The “the onion” is a satirical press release that mocks the pseudoscience used in the marketing of a foot pain-relieving product. Throughout the text, the author intends to humorize how average people are gullible for scientific-sounding reasons that do not state actual facts. The writer achieves this by utilizing scientific, esoteric diction and ornate syntax.
By using abstruse words to emulate factual information, the author earns the readers’ acclaim. The journalist is able to express nonsense as he addresses the audience with technical terms such as “isometrically,” “biomagnetic,” “reflexology,” and “pain-nuclei”. In particular, the author takes advantage of this type of terminology in order to make his argument sound scientific. Since science is often associated with rationality, these words impel the text to seem authentic. Additionally, he writes objective-sounding explanations when he articulates, “‘The principles of Terranometry state that the earth resonates on a very precise frequency, which it in parts to the surface it touches.’[…] ‘If the frequency of one’s foot is out of alignment with the earth, the entire body will suffer’.” The smart-sounding diction generates ethos; thus, the audience is more likely to consider the information. The writer, by employing arcane diction, gets the audience to believe that his statements are true and logical.
Moreover, the baroque structure makes the content more intricate. By stating, “Practiced in the accident for over 11 years, reflexology, the literature explains, establishes a correspondence between every point on the human foot and another part of the body, and even when you’re supposed to heal your entire body as you walk,” the journalist embroiders the explanation with details, making his argument seem more plausible. In addition, he includes supplementary information as he asserts, “Special resonator nodules implanted at key spots in MagnaSoles convert the wearer’s own energy to match the Earth’s natural vibrational rate of 32.805 Kilofrankels. The resultant harmonic energy field rearranges the foot’s naturally occurring atoms, converting the pain-nuclei into pleasing confortrons.” Throughout the article but primarily in the previous example, the author modifies previous statements with more clauses to make the structure more thorough. The use of descriptive phrases causes the explanations he is trying to convey to appear to be more complete; Therefore, the reader is more easily convinced.
In summary, the author successfully ridicules pseudoscientific marketing by using esoteric diction and ornate syntax in his press release.