A Literary Analysis Of The Pseudoscientific Marketing Of A Foot Pain-relieving Product By The Onion

The “onion”, a satirical publication, is intended to mock the pseudoscience behind the marketing campaign for a pain-relieving foot product. The author’s intention is to make fun of the fact that people believe in pseudoscience, even if it sounds scientific. This is achieved by using a scientific, esoteric vocabulary and an ornate sentence structure.

The reader is impressed by the author’s ability to use abstruse terms in order to convey factual information. The journalist can express absurdity by using technical words like “biomagnetic,”‘reflexology”, ‘pain nuclei”, etc. To make the argument appear scientific, this author makes use of a variety of technical terms. The words used are often associated with science and rationality. They make the text appear more genuine. Furthermore, he gives objective-sounding answers when he states, “The principle of Terranometry says that the earth resonates in a specific frequency, part of which corresponds to the surface to which it touches .'[…]. The audience will be more likely to listen to his explanations because of the smart-sounding words. By using arcane language, the writer makes his audience believe that he is logical and true.

The baroque format makes the information more complicated. The journalist embellishes his explanation by adding details to make it more credible. As he states, “Special resonance nodules are implanted in MagnaSoles at key locations to convert wearer energy to match Earth’s vibrational rate, which is 32.805 Kilofrankels. The author adds more clauses throughout the article to improve the structure. Use of descriptive words makes his explanations seem more complete. Readers are more likely to believe him.

Summary: The author’s press release successfully mocks pseudoscientific advertising by using esoteric syntax and esoteric vocabulary.



Jacob Cunningham is a 26-year-old education blogger and teacher who resides in the Pacific Northwest. Jacob's teaching and writing focus on the use of technology in the classroom, and he is a frequent presenter at education conferences around the country. Jacob's work has been featured on sites such as The Huffington Post, Edutopia, and TechCrunch.