Language is a Virus
Poetics Today, Vol. 13, No. 4, Winter 1992
12 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2009
Date Written: March 1, 1992
How do we make sense of a bare equation like language is a virus? Frequently, a bare equation can be understood as expressing a conventional basic metaphor which we already know as part of our everyday linguistic competence. For example, this job is a detour can be understood as expressing the basic metaphor LIFE IS A JOURNEY. In such a case, the basic metaphor provides most of the interpretation. But when a bare equation is not recognized as an instance of a conventional basic metaphor, then it must be understood through different conceptual instruments. This article discusses some of those conceptual instruments, especially the Invariance Principle and the commonplace notion of The Nature of Things.
Keywords: metaphor, blending
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