Publication details [#9352]

Rohtlaan, Ille. 2006. Metaphors in a media text: News titles. Child Development 8 : 626–636. 11 pp.


The article is focused on the titles of news texts, more specifically on the use of metaphor as a rhetorical figure. When used in a title a metaphor has the advantage of priority and thus it produces a further-reaching effect than one in the text to follow. So it may well happen that a news text, which is naturally assumed to be objective and reliable, has actually been semanticized by a metaphor positioned in its title. This way a presumably objective and neutral news text may still hide certain linguistic means of influence, including metaphors perceived as perfectly natural and "right." Such "naturalization" of semantic associations, however, works for the formation and entrenchment of certain mental models and hegemonic ideology in the reader. The question is what metaphors are used, what meanings are mediated to the readers by those metaphors, and why is it done. In a quest to answer these questions for media texts it seems particularly appropriate to rely on a broad approach to metaphor, based on the cognitive metaphor and blend theory by Lakoff and Johnson. Politics is rich in conceptual metaphors, of which the following seem to form the underlying structure of political thinking: POLITICS IS WAR, POLITICS IS BUSINESS, COMMUNITY IS A FAMILY, COMMUNITY IS AN INDIVIDUAL, PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS ARE A COMPETITION. Those metaphors are widespread both in media and among politicians. What is most important, they affect a concrete social structure and political pattern. For a WAR-metaphor it is important which cognitive associations between two social spheres - politics and war – are emphasized and "naturalized" by that metaphor, and why. It seems that as war is considered to be a masculine activity and a test of manhood the WAR-metaphor works for the masculinization of both the political discourse and the relevant social practices. Adapted from the source document. (LLBA, Accession Number 200705830, (c) CSA [2007]. All rights reserved.)