The Big Quiz on Figures of Speech in Advertising Slogans

Education and Advertising
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Since ancient times, the figures of speech have served three main purposes:

  1. to instruct and entertain people through the play of language,
  2. to persuade people of the truth or value of the message that a figure conveys, and
  3. to help people remember both the meaning of the message and its figurative expression.

It should come as no surprise then that in our own time the classical figures have been adopted by advertisers to sell everything from soap and cigarettes to political causes and candidates.

In this review quiz, we have collected 35 of the best-known slogans (sometimes called taglines or straplines) introduced by advertisers over the past century. Most have been drawn from American print and television ads, though a few are British and some are practically universal.

Your job is to choose the one figure of speech (from a list of three) that each slogan most clearly illustrates. (To review a definition, simply click on the term to visit our glossary.) When you're done, compare your answers with those below.

  1. "I am stuck on Band-Aid, and Band-Aid's stuck on me."
    (Band-Aid bandages)
    a. epiplexis
    b. tricolon
    c. chiasmus
  2. "No bottles to break —just hearts."
    (Arpege perfume)
    a. tricolon
    b. diatyposis
    c. syllepsis
  3. "Born in fire, blown by mouth, and cut by hand with heart."
    (Waterford Glass)
    a. tricolon
    b. syllepsis
    c. synathroesmus
  4. "If you think asparagus has a lot of iron, you don't know beans."
    (Van Camp's Pork and Beans)
    a. pun
    b. erotesis
    c. dehortatio
  1. "Don't leave home without it."
    (American Express)
    a. chiasmus
    b. epizeuxis
    c. dehortatio
  2. "For a treat instead of a treatment, I recommend Old Gold cigarettes."
    (Old Gold cigarettes)
    a. hypophora
    b. polyptoton
    c. exclamation
  3. "Is this any way to run an airline? You bet it is!"
    (National Airlines)
    a. hypophora
    b. tricolon
    c. dehortatio
  1. "Everyday vehicles that aren't."
    (Suzuki automobiles)
    a. hypophora
    b. ellipsis
    c. synathroesmus
  2. "Everything you want, nothing you don't."
    (Nissan automobiles)
    a. polyptoton
    b. diatyposis
    c. isocolon
  3. "If gas pains persist, try Volkswagen."
    (Volkswagen automobiles)
    a. simile
    b. pun
    c. onomatopoeia
  4. "Sleeping on a Seely is like sleeping on a cloud."
    (Seely mattresses)
    a. simile
    b. diatyposis
    c. dehortatio
  5. "Plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is!"
    (Alka-Seltzer)
    a. epiplexis
    b. polyptoton
    c. onomatopoeia
  6. "Make mine Miller."
    (Miller beer)
    a. alliteration
    b. epizeuxis
    c. synathroesmus
  7. "Wherever you are, whatever you do, wherever you may be, when you think refreshment, think ice-cold Coca-Cola."
    (Coca-Cola soft drink)
    a. litotes
    b. tricolon
    c. synathroesmus
  8. "Melts in your mouth, not in your hand."
    (M&Ms candy)
    a. antithesis
    b. erotesis
    c. dehortatio
  9. "Look Ma, no cavities!"
    (Crest toothpaste)
    a. simile
    b. tricolon
    c. exclamation
  10. "Aren't you glad you use Dial? Don't you wish everybody did?"
    (Dial soap)
    a. chiasmus
    b. erotesis
    c. onomatopoeia
  11. "See yourself as a king"
    (Virginia Slims cigarettes)
    a. epanalepsis
    b. syllepsis
    c. diatyposis
  12. "Don't be vague. Ask for Haig."
    (Haig whisky)
    a. metaphor
    b. zeugma
    c. dehortatio
  13. "The few, the proud, the Marines."
    (United States Marine Corps)
    a. assonance
    b. tricolon
    a. polyptoton
  1. "Be all that you can be."
    (United States Army)
    a. epanalepsis
    b. epizeuxis
    c. synathroesmus
  2. "Plymouth--isn't that the kind of car America wants?"
    (Plymouth automobiles)
    a. erotesis
    b. understatement
    c. meiosis
  3. "Put a Tic Tac in your mouth and get a bang out of life."
    (Tic Tac breath mints)
    a. litotes
    b. isocolon
    c. dehortatio
  4. "When it rains, it pours."
    (Morton salt)
    a. chiasmus
    b. diatyposis
    c. pun
  5. "Fast, fast, fast relief"
    (Anacin pain reliever)
    a. litotes
    b. epizeuxis
    c. syllepsis
  6. "Should a woman have to worry about tires? Goodyear says no!"
    (Goodyear tires)
    a. hypophora
    b. zeugma
    c. hyperbole
  7. "The night-time sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so-you-can-rest medicine."
    (NyQuil medicine)
    a. antithesis
    b. ellipsis
    c. synathroesmus
  8. "You like it. It likes you."
    (Seven-Up soft drink)
    a. chiasmus
    b. understatement
    c. synathroesmus
  1. "Calgon! Take me away!"
    (Calgon soap)
    a. diatyposis
    b. exclamation
    a. polyptoton
  2. "Obey your thirst."
    (Sprite soft drink)
    a. erotesis
    b. diatyposis
    c. meiosis
  3. "Grace . . . space . . . pace."
    (Jaguar automobiles)
    a. metaphor
    b. tricolon
    c. anaphora
  4. "Takes the 'lug' out of luggage"
    (Karry-Lite luggage)
    a. polyptoton
    b. anaphora
    c. dehortatio
  5. "Lipsmackin' thirstquenchin' acetastin' motivatin' goodbuzzin' cooltalkin' highwalkin' fastlivin' evergivin' coolfizzin' Pepsi."
    (Pepsi Cola soft drink)
    a. rhetorical question
    b. epizeuxis
    c. synathroesmus
  6. "Please don't squeeze the Charmin."
    (Charmin toilet tissue)
    a. antithesis
    b. tricolon
    c. dehortatio
  7. "Does it make sense to jump out of a warm bed into a cold cereal?"
    (Quaker Oats cereal)
    a. anaphora
    b. syllepsis
    c. dehortatio

 

Answers

 

  1. c. chiasmus
  2. c. syllepsis
  3. a. tricolon
  4. a. pun
  5. c. dehortatio
  6. b. polyptoton
  7. a. hypophora
  8. b. ellipsis
  9. c. isocolon
  10. b. pun
  11. a. simile
  12. c. onomatopoeia
  13. a. alliteration
  14. b. tricolon
  15. a. antithesis
  16. c. exclamation
  17. b. erotesis
  18. c. diatyposis
  19. c. dehortatio
  20. b. tricolon
  21. a. epanalepsis
  22. a. erotesis
  23. b. isocolon
  24. c. pun
  25. b. epizeuxis
  26. a. hypophora
  27. c. synathroesmus
  28. a. chiasmus
  29. b. exclamation
  30. b. diatyposis
  31. b. tricolon
  32. a. polyptoton
  33. c. synathroesmus
  34. c. dehortatio
  35. b. syllepsis