Here the sensibility of losing any more lives is

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Unformatted text preview: d. A qualitative analysis of war news 129 they actually represent values different from those of the “sabre-rattling Argentines”. The third group of expressions is centred on the metaphor WAR IS BUSINESS. The economic cost of war, when it concerns possible losses in international trade, or considers the financing used for equipping the army, providing it with ammunition and fuel, training, supplying food, clothing and pay for the soldiers, organizing billets and medical support, finally paying insurance for requisitions, are hardly metaphorical (see example (46)). When, however, soldiers and civilians’ suffering, injuries and casualties are discussed in terms of gain and loss, then we encounter an implementation of the generic metaphor QUALITY IS QUANTITY in its specification WAR IS BUSINESS. It provides a metaphoric understanding of the ‘cost’ of human life. Often the human life is then balanced by such abstract and intangible notions as ‘freedom’ or ‘right to self-determination’. Such an approach is transparent in the excerpts in (47) and (58): (46) As the Prime Minister said yesterday that she is ready if necessary to turn the Falklands into a fortress for an indefinite period, we are entitled to know the estimated annual cost of all this and where the money will come from? (47) Mr Whitelaw: The Prime Minister was surely right when she said freedom was worth defending. The right of self-determination of the Falklands is worth defending. That is what we are doing. The whole country owes an unrepayable debt to the forces who have given their lives in the Falklands. (48) As the price of recovery of the islands grows, in life, in injury and in money, will Mr Whitelaw accept that Argentina is not interested just in the Falklands and in South Georgia, but in the South Sandwich islands and British Antarctica… (49) a full list and analysis of the costs on life, equipment, and money in this tragic and unnecessary war? The passage in (48) is a particularly interesting instance of using the literal and the metaphoric meanings of the word price as if it was one in an enumerative sequence: the price … in life (metaphoric), in injury (metaphoric) and in money (literal). What’s more, even the critics of the war (excerpt (49)) use the same metaphoric/literal meaning fuzziness in their argumentation (costs on life, equipment and money). Whether the speaker 130 Chapter IV is a supporter or a critic of the war, they both rely on the BUSINESS conceptual metaphor and obscure the distinction between the cost on life and cost on equipment and money, as if there were no difference in quality between loss of life and loss of money. Such uses contribute to the blurring of the distinction between metaphorical and literal, which leads to the bleaching and dangerous generalisation of meaning, as a result of which word meaning can be stretched ad infinitum, so that Underhill’s (2003) switch of meaning can become possible. If we consider that much of politics is acted out in w...
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