Contagious metaphor by Peta Mitchell

By Peta Mitchell

The metaphor of contagion pervades serious discourse around the humanities, the scientific sciences, and the social sciences. it sounds as if in such phrases as 'social contagion' in psychology, 'financial contagion' in economics, 'viral advertising' in company, or even 'cultural contagion' in anthropology. within the twenty-first century, contagion, or 'thought contagion' has turn into a byword for creativity and a basic strategy in which wisdom and ideas are communicated and brought up, and resonates with André Siegfried's commentary that 'there is a impressive parallel among the spreading of germs and the spreading of ideas'.

In Contagious Metaphor, Peta Mitchell bargains an cutting edge, interdisciplinary learn of the metaphor of contagion and its courting to the workings of language. reading either metaphors of contagion and metaphor as contagion, Contagious Metaphor indicates a framework during which the emergence and infrequently epidemic-like replica of metaphor should be greater understood.

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The virus is in part a parasite that destroys, that introduces disorder into communication. Even from the biological standpoint, this is what happens with a virus; it derails a mechanism of the communicational type, its coding and decoding. On the other hand, it is something that is neither living nor nonliving; the virus is not a microbe. And if you follow these two threads, that of a parasite which disrupts destination from the communicative point of view – disrupting writing, inscription, and the coding and decoding of inscription – and which on the other hand is neither alive nor dead, you have the matrix of all that I have done since I began writing.

6). In other words, where the traditional, empirical theory of metaphor holds that metaphor is secondary to literal language, Lakoff and Johnson’s cognitive theory of metaphor holds that metaphorical language is, in fact, secondary to metaphorical cognition (Lakoff and Johnson 2003, p. 272). As rhetorician and literary critic Wayne C. 13 ­Nevertheless, the influence of Lakoff and Johnson’s theory of metaphor within 24 Contagious Metaphor cognitive linguistics cannot be overestimated, and, in the form of CMT, an entire school of metaphorical analysis has grown up around the work of Lakoff in p ­ articular.

283; emph. in original). However, as Black argues, a metaphor cannot simply be paraphrased as a ­literal statement without losing meaning. ‘The literal paraphrase’, he writes, ‘inevitably says too much – and with the wrong emphasis’ (1954–55, p. 293). Something is lost in the translation, and that something is, according to Black, a loss in cognitive content; the relevant weakness of the literal paraphrase is not that it may be tiresomely prolix or boringly explicit – or deficient in qualities of style; it fails to be a translation because it fails to give the insight that the metaphor did.

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