Uses and Benefits of Emotive Language

Concept of Emotive Language

Emotions are capable of exerting an unbelievably robust force on the behaviour of human beings. They are mental reactions that are conscious that are usually centred around a specific object and accompanied by behavioural and physiological changes in the body. Emotive language refers to the language that helps in evoking an emotional response from the listener or the reader. In other words, emotive language can be used both in pessimist and optimist ways and mainly, this type of language is used in convincing writing. These languages contrast with rational and cognition thought—emotive words cause a wide variety of reactions in the audience (Hinton, 2019). Beyond the literal meaning, emotional language brings out human beings’ positive and negative emotional responses. This implies that emotional words are very powerful and can frighten, move and enable individuals to take action. A few instances of emotive words such as ‘war’, ‘revolution’, ‘peace’ ‘death’, ‘security’ and ‘terrorist’ are encountered by people frequently. While coming across such words, emotion is felt towards the depicted word (Bielak and Mystkowska-Wiertelak, 2022). This is because human being fear war and terrorism and are always in demand of peace, love and security. This further denotes that the emotive power of the words is so strong that they act as effective instruments in encouraging the attitudes and choices of human beings.

Emotive language is often used in newspapers, stories, novels, poems, and articles to enable readers to react emotionally while reading. In addition, it has also been noted that visual material is accompanied by emotive language. One of the main ingredients in news stories and photos is emotions, which is why readers are compelled to read those (Shao et al. 2019). Emotive language is never confined to spoken words, and so the writer uses emotive language by imbibing content types such as pathos and humour.

Need to use Emotive Language in writing

Using emotive language in writing helps in adding emotions to the writing. Whether it’s a novel, advertisement or a play, emotive language is used by the writers to pursue the raiders to feel or do something. Mainly emotive language is descriptive words that highlight to the readers how the character or author feels about any object or personality to invoke an emotional response from the readers (Zehra et al. 2021). However, it is important to consider that emotive language is biased. This implies that although the emotive language is descriptive and can make the text simple to understand, the words used overtly or subtly influence the reader’s opinion about something. Below is an example of the emotive language used in the poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen.

“But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue, deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.”

The above lines depict the battle of World War I, and the poet uses powerful imagery in emotive language. The author vividly pained the picture of the reality of war without even attempting to sugarcoat the experiences. Through the above lines, the author narrates the harsh brutality of the war. In the lines mentioned above, the author describes the injured and exhausted condition of the British soldiers on the battlefield. Heavy emotive words such as ‘limped’, ‘fatigue’, ‘blood-shod’, ‘lame’ and blind’ are used by the author to show the soldiers’ exhaustion. They were so exhausted they could not even hear and save themselves from the gas shells that dropped softly behind them.

Stated below is another example of how emotive language can imply different connotations.

He loves socialising and has a talkative nature”: This implies a positive connotation
” He is in the habit of meddling in the affair of other persons”: This implies a negative connotation.

William Shakespeare also used emotive language in his play ” Macbeth”. In this play, Macbeth uses emotive language to convince Lady Macbeth that he should not kill King Duncan. On the contrary, it is Lady Macbeth who further uses emotive language towards her husband. During the stay of King Duncan in their castle, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were planning to assassinate the King. Realising the consequences, Macbeth wanted to back out from his decisions. At that point, Lady Macbeth reacted by asking whether he was drunk when he had decided before and why he is now afraid to act on his desires. This is evident from the lines cited below:

“Was the hope drunk
Wherein you dressed yourself … art thou feared?”

Benefits of using Emotive Language

The primary cause of emotive language is to evoke a sense of emotion in the reader. In other words, emotive language empowers the readers to do something. There are various benefits of using emotive language.

  • It helps in the strengthening emotional well being

It has been supported by science that is adopting emotive language while delivering messages or even in conversations helps heal trauma and emotional turbulences, thereby helping to promote emotional growth (Richards, 2022). Many people maintain journals or diaries, which act as a great way of expressing emotions. In marketing slogans, emotive language is found as they wish to express ideas to a number of people only using a small number of emotive words. In addition, the poems, novels, and stories use emotive language to convey emotions to the readers.

  • It helps in the understanding of past experiences

It has been noted that the aftermaths of difficult experiences lead to emotional turbulence and dissociation. This implies that the brain, to save people from mental agony, numbs the pain; consequently, the actual emotions are not exactly felt, which later becomes troublesome (Hinton, 2019). Thus the emotive way of writing and interaction serves as a saviour as the unfelt emotions can be expressed, and thus the nerve can be eased off the numbness of the pain.

  • It helps in healing

Emotional ties are created by emotive writing between the readers and the story. This provides the opportunity for healing the writer as he gets a chance to be heard and seen about their experiences (Shao et al. 2019). Also, a sense of validation is provided here. Using emotive language in writing is necessary for addressing the communication between the author’s intention, the readers, and the message conveyed to him. In this way, the emotive style of writing help in the healing.

  • Recovery and Reflection

Incorporating emotive language in writing helps to organise thighs effectively. In addition, it also helps create an emotional bond between the readers and the tale, which further ensures that the readers will respond to the story appropriately. Using emotive language in the writing style enables addressing the link between the author’s intention and the messages to be conveyed to audiences.

Uses of Emotive Language

Emotive languages are used in a wide variety of fields. These are discussed below as follows:

  • Marketing and Sales

Throughout the day, emotions help drive many of the decisions, so emotive language plays an important role in marketing. The main goal of marketing is to sell goods, ideas and services, and only an emotional trigger can help achieve this. Humans are emotional creatures, and thus they are barely driven by logical decision-making. Emotional marketing can draw various responses, whether it is paying for services, buying a product or indulging in any concept. One of the main emotional targets in marketing is using emotive words such as ‘comforting’, ‘beautiful’, ‘exciting’, and ‘awe-inspiring’ (Zehra et al. 2021). All these emotive words imply happiness and are used in the case of marketing products such as food, clothes, cars and the like. On the contrary use of emotive words by marketing companies which denote sadness, such as ‘miserable’, ‘destitute’, and ‘scared’, can connect people with charities.

  • Keynote Presentations

While presenting, it is important to keep the audience engaged, and one of the best ways is to narrate an emotive story, or it can be in the form of using their emotions to enable them to feel what the presenter is saying or allowing the story to highlight the point by the language that is used (Hinton, 2019). In this regard, emotive language is important because it persuades the listeners and also it provides an opportunity for the authors to influence the opinion of the listeners or the readers.

  • Introductions

Using emotive language helps in connecting with people. Whether it is addressing public addresses, debates or speeches, emotive language plays an important role. Such type of language is useful in causing an emotional response in the readers and the listeners. Both phrases and words are encompassed by emotive language, which is capable of inciting either positive or negative emotion. In addition, it is important to use ethical and emotive words to frame an issue. For instance, the speeches used by Donald Trump are referred to as emotive because they tend to invoke emotive reactions. When Trump, in one o his speeches from Hilton Head Island describes journalists as ‘scum’, ‘horrible people and ‘illegitimate’, it clearly implies his disliking towards the journalists.

  • Fictional and Creative writing

Emotive language in creative writing comprises adjectives that state how a character or the author feels or perceives something that is capable of evoking a sense of emotional response from the reader and also persuades the reader of something. In this regard, it is also significant to know that emotional language is biased. This implies that though the emotional language is descriptive, the text gets easier and simpler to understand. The emotive words consist of abstract nouns, adjectives, verbs and emotive adverbs. In addition, emotive adverbs are so powerful that they can alter the tone of writing. Without an emotional language, the reader cannot relate to the characters. For instance, in William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, emotive language is used by the poet to compare his interest in love to a summer day. This is evident from the lines, ” Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”?
Emotive language in fictional and creative writing helps stimulate suitable feelings and sensations from the readers. It helps in creating knowledge that is superficial and helps in the creation of a personal connection.

  • Non-fictional writing

Emotive language is often used in non-fictional writing, and the main motto is to keep the audience engaged throughout the story. In other words, the main aim of emotive language is to persuade the raiders to have the smae viewpoint as that of the poet or the author. While teaching children it is also important to use emotive language as it will help them be effective writers and communicators in the future.


  • Hinton, M., 2019. Language and argument: A review of the field. Research in Language, 17(1), pp.93-103.
  • Bielak, J. and Mystkowska-Wiertelak, A., 2022. Language teachers’ interpersonal learner-directed emotion-regulation strategies. Language Teaching Research, 26(6), pp.1082-1105.
  • Shao, K., Pekrun, R. and Nicholson, L.J., 2019. Emotions in classroom language learning: What can we learn from achievement emotion research? System, 86, p.102121.
  • Zehra, W., Javed, A.R., Jalil, Z., Khan, H.U. and Gadekallu, T.R., 2021. Cross corpus multi-lingual speech emotion recognition using ensemble learning. Complex & Intelligent Systems, pp.1-10.
  • Richards, J.C., 2022. Exploring emotions in language teaching. RELC Journal, 53(1), pp.225-239.
  • Baker, M.A. and Kim, K., 2019. Value destruction in exaggerated online reviews: The effects of emotion, language, and trustworthiness. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.
  • Denham, S.A., Ferrier, D.E. and Bassett, H.H., 2020. Preschool teachers’ socialisation of emotion knowledge: Considering socioeconomic Risk. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 69, p.101160.


  1. Define emotive language.
    Emotive language refers to the use of descriptive words, such as adjectives or adverbs, that can show the reader how a character or an author feels about something. In other words, it helps in evoking an emotional response from the readers.
  2. What is the purpose of emotive language?
    The core purpose of emotive language is to target the emotion in a positive, negative or neutral way, and it enables the audience to respond based on the emotional level of the idea that is being shown or portrayed.
  3. Where are emotive languages used?
    Emotive languages are used in newspapers, stories, novels, poems, and articles in order to enable their readers to react emotionally while they are reading.
  4. What are the uses of emotive language?
    Emotive languages are used in fictional, non-fictional and biography writing. Besides this, it is used in marketing and sales to convince customers for a buying a product. While giving a presentation or speech the use of emotive language is also significant.
  5. What are the benefits of emotive languages?
    Emotive language has various advantages such as making emotional well-being more resilient, comprehending past experiences, healing and recovery and reflection.

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