Implication: Layers of Meaning

Language carries meaning yet to think all there is to communication is a point A and point B, where A would produce language and all B had to do is decode the language is incorrect. The explanation is simple; language carries within it meaning and not the meaning of the words used but the meaning intended and implied by the speaker. What the speaker means by the language they use can be achieved non-linguistically as well. As it can convey the same non-propositional information as words do because understanding the message requires going beyond the language into the intended meaning. The benefit of this technique is widespread as I will illustrate [Julie sedivy].

One benefit to using non-linguistic cues in advertisement is the fact that the viewer will have to decode the intended implications, this way the business is protected from certain exaggerated claims. By having the viewer come up with his own interpretations and draw his own implications the ad can’t be falsified or held accountable, hence can get away with all sorts of implications.


This ad by ALTOIDS allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions about the product. Namely, that ALTOIDS are so powerful they will remove the strongest bad breath. If the truth of this implication would be tested then ALTOIDS would not be blamed because they did not directly state anything, rather they allowed the viewer to draw their own conclusions based on certain cues in the ads.


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