About

This blog developed out of a desire to share my research on how metaphors are used in American politics.  I have been studying metaphors for years as part of my training in linguistics.  Several years ago, I noticed that metaphors were very commonly used in news broadcasts about politics.  For example, broadcasters said that the candidates were neck and neck, or they were down to the wire. I thought I should buy a book describing these metaphors so that I could teach them to my students of ESL (English as a Second Language).

After a thorough search, I was surprised to learn that there was no such book.  About the same time, I was lucky enough to get a six-month sabbatical from my teaching position.  I decided to write the book myself.

Originally I thought I would find a few hundred metaphors and be able to research and write the entire book before my sabbatical ended.  However, the more data I collected, the more I realized that it would be a huge project.  After four years of working on the project nights and weekends, my database grew to include more than 2000 metaphors in 54 different categories.

I am putting the finishing touches on the book and hope to get it published soon.  I have learned that writing a blog can help a new author develop an audience for his or her books.  Please share this blog with friends and family members who might be interested. Feel free to add questions or comments.  Thank you for your interest and support!

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Thomas Burgert

    During my MA-TESOL studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, I developed an interest in metaphor as just one aspect of critical applied linguistics (e.g., Pennycook (2001), Fairclough (2001), Janks (1997), Norton (2005). This pursuit led me first to Robin Lakoff and then of course to her former spouse George Lakoff, and his (along with Mark Johnson) seminal “Metaphors We Live By”. During the second 2004 presidential campaign Lakoff published “Don’t Think of an Elephant.” This little paperback is simply brilliant in its deconstruction of conservatives’ strategic naming of Bush Administration policies; for example the euphemism “The Clean Air Act” which basically defunded the EPA. In this book Lakoff laid out a simple plan for progressives to “reframe” the issues in an effort to express and present progressive values to undecided voters.
    I still have an interest in how language works (e.g., passive voice, modality, article choice, etc.) for the upper classes to wield power to maintain the economic status quo, and how ESL learners in the working classes can use language to resist power. I will be studying your website and looking forward to your book.
    Regards,
    Thomas Burgert, MA-TESOL
    Huntington Beach, Ca.

    Reply
    1. Andrew Gallagher Post author

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I am glad that you find the blog posts worthwhile. I, too, am a big fan of all of Lakoff’s work, including his book, “Don’t Think of an Elephant.” I hope to have the time some day to write more lengthy summaries of some important works on metaphors. If you have any specific questions about political metaphor usage, please let me know!

      Reply
  2. Peggy Tharpe

    Hi Thomas, Go MIIS! I’m working there now as adjunct and do workshops for the MIIS graduage ESL teachers on pronunciation and intonation. Small world, isn’t it?
    Hi Andrew…we meet again. I posted your Lyndon Johnson article on my Facebook page: facebook.com/peggy.tharpe (or something like that). And a friend, retired teacher, commented with a link to an article she had just read about metaphors used by MLK. I followed the link, and here I am again! It seems to be our day to connect.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>