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Lexis and Semantics Essay Sample

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Introduction of TOPIC

The horoscope from ’19’ is informal. Colloquial language is used to relate to the audience, for example ‘bagged yourself some gorgeous hunk’, which has connotations of catching. The language is figurative, with use of metaphors such as ‘worships you like the goddess you are’. The lexical field is astrology, conveying the future, uncertainty and mystery to the audience with words such as ‘goddess’, which has connotations of beauty and power used to make the reader feel important and convey a good message to them, ‘Mars’ and ‘Venus’ are astrological references to planets, and ‘new beginnings’ referring to the future. There is use of elision, for example ‘you’re’ ‘it’s’ and ‘who’ll’, indicating a casual and informal approach linked to both a teenagers speech and what they would like to read. The origin of the text is mainly Anglo Saxon, e.g. ‘time’ and ‘love’ although words of a French Latinate origin are used; e.g. ‘charisma’.

The language used in ‘That’s life’ is figurative, using sentences such as ‘your personality is shining through’. The field of reference is astrology, with words such as ‘Venus’ and ‘Moon’. There is a slight use of elision in the text, for example ‘you’ll’, although this is not common. The main origin of the horoscopes is Anglo Saxon, as it uses simple words such as ‘money’.

The horoscopes from the Internet article are very formal and use learned language such as ‘unnecessary agitation’. This indicates a certain education level needed to understand the piece. The language used is factual, ‘you will be feeling full of energy’ and ‘this will open the area of communications’ are examples of this. These phrases inform the reader of what to expect. The field of reference in the text is emotions, using words such as ‘issues’ ’emotional’ and ‘relationship’. The Internet article uses a French Latinate origin using large words such as ‘proportion’ and ‘constructive’.


The magazine ’19’ is informal, as that is what would be expected for teenagers. It uses colloquial language such as ‘bagged yourself some gorgeous hunk’. Contractions such as ‘you’re’ are used to enforce the informality of the horoscopes. Alliteration is used in the magazine ’19’ through words such as ‘feeling fantastic’ and ‘go girl’. This is relevant to the young audience as it is informal and colloquial, keeping them interested, and giving the text a chatty feel.

The horoscopes from the magazine ‘that’s life’ use a more formal tone than ’19’ as it is aimed at a more mature audience, although it is not a particularly formal piece. A technical register for horoscopes is used with words such as ‘Venus’ and ‘Pisces’. The main origin of the horoscopes is Anglo Saxon, as it uses simple words such as ‘money’. Rhyme is used in the magazine ‘That’s life’ in the title; ‘The mystic who’s realistic’, which is use of assonance. This attracts the attention of the audience, encouraging them to read the text whilst informing then of what it is about. There is also limited use of alliteration, ‘pulling power’, which indicates the text is slightly colloquial and informal.

The Internet article uses a French Latinate origin using large words such as ‘proportion’ and ‘constructive’, and no contractions are used in the text. It is a very formal text, which makes use of long and complex sentences’. The formality of the tex

t gives the feel that the information is facts and applies directly to a more educated audience. The

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article is written in Standard English, which is indicated by lexical choice and sentence construction.


The horoscopes from the magazine ’19’ are set out on a purple background. The title is ‘your stars’ and each letter is in a white font on a different coloured square. A small, bold by-line is used to state that the author is. The titles of the starsigns are highlighted with different coloured boxes. Small symbols are used next to the heading, along with a key explaining what they mean. The font is mainly black Arial, although white and pink writing for headings and advertising. A picture is used of a girl swimming, as it is relevant to the content of the main starsign. Bright, girly colours are used because that is what’s relevant to the teenage female audience of the magazine.

The horoscopes in the magazine ‘That’s life’ are also set out on a purple background, over half a page. Small pictures of the starsigns are used next to each horoscope. The horoscopes are set out in a column, one under another. The main starsign is featured in a yellow box, at the bottom of the page. A photo of the author is used in a circle at the top of the page, along with her name in bold. This is to give recognition to the author, and enables the readers to see who she is. The titles of the horoscopes are orange and written in capitals. The dates and text used are white, with dates being shown in bold. The layout is simple to enable readers to find their star sign quickly without distractions.

The horoscopes from the Internet article are set out across the page, and are one under another. Names of starsigns are shown in bold, and all other writing is in black. Symbols are used next to each horoscope, which are all n the shape of squares and in colour. A horizontal line is used at the end of the horoscopes to show the audience that underneath the line the horoscopes have stopped. A sub heading is used underneath the title, in brown and italics. The month is shown between two horizontal lines, so it can be easily recognised by the reader.

Structure and Grammar

The magazine ’19’ uses loose and long compound and complex sentences. Vivid adjectives such as ‘gorgeous’ and ‘fabulous’ are used, to entertain the reader, as these are aspirations of the audience. Future tense is used as it is talking about what is going to happen, using modal auxiliaries such as ‘will’. The sentences are mainly declarative statements, e.g. ‘activities with friends are in the spotlight for you’. Dashes are used indicating casual after thoughts, ‘- you go girl’, is this is colloquial speech, which is used by the reader. Pronouns such as ‘you’ are used, to include the reader as the text is written about them. Modal verbs such as ‘should’ are used, suggesting duty to the reader and portraying the horoscopes across as facts.

The magazine ‘That’s life’ uses loose sentences, such as ‘your personality is shining through, and with the new moon on the 21st you’ll enjoy being centre stage’. The sentences are compound and complex, and mainly imperative, for example ‘get out and enjoy yourself’ and ‘expect more cash’, to instruct the reader of what they should do to get the most out of their week. Adjectives such as ‘power’ and ‘charm’ are used, conveying the feel of mystery to the reader. Future tense is used for the horoscopes as they are analysing future events. Modal verbs such as ‘will’ give an air of certainty to the text. Pronouns such as ‘your’ and ‘you’ are used, involving the reader in the text.

The horoscopes from the Internet article are made up of mainly long sentences, which are complex. Brackets are used to indicate the dates for each horoscope. Sentences are mainly imperative, e.g. ‘use your head’, including the reader in the text and giving them a feeling that it was written just for them. Pronouns such as ‘you’ are used, including the reader in the text, and personalising the horoscope as it was written just for them. Abstract nouns such as ‘harmony’ and adverbs such as ‘unnecessary’, are used to make things more clear and precise to the reader. Modal verbs are used in the text; with the word ‘could’ appearing frequently, however ‘should’ and ‘will be’ are far more definite uses of modals to instruct the reader of what their actions should be. This suggests possibility to the reader, which is relevant to the article as it is concentrating on a specific audience, which want to find out what may happen to them in future events in more detail, however, some declaratives give the text a feeling of being factual, for example ‘you will be feeling full of energy’.


The texts I have analysed match my hypothesis. The horoscopes aimed at older women are slightly more formal than those aimed at teenagers, although they still contain colloquial language. The horoscopes from the Internet site were of a high formality and contained more astrological lexis than the others.

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