Malapropisms are the main use of satire in this article. Words like “kilofrankels”, “pain-nuclei”, and “comfortrons” are clearly not scientific terms, but the author uses them to point out that people usually believe what they’re told if big, technical-sounding words are used. Pseudoscience is a defined term, yet it is a belief that is presented as scientific, but has no scientific status. Therefore, when it’s used in the article to prove that something is valid, it’s really just exaggeration and negates whatever claims were made. The article advertises that MagnaSoles heals using Terranometry, but Terranometry is a type of pseudoscience, and has no basis in fact. Many other defined terms are used falsely. “Biofeedback” and “bio flow” are both words used in science, but in the article they are used incorrectly, just to make MagnaSoles sound legitimate.
Sarcastic irony is implemented in testimonies from customers. The consumers “are hailing them as a welcome alternative to expensive, effective forms of traditional medicine.” The fact that consumers prefer MagnaSoles over “effective forms of traditional medicine” is ironic, because MagnaSoles don’t work. One customer said that after spraining her ankle and then wearing MagnaSoles for seven weeks, she was healed.
That’s ironic because she would have healed in seven weeks anyway, no matter what she wore. She just happened to be wearing MagnaSoles for those seven weeks, and so she thought they had healed her. Another testimonial included a comment about paying for the shoe inserts because they were “clearly endorsed by an intelligent-looking man in a white lab coat.” This is ironic because people will believe someone is intelligent if they are dressed a certain way, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually smart.
Hyperbole is implemented when the article advertises the shoe inserts as medicine that can cure many things besides foot pain. The article says that the inserts use reflexology to heal the entire body, though reflexology is pseudoscience. The advertisement says that MagnaSoles go further, utilizing “the healing power of crystals to re-stimulate dead foot cells with vibrational biofeedback… a process similar to that by which medicine makes people better.” This is a very apparent hyperbole, because shoe inserts will obviously not heal the body, especially if their make-up is based entirely on pseudoscience.
This mock press release is a clear parody of the way products are marketed to consumers. Irony, exaggeration, and scientific words are often used in real advertisements to convince people to buy products. The satirical strategies used in The Onion’s article are effective at exposing marketing strategies.