Publication details [#11390]

Wilss, Wolfram. 2002. Die Falle als Muster. Metaphorische Ausdrucksweisen in Printmedien (The 'Falle' (trap) as a pattern. Metaphorical expressions in print media). 7 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


The pervasive presence of metaphorical expressions in journalistic language is noted, discussing briefly the use of metaphors as linguistic stencils enabling economy of expression. Wolfgang Wildgen's (1988) notion of configuration is found to be applicable in the description of the repetitive use of certain linguistic clichés in similar communicative situations. This is illustrated with German 'Falle' (trap) whose associative potential made it a very productive element in metaphorical compounds and compositions. A representative corpus of such expressions is compiled from the titles of German newspapers, magazines, and books. This proliferation of 'Falle'-metaphors is described as an "automatic conditioned response," a notion introduced in Geoffrey N. Leech's 'Semantics' (London: Harmondsworth, 1974), and interpreted as the outcome of schema-based language behavior and a byproduct of mass production for mass consumption where there is a growing need for linguistic masswares. (Z. Dubiel in LLBA 2003, vol. 37, n. 2)