Philology, pedagogy, and psychology

2022 Issue №4

Back to the list Download the article

Phraseological units as a means of information compression in the American election discourse



Phraseological units are perhaps one of the most visible manifestations of language manipulation. Although phraseology has always been regarded as a powerful source of influencing people’s minds, relatively little is known about the way one perceives and interprets a phraseological unit which has accumulated a great deal of knowledge and experience of many generations since it was first implemented. This paper attempts to classify the types of this information compression bringing the American election discourse to the center of attention. Firstly, we identify phraseological units among various manipulative means, including those that were subject to any kind of transformation and, therefore, are difficult to detect. Secondly, we seek to categorize these phraseological units according to the “impression” they make on the addressee. Thus, the final stage of the analysis is to estimate which type of information compression via phraseological units is the most popular while manipulating. The findings reveal the enormous potential of phraseological units as a means of information compression to modify the behavior, views, and attitude to things as well as give an idea of something by making the addressee visualize it. The results show the latter’s significance in the information perception by the addressee.


1. Arutyunova N. D. Aesthetic and antiaesrhetic aspects of humour // Logical Language Analysis: Language Humour Tools. Moscow, 2007. P. 5—17 (in Russ.).

2. Cambridge Dictionary. Available at: [accessed 15 April 2022].

3. Chernyavskaya V. E. Discourse of power and the power of discourse: Problems of speech influence. Moscow, 2006 (in Russ.).

4. Collins. Available at: [accessed 15 April 2022].

5. Dilts R. Sleight of mouth: The magic of conversational belief change. Saint Petersburg, 2015.

6. Donald Trump. Remarks at Trump SoHo in New York City. Available at: [accessed 15 April 2022].

7. Dotsenko E. L. The psychology of manipulation: Phenomena, techniques and protection. Moscow, 2000 (in Russ.).

8. Fairclough N. Analysing discourse: textual analysis for social research. London, 2003.

9. Goodin R. Manipulatory politics. New Heaven, 1980.

10. Kubryakova E. S. About discourse and the structure of knowledge behind it // Language. Personality. Text. Moscow, 2005. P. 23—33 (in Russ.).

11. Kunin A. V. Big English-Russian phraseological dictionary. Moscow, 2005 (in Russ.).

12. Macmillan Dictionary. (2009—2022). Available at: [accessed 15 April 2022].

13. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Available at: [accessed 15 April 2022].

14. Mikhalyova O. L. Political discourse. Specific character of manipulative influence. Moscow, 2009 (in Russ.).

15. Mitt Romney’s Acceptance Speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention — Promises to ‘Restore America’. Available at: https://historymusings.word­ [accessed 15 April 2022].

16. Mitt Romney’s Speech to the Newspaper Association of America Accuses President Barack Obama of Hiding his Agenda & of Waging Hide & Seek Campaign. Available at:­paign-buzz-april-4-2012-mitt-romneys-speech-to-the-newspaper-association-of-america-accuses-president-barack-obama-of-hiding-his-agenda-of-waging-hide-seek-campaign/ [accessed 15 April 2022].

17. President Barack Obama Accuses Mitt Romney of Cow Pie Distortion on Debt Deficits in Campaign Speech at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Available at: [accessed 15 April 2022].

18. President Barack Obama’s Speeches at Campaign Events in Los Angeles, California. Available at: [accessed 15 April 2022].

19. President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Delray Beach, Florida — Presses Post-Debate Attack on ‘Romnesia’. Available at: [accessed 15 April 2022].

20. Proto L. Who’s pulling your strings? How to stop being manipulated by your own personalities. Wellingborough, 1993.

21. Schiller G. Mind manipulators. Moscow, 1980 (in Russ.).

22. Sidorov E. V. Discourse ontology. Moscow, 2009 (in Russ.).

23. Sheinov V. P. Psychology of deceit and fraud. Moscow, 2001 (in Russ.).

24. Sternin I. A. Principles of speech influence. Voronezh, 2012 (in Russ.).

25. The Free Dictionary. (2003—2022). Available at: [accessed 15 April 2022].

26. Uspenskiy B. A. Selected works. Language and Culture. Moscow, 1994 (in Russ.).

27. Wilson J. Talking with the President: the Pragmatics of Presidential Language. Oxford, 2015.

28. 2016 Presidential Election Campaign Announcement Speech by John Kasich. Available at: from [ac­cessed 15 April 2022].

29. 2016 Presidential Election Campaign Announcement Speech by Scott Walker. Available at: [accessed 15 April 2022].

30. 2016 Presidential Election Campaign Announcement Speech by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Available at: [accessed 15 April 2022].