With increasing communication in the world and acceleration of economic globalization, English advertising has found its way into people’s life. Every day, people are exposed to a large number of advertisements no matter whether they like them or not. But what is advertising? What are the objectives of advertising? What are the functions of advertising? And what significance does a study of advertising possess? These are the questions of which we must have a good idea before we proceed to explore the main features or characteristics of English advertising texts.
1.1 Definition of advertising
In English, the word “advertise” has its origin in “advertere” in Latin, meaning “to inform somebody of something”, “to bring into notice” or “to draw attention to something”, etc.
There are different definitions of advertising. Abert Lasker, father of modern advertising, said that advertising was “salesmanship in print”(赵静，1992：302). This definition was given a long time before the advent of radio and television came into being. In the past, the nature and scope of advertising were considerably different from those today. The definition indicates that the ultimate objective of advertising is to sell. Obviously, this is not an all-round definition, for it can not cover all advertisements. An advertisement may be defined as a public notice ‘designed to spread information with a view to promoting the sales of marketable goods and services’ (Harris and Heldon, 1962:40), or defined as a vital marketing tool as well as a powerful communication force. American Marketing Association (AMA) (赵静，1992：1)defines advertising as “the non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.”
Although advertising can be defined in many different ways, the essential points concerning its definition may be summarized as follows: Advertising...