97b rebels attack morale rather than cities

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Unformatted text preview: ally rewarding. The following excerpt shows a far less skilful use of metaphorical expression motivated by WAR IS MEDICINE conceptual metaphor: (91) The “bleeding wound” that Mr Gorbachev inherited when he came to power nearly four years ago has been lanced, but it is far from 166 Chapter IV healed. (SOVIET INTERVENTION IN AFGHANISTAN IS WOUND FOR THE SOVIET SOCIETY conceptual metaphor) A BLEEDING While it is quite obvious that a festering wound can be lanced in the hope of bringing relief and healing it, it is difficult to see why anyone would lance rather than stitch a bleeding wound. The expression seems to be a misguided blending of two phrases lancing a boil and dressing a wound. (91) can be yet another testimony to the claim I have made earlier in this chapter, namely that occasionally the journalists get carried away by their language and lose control over the particular phrasing they use. 2.8.2. Isolated metaphors The discourse frames described above rested on the use of national symbols and emotional, evaluative vocabulary. Example (92) below is construed around the THE WESTERNER IS A TEACHER conceptual metaphor, in which the Soviets are given a lesson. (92) The second motive was simply to teach Moscow that further extensions of the Soviet Union’s power beyond its frontiers would meet a strong response, and that Moscow would pay a heavy price. That lesson has been learnt, and the price extracted. Here the LESSON metaphor32 is intermingled with the BUSINESS metaphor, which appeared regularly in the analysed texts, as evidenced in (93) below: (93) Moscow’s heavy price for eight-year conflict; The Soviet Union has had to pay a heavy price for waging war in Afghanistan for more than eight years. The figure of 15,000 dead, acknowledged by Moscow on Thursday and confirmed by Western intelligence sources, provides a reliable indication of the human price paid. 32 It must be mentioned that the LESSON metaphor underlies several linguistic expressions in which the Soviets are described as learning a lesson through gaining experience rather than being taught by someone who knows what is right. A qualitative analysis of war news 167 In a speech showing just how little was achieved at the cost of more than 13,000 Soviet lives, (Mapping: Human Life is a Price in a Business Transaction) In these examples human lives are reduced to figures in statistics; however, probably because the figures are frighteningly high, the powerful appeal of the sheer figures is not diminished. Although this type of conceptual metaphor usually hides the human suffering of the deceased and of the bereaved families, it does not seem to work this way here. There is an example in the data in which the WAR IS BUSINESS conceptual metaphor spans three different concepts: the economy, human lives and politics, so that in this case the human losses are effectively downplayed as yet another item on the balance sheet. This impression is further strengthened by the use of a slightly dismissive word adventure. (94) The withdrawa...
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