The mass phenomenon of t-shirt slogans -- Communicative functions of t-shirt slogans -- The phenomenon of semantic distance -- The other side of linguistic globalisation? Concluding remarks.
Most t-shirts sold and worn in Germany are not imprinted in German, but in English. This essay will attend to the question in how far this situation has an impact on the message character of t-shirt slogans. To prove that the relation of German t-shirt
wearers to the messages on their chests is marked by a ‘semantic distance’, we will first discuss the general textual and communicative characteristics of texts on t-shirts. Then we will analyse the propositional strategies which are used and ask for their function. The last part of the essay will deal with the role of English as the global language of popular culture. It will be shown that the relation of Germans to this global language weakens the expressive impact of t-shirt slogans.