Episode 14: The Language of Entrepreneurship – part 1

Talking about entrepreneurship

We begin the first episode of the new mini-series on the language of entrepreneurship by discussing associations with, and definitions of, entrepreneurs. Bernard quotes one definition from Investopedia, a website for investors.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

We then go on to talk about local businesses and what they call themselves. If you read German, you may enjoy this article on names for hairdressers’ shops. Bernard mentions various categorisations of entrepreneurs (see here) and how one type may not regard the other as a “real” entrepreneur

One category of entrepreneur is the ‘mumpreneur’. For academic work on mumpreneurs, and female entrepreneurs more widely, see:

We continue the first part of the episode by talking about the value set on entrepreneurial thinking and attitudes, especially at universities. Veronika mentions examples from the hosts’ employers:

University of Ghent (Bernard): Centre for Student Entrepreneurship, https://www.durfondernemen.be/en/ 

Aston University (Erika): Start-up support for graduate entrepreneurs, https://b-seen.biz

Lancaster University (Veronika): Entrepreneurs in Residence, https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/lums/business/community/entrepreneurs-in-residence/

For critical views on enterprise culture and entrepreneurial universities, see:

  • Fairclough, N. (1993). Discourse and cultural change in the enterprise culture. In Graddol, D., Thompson, L., & and M. Byram (eds), Language and Culture. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp. 44-54.
  • Mautner, G. (2005). The entrepreneurial university: A discursive profile of a higher education buzzword. Critical Discourse Studies, 2(2), 95-120.

You can watch Steve Jobs introduce the iPad here:

While the iPad may be a useful invention, check out this Instagram account for some useless inventions 😂😃🤪

During the interview with Munene Khoza, Veronika mentions an interview study she did with language professionals. Here’s the reference: 

  • Koller, V. (2017). Language awareness and language workers. Language Awareness, 27(1-2), 4-20. 

The business plan we analyse in the final part of the episode, and other examples, can be found at https://www.startups.com/library/expert-advice/top-4-business-plan-examples 

Veronika mentions small stories during the analysis, an idea from recent narrative theory (see also episode 7 of the podcast, on storytelling): 

  • Georgakopoulou, A. (2007). Small Stories, Interaction and Identities. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

See you again for the next part of the mini-series on the language of entrepreneurship!

Listen to the episode here

The language of Entrepreneurship (3): Creativity in language and visual communication Words and Actions

In this episode we talk about creativity in language and visual communication. We published many of the images and logos we mention on our website, http://wordsactions.blog. Here you can find the full transcript, too.  In the first part of the episode, Erika mentions the following study on how colour influences investment decisions:  Chan, C. R., & Park, H. D. (2015). How images and color in business plans influence venture investment screening decisions. Journal of Business Venturing, 30(5), 732-748. Veronika published some of her work on the links between colour and language in this article:  Koller, V. (2008a). ‘Not just a colour’: Pink as a gender and sexuality marker in visual communication. Visual Communication, 7(4), 433-461.  Moving on to individual logos, here are  the Toblerone bear and the crest of the city of Bern. Veronika’s research on city brands, including a categorisation of their logos, was published as Koller, V. (2008b). ‘The world in one city’: Semiotic and cognitive aspects of city branding. Journal of Language and Politics, 7(3), 431-450.  We specifically mention the logos of three places where we live or were born, resp.: Ghent (Belgium), Dunaszerdahely (Slovakia) and Stroud (UK). We also discuss what changes in logos and type fonts can signalise, and Veronika mentions the case of Lancaster University, which had such a change in 2014. Some fonts can indeed elicit strong reactions, as evidenced on the website comicsanscriminal.com. The form and connotations of type fonts were theorised by Theo van Leeuwen: van Leeuwen, T. (2006). Towards a semiotics of typography. Information Design Journal, 14(2), 139-155.  For a general interest read, try this book:  Garfield, S. (2010). Just My Type: A book about fonts. London: Profile Books.  Bernard then reveals a different side of himself when he talks about the irregular type fonts and idiosyncratic spelling used by heavy metal bands. At the end of the first part, we talk about names for a company and Erika mentions a study showing a correlation between length of a domain name and visits to a website.  In the interview, Chris Arning mentions, among other works that have influenced him: Jakobson, R. (1981). Linguistics and poetics. In Selected Writings. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton, pp. 18-51.  In the third part of the episode, we analyse linguistic creativity on the website visiticeland.com. This is not an overview website but one to be explored through interacting with it, so have a look. Erika observed that the designers seemed to have followed a model developed under the name of ‘brand linguistics’: Carnevale, M., Luna, D., & Lerman, D. (2017). Brand linguistics: A theory-driven framework for the study of language in branding. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 34(2), 572-591. The red thread for this episode has been travel. You can take a flight of fancy and read about the language and semiotics of luxury destinations here Thurlow, C., & Jaworski, A. (2012) Elite mobilities: The semiotic landscapes of luxury and privilege.  Social Semiotics, 22(4), 487-516 or learn about Gosia Drewniok’s research on the language branding of luxury hotels here – happy travels and see you again for the next episode. 
  1. The language of Entrepreneurship (3): Creativity in language and visual communication
  2. New Year’s Special: 2020 Through the Language Lens
  3. The language of entrepreneurship (2): Pitches and presentations
  4. The Language of Entrepreneurship (1): Talking about Entrepreneurship
  5. Change Management and Language

Full transcription of the episode

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