Conceptual metaphor use in American newspapers regarding COVID-19.

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic has entered the world, it is impossible to imagine the news without it. History has proven that communication about pandemics and/or infectious diseases has been used for ideologic and political purposes, as social preferences are embedded in our daily communication. One way to zoom in on communication differences between political opposites, is through metaphor use. Metaphors influence one’s thoughts strongly, as it highlights one aspect and covers up another aspect. Therefore, it plays a major role in ideologically influenced media articles about the COVID-19 pandemic. The most frequently used metaphor type for communication about pandemics is the war metaphor. Therefore, this study’s aim is to examine to what extent there is a difference in the use of war metaphors between liberal and conservative newspaper articles regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. To do so, a corpus study consisting of 200 news articles from liberal newspapers and 200 news articles from conservative newspapers was conducted. It was found that liberal newspapers make more use of metaphors than conservative newspapers. However, the difference was not found in the use of war metaphors, but in other types of metaphors.
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