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Unformatted text preview: ent. It is thus a stylistic trope with a rhetorical effect opposite to
that in (35) and (36). This linguistic expression can be motivated by the
conceptual metaphor WAR IS A DISPUTE.
The next most prominent discourse motif was that connected with
face saving and face threatening. The central underlying metaphor here is
11 As shown in Chapter Two, Section 4, Hughes (1988) considers the use of war-like
vocabulary in non-military contexts as resulting from a desire to increase the expressive
force of the text.
Underhill (2003) calls such a linguistic phenomenon a switch, where a word seems
to take up a new meaning, antithetic to its original meaning. A qualitative analysis of war news 125 that of NATION/STATE IS A PERSON, and the cultural tradition referred to by
Janion and Wiśniewski (see Chapter Three, Section 5) and labelled as the
Glory of War Myth. The metaphor is clearly expressed in the following
(39) The fact that Britain was forced to veto was seen as a victory of
sorts for Argentina which had been seeking to tarnish Britain’s image within the international community.
Members of the council had earlier been amending and refining the
draft resolution with the aim of finding a formula that would save
face for both sides and avert the battle over Port Stanley.
Argentina will maintain its freedom to protect the nation’s interest
and honour, it will not be negotiated.
Lord Shackleton, for the Opposition, said it was the first time Britain had suffered the humiliation of the loss of a colony since the fall
Mrs Thatcher: The future of freedom and reputation of Britain are
These excerpts amply demonstrate how nations and states are conceived
of as people, and interaction between them within the framework of international politics, be it diplomacy or war, can be construed analogically to
speech acts or physical interaction between people.13 This conceptualisation has a long tradition in European thinking on state and war, so that the
conceptual metaphor NATION/STATE IS A PERSON goes back to the Renaissance idea of body politic described in detail in Musolff (2004). As a result of this metaphor countries can threaten each other’s face or attempt to
save it. In this way such human qualities as emotionality are ascribed to
states. This emotional tone is further strengthened by references to the
Glory of War Myth, represented by such phrases as our ships and gallant
men, bravery, dignity, injured pride, the supreme valour of our forces, to
lower our colours, to kill for flags, revenge, pride and arrogance. This
Myth is also fostered by certain historical references, such as the one in
the first sentence of (40): 13 See Chilton – Lakoff (1995) on the metaphorical construction of international relations. Also Musolff (2004) on the conceptualisation of the European Community. 126 Chapter IV (40) however great the nation’s appetite for heroes, there is no conviction here that a new Nelson has been born
Mr Victor Coodhew (St Albans, C): Will she confirm that 30 million
lives were lost in the last world war in Europe because democracy
refused to accept and resist the aggressive intentions of a dictatorship? Will she ensure such a thing does not happen again?
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