Factors behind sociopragmatic change in 19th-century British newspaper advertisements



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Factors behind sociopragmatic change in 19th-century British newspaper advertisements
Minna Palander-Collin

University of Helsinki

minna.palander-collin@helsinki.fi


  1. Examples

(1)The Times August 1805


(2) The Times January 1880




  1. COVENTRY-CROSS, No. 149, NEW BOND-STREET.

JAMES HOOPER, Mercer, begs leave to acquaint his Friends and the Public, that (Mr. Atwich having quitted business) he is removed from his late shop, to the Coventry-Cross, No. 149, New Bond-street, where he hopes for the continuance of their favours, having provided a large assortment of the most fashionable Silks and Sattins, of the newest colours; with great variety of Irish and other Stuffs, which he is determined to sell on the most reasonable terms. (Morning Post 22 January 1785)


  1. NOTICE. — CHRISTMAS PRESENTS.

J. DEFRIES and SONS’

CRYSTAL CHANDELIERS, TABLE GLASS, LAMPS, Duplex and other, DINNER SERVICES from £2 10s., FOUNTAINS, CLOCKS, TABLE DECORATIONS, Prize Medal CARBON BLOCK FILTERS.

147, HOUNDSDITCH, five minutes’ walk from the Bank of England and the City Railway Stations. (Morning Post 22 December 1880)


  1. […] Johnson and Co. beg leave to inform the Public, that they have lately

manufactured a large quantity of Flannel, composed entirely of the Lana de la

Oveja Merina, or pure Spanish Merino Wool, which they have made up into

Shirts and Drawers, some thousands of which are now ready for Sale at very

moderate prices, at their Warehouse, […] (Times 31 August 1805)




  1. GRANT’S MORELLA CHERRY BRANDY

Have you ever tasted it? (Morning Post, 22 December 1880)
Patterns of advertiser - audience interactional work:

advertiser most respectfully informs / begs leave to inform / acquaint audience
advertiser
being the first to reduce the price / is determined to sell at most reasonable prices
advertiser has now / is enabled to supply / have now ready for sale
audience will be served / may be supplied / will find

Examples of audiences:
the Nobility and Gentry, ladies and gentlemen, public, the general public, friends, families, clergymen, gentlemen of the law, respectable persons, those who desire to make speedy payment


  1. Data


Table 1. Corpus of The Times and the Morning Post advertisements* (Palander-Collin forthcoming: 92).

Year

The Times

Morning Post

Total

1785

36

26

66

1805

27

41

68

1815

20

38

58

1835

34

65

99

1855

34

61

95

1880

31

52

83

Total

182

283

465

*Ads for clothes, cosmetics, jewellery, household items, food and beverages



  1. Frequency of person-mention in 19th-century ads


Table 2. Frequency of person-mention in The Times and the Morning Post 1785–1880 (Palander-Collin forthcoming: 93).




Person-mention

Hits (Average frequency)






Advertiser

Audience

Other people

Year

Times

Morning Post

Times

Morning Post

Times

Morning Post

1785

170 (4.7)

112 (4.3)

122 (3.4)

52 (2.0)

49 (1.4)

64 (2.5)

1805

115 (4.3)

147 (3.6)

66 (2.4)

71 (1.7)

23 (0.9)

31 (0.8)

1815

61 (3.1)

103 (2.7)

35 (1.8)

47 (1.2)

17 (0.9)

15 (0.4)

1835

76 (2.2)

195 (3.0)

33 (1.0)

77 (1.2)

28 (0.8)

65 (1.0)

1855

67 (2.0)

141 (2.3)

19 (0.6)

60 (1.0)

19 (0.6)

37 (0.6)

1880

55 (1.8)

101 (1.9)

12 (0.4)

27 (0.5)

9 (0.3)

39 (0.8)

Table 3. Proportion of advertisements with various combinations of person-mentions in The Times and the Morning Post 1785–1880. (AD=Advertiser, AU=Audience, O=Other persons). (Palander-Collin forthcoming: 95).




AD




AD+
AU




AD+AU+O




AD+O








Times

Morning Post

Times

Morning Post

Times

Morning Post

Times

Morning Post

1785

8%

4%

42%

23%

47%

65%

3%

8%

1805

7%

15%

48%

40%

30%

30%

0%

13%

1815

5%

26%

43%

47%

38%

13%

14%

13%

1835

26%

19%

41%

27%

15%

41%

12%

14%

1855

44%

31%

24%

28%

9%

28%

24%

13%

1880

58%

37%

19%

18%

6%

14%

16%

25%



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