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Unformatted text preview: f Americans and the American
construal of the Iraqis, the British do not intend to teach a lesson to the
Argentines (at least in the articles analysed in the present work), but rather
to learn a lesson themselves:
(42) The objective should be genuinely to learn lessons for the future,
rather than score narrow party political points for the present.
(Conceptual metaphor HISTORY IS A TEACHER.) The emotionally loaded vocabulary, in addition to that discussed above,
also included propaganda related political terms (43), violence-related
words (44) and emotion terms (45):
(43) It sounds to many of us as if, in the hope of saving some lives, Mr
Foot is prepared to hand over the Falklands to a Fascist dictator. 128 Chapter IV The Argentines talk much of the need for the decolonization of the
islands. What they appear to mean by this is colonization by themselves.
the nub of this crisis is that the Argentine junta has ridden roughshod over the wishes and liberties of the Falklands Islands and has
imposed a neo-colonial rule over these islands
our boys in the South Atlantic, trying to provide for our people who
are under the heel of the Argentinean dictatorship, the right of selfdetermination and of democracy
The regime responsible for the invasion did not do it to bring freedom and democracy.
Their record of repression in Argentina is an indication of the sort
of people we are dealing with.
Others are watching anxiously to see whether brute force [= Argentina] or the rule of law [= Britain] will triumph.
(44) the hideousness of a bloody battle of Port Stanley
Mr Foot attacked the hysterical bloodlust of The Sun and the Daily
(45) Concern, deepest concern, cordial, cautious, friendly relations,
hope, friendship, dramatic, tragic, agonizing, aggravated, acutely
worried, awesome, indifference, displeasure, hysterical.
The political terms presented in (43) unambiguously form a dichotomous
series of positively evaluated words related to Britain (liberties, the right
of self-determination and of democracy, freedom and democracy, the rule
of law) and strongly negatively evaluated words related to the Argentine
(Fascist, dictator, neo-colonial rule, dictatorship, regime, repression,
brute force).14 Examples in (44) refer to the calamities of war, and are
usually used in a context criticizing the advocates of war (see also a discussion of (50) below). The emotion words in (45) provide a compelling
evidence that the language of a mass media reported debate on war is far
from providing an unemotional, impartial style. Together with the examples of a heated parliamentary debate in (43) it actually undermines the
belief that the British may introduce the rational “rule of law” and that
14 See van Dijk’s (1996: 8) results on racist discourse, where he shows that in the representation of self and the other the positive features of self are emphasized, the negative
features of self are de-emphasized, while the negative feature of the other are emphasized and the positive features of the other are de-emphasize...
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