COVID-19 and metaphors: the correlation between political preference and metaphor use.

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This study was conducted to find out whether there is a difference in the use of metaphors depending on political preference. Articles about COVID-19 from two liberal and two conservative American newspapers were analysed. Past research led to the hypothesis that liberal newspapers most frequently use war metaphors and conservative newspapers most frequently use religious metaphors. The results did not support this hypothesis. There was no difference in the use of metaphors between liberal and conservative newspapers regarding war and religious metaphors. However, there was a significant difference between the number of other metaphors used in both types of newspaper. Although this is not in line with past research, it could be explained by the lack of political topics discussed. On top of this, all the articles discussed COVID-19, which does not give a good overview of the use of metaphors in all newspaper articles. Furthermore, war and religious metaphors are only two specific types of metaphor. Other metaphors include every other type of metaphor that exists. Therefore, it is not surprising that a difference was found in this category. Lastly, although there was a distinction between liberal and conservative newspapers, the sample size was quite small. Only four newspapers were analysed, considering only one subject. Future research should focus on more different newspapers and analyse articles about different topics. Additionally, it is of the essence that more types of metaphors are identified and not all classified in the same category.
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