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The Use of the Exclamation Point in the Catch Copy of Japanese Newspaper Advertisement

  • 日本硏究
  • 2021, (54), pp.71-90
  • DOI : 10.20404/jscau.2021.02.54.71
  • Publisher : The Center for Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Received : January 7, 2021
  • Accepted : January 21, 2021
  • Published : February 20, 2021

song sookjeong 1

1중원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper compares and analyzes the use of the exclamation point in the catch copy (headline or slogan) in Japanese newspaper advertisements. First, although the exclamation mark is not used in formal Japanese writing, it is common in casual writing, fiction, and manga. Some researchers have argued that since the exclamation point is a forceful form of punctuation, it should be considered “masculine” in form. However, an analysis of a questionnaire suggested that most native Japanese speakers regard the exclamation point as neutral. This explains its frequent appearance in advertising copy, as advertising uses neutral expressions without personal pronouns or masculine/feminine contextual expressions because ads target a broad range of readers. The exclamation mark’s neutral nature makes it inoffensive to all genders. In addition, an examination of exclamatory sentences in the context of Japanese newspaper advertisements (context and background) in which advertisers seek to maximize their message showed that just adding exclamation marks to create emphatic monologues or dialogues was not sufficient. Readers were more moved by judicious selection and arrangements of words than by punctuation.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.