HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Why It’s Hard to Replace ...

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:27 AM

Why It’s Hard to Replace the "Fiscal Cliff” Metaphor by George Lakoff

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/12/03-0


There is no "fiscal cliff," but that doesn't mean the metaphor isn't powerful and can be easily supplanted.

Writers on economics have been talking since the election about why the “fiscal cliff” metaphor is misleading. Alternative metaphors have been offered like the fiscal hill, fiscal curb, and fiscal showdown, as if one metaphor could easily be replaced by another that makes more sense of the real situation. But none of the alternatives has stuck, nor has the fiscal cliff metaphor been abandoned. Why? Why do some metaphors have far more staying power than others, even when they give a misleading picture of a crucial national issue?

The reason has to do with the way that metaphorical thought and language work in the brain. From a cognitive linguistics perspective, “fiscal cliff” is not a simple metaphor bringing “fiscal” together with “cliff.” It is instead a linguistic metaphor that is understood via a highly integrated cascade of other deeper and more general conceptual metaphors.

A cascade is a neural circuit containing and coordinating neural circuits in various parts of the brain.

Because we think with our brains, every thought we have is physical, constituted by neural circuitry. Because about 98 percent of conscious thought has an unconscious neural substrate, we are rarely aware of conceptual metaphors. And because the brain is a physical system governed by conservation of energy, a tightly integrated cascade of neural metaphor circuits is more likely to be learned, remembered, and readily activated.

5 replies, 572 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why It’s Hard to Replace the "Fiscal Cliff” Metaphor by George Lakoff (Original post)
xchrom Dec 2012 OP
Junkdrawer Dec 2012 #1
tama Dec 2012 #2
Faryn Balyncd Dec 2012 #3
rock Dec 2012 #4
xchrom Dec 2012 #5

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:37 AM

1. And it doesn't hurt that the media has decided to repeat it endlessly....

Jon Stewart has documented the "talking points catch phrase" phenomena on many occasions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:40 AM

2. Such a political cliffhanger!

 

CLIFFHANGER - HANG YOUR CLIFF HERE

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:58 AM

3. Until the shameless echoing of RW propaganda memes by so-called "liberal media" is stopped, the RW..


...will continue to control the framing of public discourse, and thereby continue to wield influence disproportionate to their numbers.






Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:46 AM

4. I like to call it

"The fiscal downward incline so gradual you can barely detect it", but this seems to lack any zest.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rock (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:47 AM

5. ...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread