Words on Wheels: Investigating Car Inscriptions in Jordan
AbstractThis study investigates the thematic content of car inscriptions in Jordan. A random corpus of 322 car inscriptions was collected from various types of vehicles by the researchers themselves across Irbid Governorate in Jordan in the period 12 January to 30 March, 2019. The corpus was then refined excluding graphics, such as drawings, maps, ready-made stickers, graphs, symbols and other images. Each inscription was individually analysed and thematically tagged. Moreover, inscriptions were tagged for the age of the cars that carried them: old (>10 years old) and new (?10 years old). Lastly, the tags were counted and percentages were extracted. The findings show that car inscriptions in Jordan fall under twelve major themes: religion, philosophy, advertisement, tagging, futility & fun, patriotism, alliance, brands, romance, instructions, politics and greetings. In addition, the results show that old cars are more likely to be written on than new ones. Finally, it is evident that Jordanian car owners and/or drivers use their moving vehicles as an inexpensive and efficient way for voicing their opinions, beliefs, views, emotions and attitudes in addition to being a low-cost advertising venue.
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