roses.” 

“Our fabric is as soft as cotton.”

A pun uses homophones, homonyms, or rhymes to play with words. The use of words that sound similar is intended to suggest a double meaning. This other meaning often represents a positive or negative connotation that influences the audience’s viewpoint or response on the issue. It is effective because its humor catches the attention and interest of your audience. 

“She is returning the dress she purchased because she is experiencing post-traumatic dress syndrome.”

16. Clichés

A cliché is an overused phrase. Although it is normally discouraged to use cliché, it can be effective when delivering your persuasive messages. Clichés allow you to communicate your viewpoints quickly. Since the expressions you are using are familiar and uncomplicated your audience can easily grasp and understand your point. This enables them to easily accept your idea. 

“We are doing our best to resolve it but we are still uncertain about the outcome. Time can only tell.”

The techniques given above are easy and simple to follow. By employing them, you will deliver a message that is compelling and convincing. Keep in mind that your aim is not to be manipulative. While sharing your message, remember that you have to persuade your audience with something that makes sense and beneficial to them to create a win-win situation. 

Learn the commonly used expression and how to incorporate persuasive language into your conversations. LingualBox offers courses that can help you improve communicating in English effectively. Avail your free trial class today.

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The Persuasion Revolution

380 High Emotion Words Guaranteed to Make You more Persuasive

Edited to add:.

Her Royal Sweetness Lisa Burger realized what a pain it is to scroll through this long-ass list and kindly whipped up a lovely document that you can use as your very own swipe file. Now ain’t that sweet! Get it here.

Words aren’t just strings of alphabets sewn together with ink

Words are cues, words are triggers, words when used correctly can transform an “eh whatever” into “wow that’s it”, words can make you go from literally rofl to fuming with fury to an uncontrollable-urge-to-take-action-now-or-the-earth-may-stop-swinging -on-its-axis., these are what i call high emotion words.

And these are capable of transforming an absolute no into almost yes and a “perhaps” into “for sure”!

Because it isn’t really about your desired action but the underlying emotion that drives that action. If you get them to feel that emotion, you GOT ‘em.

When you are trying to sell people a solution, what you are REALLY doing is evoking desire by making them imagine their best possible future with your solution

When you are trying to get them to take an action (like, share, subscribe, buy) what you are REALLY doing is arousing them (not THAT way… get your mind out of the gutter) to make it impossible for them NOT to take an action

When you are trying to get people to click and read your article, what you are REALLY doing is evoking curiosity so fierce that it claws at the minds of a casual browser and forces him to click that link and read that piece.

When you are trying to get someone to agree with you, what you are REALLY doing is trying to evoke empathy so they see your point of view.

So what are these high emotion words that can work this magic?

Glad you asked.

I have compiled a list of 380 words that are proven to induce certain emotions (both negative and positive) and that I strongly encourage you use in your online (and offline) communications to get your prospect to take the desired action.

But before  I share the list with you, here is a 3 step plan to get the most out of these words:

Step One: Determine the desired action you want your prospect to take (e.g. like, share, read, subscribe, comment, buy etc.)

Step two: determine the exact emotional state that will drive that action (e.g. curious, relaxed, fearful, inspired etc.), step three: choose some of the words from this list and sprinkle ‘em throughout your content..

And now The List:

Emotional State: Curiosity (when you want them to be gripped by an unshakable desire to click and read more):

  • Confidential
  • Controversial
  • Underground
  • What no one tells you
  • Have you heard
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Secret agenda
  • Secret plot
  • Off-the record
  • Blacklisted
  • Confessions
  • Unbelievable
  • No one talks about
  • underground

Insider's Scoop

Emotional state: urgency (if you want then to take action now now now):.

  • Missing Out
  • Left behind
  • Magnificent
  • Most Important
  • Revolutionary
  • Sensational
  • Strongly agree/ recommend
  • Strongly suggest
  • Trustworthy
  • Instant Savings


Imminently ,   emotional state: confusion and helplessness (especially useful when questioning status quo, making them realize what they are missing out or “us vs them” style content).

  • embarrassed
  • disillusioned
  • distrustful
  • uncomfortable
  • manipulative
  • argumentative
  • authoritative
  • condescending
  • disoriented
  • overwhelmed
  • incompetent
  • incapacitated
  • uninterested
  • unresponsive


Disempowered,   emotional state: anger (this is a high physiological arousal emotional state that can help drive a number of actions such as getting support for a cause or sharing content because of the sheer outrage felt).

  • Outrageousness
  • Disadvantages
  • Inconsiderate
  • controlling
  • antagonistic
  • quarrelsome
  • exasperated
  • retaliating
  • reprimanding
  • self-hating
  • pessimistic


  emotional state: safe and satisfied (great for sales pages when you want people to feel secure in their choice).

  • A cut above
  • Highly effective/ likely
  • Introducing
  • conscientious
  • Astonishing
  • self-sufficient
  • responsible


Emotional state: happy and alive (health based products or services):.

  • lighthearted
  • on top of the
  • intelligent
  • exhilarated
  • constructive
  • resourceful
  • comfortable

  Emotional State: Inspired (as part of content that is meant to inspire and make them feel like they are capable and in charge)

  • enthusiastic
  • cooperative
  • in the zone

Emotional State: Relaxed and Peaceful (Products or services that offer mental peace and relaxation):

  • open-minded
  • non-controlling
  • spontaneous

phewwwww that was one long ass list don’t you think?

But how about we make it to 500. Now that’s a thought!

Help make that happen guys and drop some of your favorite high emotion words in the comments and I will go and add those to this list (with credit of course)

Ready. Set. GO!

Edited to Add:

I literally have the BEST readers ever and the the ever generous & awesome (Not to mention with the coolest name Eva!)   Jo Jo Fildi has contributed some 20+ words making it a square 400. I have added those above colored in blue.

The Work of Byron Katie

Persuasive and Emotive Language

380 High emotion words guranteed to make you more persuasive

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