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A study on metaphors in english advertising slogans for food and beverage

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY

M.A. THESIS

A STUDY ON METAPHORS IN ENGLISH
ADVERTISING SLOGANS FOR FOOD AND
BEVERAGE

(NGHIÊN CỨU ẨN DỤ TRONG CÁC KHẨU HIỆU QUẢNG CÁO
TIẾNG ANH VỀ THỰC PHẨM VÀ ĐỒ UỐNG)

LƯU THỊ PHƯƠNG THẢO

Hanoi, 2016


MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY

M.A. THESIS


A STUDY ON METAPHORS IN ENGLISH
ADVERTISING SLOGANS FOR FOOD AND
BEVERAGE
(NGHIÊN CỨU ẨN DỤ TRONG CÁC KHẨU HIỆU QUẢNG CÁO
TIẾNG ANH VỀ THỰC PHẨM VÀ ĐỒ UỐNG)

LƯU THỊ PHƯƠNG THẢO

Field: English Language
Code: 60220201

Supervisor: Dr. Tran Thi Thu Hien

Hanoi, 2016


CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY
I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project
report entitled “A study on metaphors in English advertising slogans for food
and beverage” submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Master in English Language. Except where the reference is
indicated,

no

other

person‟s

work

has

been

used

without


due

acknowledgement in the text of the thesis.
Hanoi, 2016

Luu Thi Phuong Thao

Approved by
SUPERVISOR

Date:……………………

i


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to
Doctor. Tran Thi Thu Hien, my supervisor, who has constantly supported my
study, and whose patience, motivation, enthusiasm, and immense knowledge
have helped me in all the time of study and writing of this thesis and inspired
me greatly through my growth as an academic studyer.
My sincere thanks go to all lecturers and the staff of the Department of
Post Graduate Studies at Hanoi Open University for their useful materials,
guidance and enthusiasm during my study at the institution.
Last but not least, I am greatly indebted to my family, my friends for the
help, consideration and encouragement they have devoted to the fulfillment of
my study.

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ABSTRACT
Metaphors are not only found in everyday use of language, but also in
advertisements. The use of metaphorical expressions, specifically conceptual
metaphors in advertising slogans is very common because they can attract
attention and they can give positive inferences for the advertisement
messages. The metaphorical expressions can not be interpreted literally, but
they must be inferred because they give new meanings to the expressions. The
understanding of metaphorical expressions can be drawn by mapping the
features of source domain on the target domain. By the mixture of qualitative
and descriptive method and based on this condition, this study investigates
metaphorical expressions used in advertising slogans for foods and beverage
products through the answer of these questions:
1) What are the most common types of metaphor used in food and
beverage advertising slogans?
2) What are the target and source domain of the metaphorical
expressions used in food and beverage advertising slogans?
3) What are the implications for teaching and learning English as
foreign language as well as in advertising field?
Since then the study can help to understand more about metaphor and
its uses in advertising slogans, identify the importance and characteristics of
metaphorical expressions in food and beverage advertising slogans.
Meanwhile, it can improve knowledge of metaphor in advertisements,
translation and communication in general.

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LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
Sample:
CMT:

Conceptual metaphor theory

TV:

Television

Ad:

Advertising

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LIST OF TABLES AND PICTURES
TABLE
Table 1: The frequency of each sub- types of Conceptual metaphor in food and
beverage advertising slogans.....................................................................................37
Table 2: The general percentage of use of each sub- types of Conceptual metaphor
in the whole forty slogans of food and beverage ......................................................38
Table 3: The analysis of target domain, source domain and metaphor concepts in 24
slogans .......................................................................................................................41

PICTURE
Picture 1: Slogan for Leggo‟s New Deli Fresh .........................................................41
Picture 2: Slogan for Taco Bell .................................................................................42
Picture 3: Slogan for Coke ........................................................................................44
Picture 4: Slogan “Open happiness” (Coca-cola) .....................................................46
Picture 5: Slogan “Real taste. Uplifting freshment” (Coca-cola) .............................47
Picture 6: Slogan for South Cape Fine Foods Haloumi in Brine Advertisements ....48
Picture 7: Slogan for Mrs Dash Advertisement ........................................................50

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS............................................................................ ii
ABSTRACT .................................................................................................... iii
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ....................................................................... iv
LIST OF TABLES AND PICTURES ........................................................... v
TABLE OF CONTENTS............................................................................... vi
Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION ....................................................................... 1
Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ........................................................... 6
2.1. Review of previous studies ................................................................... 6
2.2. Review of theoretical background ....................................................... 8
2.2.1. Theoretical framework .................................................................... 11
2.2.2. Theoretical background .................................................................. 12
2.2.2.1. Metaphor ................................................................................... 13
2.2.2.2 Advertising slogan ..................................................................... 23
2.2.2.3. The exploitation of metaphors in advertising slogans .............. 30
2.3. Summary .............................................................................................. 31
Chapter 3: METHODOLOGY .................................................................... 32
3.1. Study-governing orientations............................................................. 32
3.1.1. Research questions .......................................................................... 32
3.1.2. Research setting .............................................................................. 32
3.1.3. Research approach(es) .................................................................... 33
3.1.4. Principles/criteria for intended data collection and data analysis .. 33
3.2. Study methods ..................................................................................... 34
3.2.1. Major methods vs. supporting methods .......................................... 34
3.2.2. Data collection techniques .............................................................. 34
3.2.3. Data analysis techniques ................................................................. 35
3.3. Summary .............................................................................................. 36

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Chapter 4: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION .............................................. 37
4.1 The most common types of metaphor used in advertising slogans for
food and beverage. ..................................................................................... 37
4.2 Metaphorical slogans by target domain and source domain ........... 38
4.2.1 Product is an entity .......................................................................... 41
4.2.2 Life is an entity ................................................................................ 43
4.2.3 Emotion is an entity ......................................................................... 45
4.2.4 Product is a person ........................................................................... 47
4.2.5 Days are products............................................................................. 51
4.2.6 Characteristics are locations ........................................................... 52
4.3 Further implications for teaching, learning and advertising
concerning the use of metaphorical expressions .................................... 53
4.3.1 For teaching and learning foreign language .................................... 53
4.3.2 For advertising ................................................................................. 54
4.4 Summary ............................................................................................... 54
Chapter 5: CONCLUSION .......................................................................... 55
5.1 Recapitulation....................................................................................... 55
5.2 Concluding remarks (on each of the thesis objectives) .................... 56
5.2.1. Concluding remarks (on the first objectives) ................................. 56
5.2.2 Concluding remarks (on the second objectives) .............................. 56
5.2.3. Concluding remarks (on the third objectives) ................................ 57
5.3 Limitations of the current study ......................................................... 57
5.4 Recommendations/Suggestions for a further study .......................... 58
5.4.1 Recommendations ............................................................................ 58
5.4.2 Suggestions for a further study ........................................................ 58
REFERENCES .............................................................................................. 59
APPENDIX .................................................................................................... 61

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Chapter 1
INTRODUCTION

1.1.

Rationale for the study

Metaphors are very common in people‟s daily life; whether people realize
it or not, they actually have used metaphors to understand something since
metaphors are characterized as “understanding and experiencing one kind of
things in terms of another” and metaphors are “primarily a matter of thought
and action and only derivatively a matter of language”. Metaphor has been
concerned by many linguists because it is an outstanding linguistic
phenomenon in language. For many different purposes, metaphor is used in
many fields to find out its real nature in communication. In fact, more and
more people have used metaphor effectively.
Metaphor is very closely related to human‟s everyday life, so it is not
surprising that “a contemporary advertising contains many metaphors”
(Forceville, 1996: 67). And at present, metaphor has become one of the most
popular devices for advertising. The advertisers always like to use metaphor
in their advertisements because metaphor refers to language use that explains
something other than what it literally means through the comparison two
things to make a connection between them. A well chosen metaphor will
greatly prompt people‟s desire to buy a certain product. Using metaphor in
advertising satisfies customers‟ curiosity and excitement but sometimes
causes many difficulties to understand.
Because advertising slogans can attract customers‟ attention and give
positive inferences for the advertisement messages by mapping the features of

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source domain on the target domain, companies have used slogans in their
advertisements for years. Slogan is not just a tag line that advertisers create
but play a strategic game, in the long run, good slogans play with customer‟s
mind making it believe yours is a reliable product. Therefore, major
corporations and business have used catchy phrases to tell the world what
makes their product special or different. Slogans really work best to display
the real perspective for any business, this way it can attract the targeted
audience easily and can also connect with them emotionally.
Moreover, among many types of advertisements, food and beverage
advertisements are the most popular ones in many kinds of media that
communicates potentially powerful consumption cues. Thank to these
advertisements, customers can compare and gain a great deal of information
concerning the healthy food and drink to be consumed.
With the hope to make more contribution to these discussions, “A study
on metaphors in English advertising slogans for food and beverage”
investigates the way advertisers use metaphors to actively involve consumers
and provides knowledge about metaphor, at the same time helps us have
better language understanding of advertising slogans.
1.2.

Aims of the study

The study aims to explore types of metaphors used in English advertising
slogans for food and beverage based on Lakoff and Johnson‟s theory (1980).
Therefore, a classification of metaphors is presented, and then is applied in
the study of a collection of 40 advertising slogans from English-speaking
countries or global brands. To find out the answer for the research questions
proposed, the study specifically aims at:

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- Provide the most common types of metaphor used in food and
beverage advertising slogans.
- Clarify the target and source domain of the metaphorical expressions
used in food and beverage advertising slogans.
- Suggest some implications for teaching and learning English as
foreign language as well as in advertising field.
1.3.

Objectives of the study

There are three primary objectives of this study:
(i) To provide the most common types of metaphor used in food and
beverage advertising slogans.
(ii) To clarify the target and source domain of metaphorical
expressions used in food and beverage advertising slogans.
(iii) To suggest some implications for teaching and learning English
as foreign language as well as in advertising field.
1.4.

Scope of the study
(i) Academic scope:

The study focuses on metaphors in English advertising slogans for food
and beverage. In order to fulfill these objectives and answer the research
questions, a literature review should be conducted to help identify the
common types of metaphor, its use in advertising slogans and implications for
other fields. It means all researches on types of language style used for
product advertising and other attempts to work with advertising terms of other
studies.
(ii) Social scope:
40 food and beverage advertising slogans are collected from all sources
including TV, internet, radio, pictorials, newspapers, magazines of all types.

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Among them, there are slogans from Coca-Cola, Mc Donald‟s and Burger
King, and some are from other famous food and beverage brands.
1.5.

Significance of the study
(i) Theoretical significance
By exploring the uses of metaphors in food and beverage advertising

slogans, the study provides certain information and understanding of
conceptual metaphor used in advertising field. Findings from the study can be
useful for the better use of metaphor in advertisements as well as in crosscultural communication.
(ii) Practical significance
Through this study, teachers can use metaphor for classroom
discussions and exercises then encourages students to identify and compare
with the way words are used in their own first language. At the same time it
can provide suggestions for advertisers and marketers‟professional knowledge
in using metaphor in designing advertising slogans.
1.6.

Structural organization of the study

The study consists of

five main chapters as follows: Introduction,

Literature Review, Methodology, Findings and Discussions and Conclusion .
Chapter 1 – Introduction: Gives brief information about the study such as
rationale, aims and objectives, scope, significance and structure of the study.
Chapter 2 – Literature Review: Provides a brief history of metaphor in
literature from different philosophical perspectives. Makes discussion on
more relevant issues for the purposes of this study and presents a basis for
understanding the foundation of the current study on metaphor in advertising.
Chapter 3 – Methodology: Defines and presents the methodology of the
study. Determination of the samples will also be explained. Methods

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examined will be those for collection and analysis of the data utilized
throughout the study.
Chapter 4 – Findings and discussions: Investigates different metaphorical
linguistic expressions in food and beverage advertising slogans from different
sources, diferent aspects then finds answers to three research questions.
Chapter 5 – Conclusions and Implications: Summaries the major
findings resulted from the investigation. At the same time, presents the
limitations of the study and provides some suggestions for further study in
the future as well.

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Chapter 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1. Review of previous studies
Metaphors are used in most aspects of life: communication, literature and
other fields so becomes an useful way to understand the world as well as
express our ideas about everything. In fact, according to Lakoff and Johnson
(1980:3), “metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in
thought and action”. Metaphors are pervasive in our expressions because they
are systematic, the language we use to talk about metaphors are metaphorical
concepts.
Galperin (1981), stated that “the term „metaphor‟, as the etymology of the
word reveals, means transference of some quality from one object to another.
From the times of ancient Greek and Roman rhetoric, the term has been
known to denote the transference of meaning from one word to another. It is
still widely used to designate the process in which a word acquires a
derivative meaning.”
The understanding of metaphor has been of great interest to scholars in
linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, and psychology (Nelson & Hitchon,
1999). Aristotle described metaphor as “giving names to previously nameless
things” and he wrote that “the greatest thing by far is to be a master of
metaphor” (Aristotle, trans. 1952, p. 662; as cited in Leary, 1995, p. 268).
Although he used metaphors, including: “The harmony of colors is like the
harmony of sounds” (Aristotle, translated 1952; as cited in Nelson & Hitchon,
1995, p. 347).

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Contemporary theorists affirm “the impossibility of doing without
metaphors” (Berlin, 1981; as cited in Leary, 1995, p. 268): “Without parallels
and analogies between one sphere and another of thought and action, whether
conscious or not, the unity of our experience or experience itself would not be
possible. All language and thought processes are, in this sense, necessarily
„metaphorical‟” (p. 158; as cited in Leary, 1995, p. 268).
Metaphors have a fundamental role in language and thinking as they
provide a framework for organizing information about the world and for
making sense of experiences (Kaplan, 1990). Lakoff and Johnson (1980)
argue that they are part of the human conceptual system to account for how
concepts are (1) grounded, (2) structured, (3) related, and (4) defined (p. 106),
thus enable categorization and schema development. Similarly, Peppers
(1942) suggests that root metaphors determine our worldview by providing
meaningful categories for people to group together perceptions and
experiences (Siltanen, 1981).
Metaphors have a key role in creative thinking that is particularly
important in public and commercial communication. Here, Bowers and
Osborn (1966), Fearing (1963), and Reinsch (1971) found that metaphors
increase the persuasive power of speeches (as cited in Siltanen, 1981). These
scholars contend that metaphors change people‟s attitudes more “because
metaphors appeal to the senses, enliven the discourse, and make it easier to
attend to the arguments of the message” (Bowers & Osborn, p. 147; as cited
in Siltanen, p. 69). Kaplan (1990) asserts that truly creative metaphors
combine a large number of ideas that are considered disparate, while Fiske
(1982) suggests the most powerful metaphors are those in which differences
between elements are emphasized and similarities downplayed.

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In advertising, Hitchon (1991) found that metaphors in headlines were
more persuasive than in the more factual body copy across various products.
Nelson and Hitchon (1995, 1999) studied synesthetic claims in advertising
with mixed results. Synesthesia is a type of metaphor that describes one sense
by using words that normally describe another, such as calling bright colors
loud and dark colors cool. These cross-sensory metaphors were found more
persuasive for products in which product-sensory transfers can only be
imagined and not literally applied (Nelson & Hitchon, 1999).
2.2. Review of theoretical background
According to Max Black (1962), metaphor is as a tool to restructure
cognitions. He describes what metaphor is, its key components, and how they
work together to create a new concept altogether different from what the two
subjects mean independent of one another. Metaphor is described based on the
interaction theory to explain how concepts are restructured through the
interplay of the associated meanings of both subjects within the metaphorical
phrase. He explains the interaction of the associated commonplaces between
the two variables that creates and restructures our concepts of not only the
primary subject, but the secondary subject as well. He also notes that the
interaction of the primary and secondary subject is three-fold: some of the
secondary subject‟s properties are elicited, a parallel implication complex is
then constructed for the primary subject, and parallel changes are reciprocally
induced for the secondary subject (Black 1979: 28-29). Both the primary and
secondary subjects predicate their properties upon the other, thus creating a
whole new meaning for the metaphor than the two words possessed separately.
The two subjects must have a clearly understood meaning within the speech
community in order for these meanings to be “readily and freely evoked” when
used in a metaphor (Black 1962, 40). Otherwise, the metaphor will not be

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understood correctly, for it is dependent on a cultural context, full of
understood and accepted beliefs (Black 1962, 40). Therefore, metaphor used is
understood within a given speech community and within a particular culture.
According to Kittay (1989:13-14), the theory of metaphor functions to
“provide a perspective from which to gain an understanding of which is
metaphorically portrayed” Kittay further explains, “metaphor provides the
linguistic realization for the cognitive activity by which a language speaker
makes use of one linguistically articulated domain to gain an understanding of
another experiential or conceptual domain, and similarly, by which a hearer
grasps such an understanding” (Kittay, 14). This is the same as Black‟s thesis,
so we understand one subject in terms of what the secondary subject brings to
the metaphor.
Similarly, Indurkhya (1991), one of the theorists who have tried to
develop a theoretical model views metaphor as a reconceptualization of the
primary subject, a complete change in paradigm. This is also a cognitive view
of metaphor, implying that much cognition is required in understanding the
interaction of the primary and secondary subjects within a metaphor.
Lakoff and Johnson view metaphor as a systematic conceptualization of
certain domains of experience in terms of other domains of experience
(Lakoff & Johnson, 139). In their theory,“The essence of metaphor is
understanding one kind of thing in terms of another” (Lakoff & Johnson: 5)
relies upon the cognitive components focusing on human thought processes.
Their theory of metaphorical systematicity shows that “metaphorical
entailments can characterize a coherent system of metaphorical concepts and
a corresponding coherent system of metaphorical expressions for those
concepts” (Lakoff & Johnson, 9).

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From the same cognitive theoretical perspective, Kaplan says “a metaphor
is a combination of two ideas presented in relationship to one another such
that one idea is used to organize or conceptualize the other” (Kaplan, 198).
He explains that the meaning of the metaphor results from this relationship
between the two ideas. He further explains that there are two additional
conditions required for metaphorical meaning: Firstly, some features of the
two ideas are shared between them and secondly. the attempt to map one idea
onto the other must violate linguistic norms or beliefs to the extent that a
measure of tension is created. So there is both a condition of similarity
(shared features) and a sense of incongruity (tension) which determines the
effectiveness and appeal of the metaphor. Kaplan identifies two conditions
that must be met for the image or phrase to be considered metaphorical.
“There must be at least some features of the two ideas that are shared between
them and the attempt to map one idea on to the other must violate linguistic
norms or beliefs about the world to the extent that a measure of tension is
created by the combination” (Kaplan, 198). Different from Black‟s cognitive
perspective, Kaplan‟s definition seeks to clarify his terminology. Kaplan‟s
“Conceptual Analysis of Form and Content in Visual Metaphors” establishes
three ways of classifying metaphors: by metaphor form, type of tension, and
by metaphorical content (Kaplan, 202-206).
MacCormac asserts that “When we speak of metaphor as a knowledge
process, we include in that knowledge process the cognitive activity of the
mind, the activities of the brain on which the mind depends for its operations,
and the interaction of the mind with its environment” (MacCormac, 127).
MacCormac‟s view of metaphor is similar to other linguistic perspectives in
which metaphor is seen as changing the way we conceptualize the meaning of
the two elements. MacCormac defines this in greater detail: “Metaphors

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appear as linguistic devices in surface language, but the intentional ability to
produce a semantic anomaly that suggests a new meaning originates in a
cognitive process. The human mind combines concepts that are not normally
associated to form new concepts. This cognitive activity operates consciously
and unconsciously” (MacCormac, 127). The „semantic anomaly‟ that
MacCormac refers to is what Black would call the tension between the two
terms, or what Whittock would call a „category mistake.‟ Max Black‟s basic
premises are still the foundation for MacCormac‟s writings as he seeks to
describe metaphor in three explanatory levels. MacCormac explores linguistic
surface meaning, a deeper level of linguistic explanation, and the deepest
level of cognitive activity relevant to metaphor (MacCormac, 127).
Clifford Geertz affirms that what makes metaphor work is that it is
„wrong‟ and asserts one thing that is something else (Geertz, 1973). “The
power of metaphor derives precisely from the interplay between the
discordant meanings it symbolically coerces into a unitary conceptual
framework and from the degree to which that coercion is successful in
overcoming the psychic resistance such semantic tension inevitably generates
in anyone in a position to perceive it” (Geertz, 211). Again, this is based on
Black‟s definition of metaphor that restructures our cognitions through the
tension of the pairing of two opposing elements.
2.2.1. Theoretical framework
The topic of metaphor is chosen in this study because metaphor is found
in advertisements (Cook,2001) and is unique. In fact, it is also an ordinary
language since metaphor is “pervasive in everyday life, not just in language
but in thought and action” (Lakoff and Johnson, 1996, p.3).

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Metaphor refers to creative language use by connecting two resembled
things to result in a different meaning. Metaphorical expressions form new
meanings because they cannot be interpreted literally and they are thought
provoking. In relation to individual words, metaphor is “a basic process in the
formation of words and word meanings” (Knowles and Moon, 2006, p. 4).
Forceville (1996, 2008) mentions that a metaphorical statement has two
distinct subjects: target and source domains. Lakoff and Johnson (1980) and
Forceville (2008, p. 464) state that “verbal metaphors of various syntactic
forms are manifestations of a conceptual metaphor that can be captured in a
paradigmatic A is B format”. Though there are two main types of metaphor,
namely conceptual and nonverbal metaphors, this study is limited on the
discussion of conceptual metaphors because these conceptual metaphors use
language for the target and source domains so that they are generally used in
advertisements which often make use of words to gain attention.
2.2.2. Theoretical background
Lakoff and Johnson in “Metaphors We Live By” (1980) have also
suggested that they are problems not only in language but also in the human
conceptual system. Metaphors are much more powerful instruments in the
eyes of Lakoff and Johnson. Metaphors have entailments that organize our
experience, uniquely express that experience, and create necessary realities.
Lakoff and Johnson attacked the two commonly accepted theories of
metaphor. The abstraction theory that there exists one neutral and abstract
concept that underlies both the literal and metaphorical use of word failed on
six counts. The abstraction doesn't apply throughout, in height, emotion,
future, etc. Cognitive linguistics takes a conceptual approach to linguistic

12


analysis. They consider linguistic knowledge as knowledge of meaning and
form as being basically of conceptual structure (Croft & Cruse 2004).
Before the publication of the great work, metaphor was viewed by most
people as an extraordinary form of language rather than a form of language
used in everyday life. It was understood to mostly appear in poetry and
literary works for the sake of decoration and beautification. It was considered
as a language phenomenon alone. However, in the work of Lakoff and
Johnson, metaphor is seen as a conceptual process that people use to
understand and categorize the world around them. It exists everywhere and
plays an important role in our daily life. It exists not only in language but in
thought and action as well (Lakoff & Johnson 2003:4)
2.2.2.1. Metaphor
a) Definition of metaphor
A metaphor is

described

as

a

figure

of

speech

that

makes

a comparison between two things that are basically dissimilar. In other words,
it describes one thing in terms of another. It is comparative, and thus goes
beyond a mere descriptive adjective. A metaphor describes one object
as being or having the characteristics of a second object. Unlike a simile,
a metaphor does not use connective words such aslike, as, or resembles in
making the comparison.
Metaphors play “a fundamental role in thinking, behavior, and aesthetic
phenomena, as well as language use” (Kaplan, 197). Metaphors have become
a common means of expression from dance and art to poetry and literature. To
revisit an earlier quote, Forceville discusses conventional metaphors that are
“so embedded in language that their metaphoricity is often no longer
recognized as such” (Forceville, 26). So this common use of metaphors is a

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way we reorganize our thoughts and meanings, juxtaposing two elements in
such a way as to create new meaning for the recipient of our communication.
In the cognitive linguistic view, metaphor is defined as understanding one
conceptual domain in terms of another conceptual domain. The conceptual
domain from which we draw metaphorical expressions is to understand
another conceptual domain called source domain, while the conceptual
domain that is understood this way is the target domain. Understanding one
domain in terms of another involves a set of fixed correspondences
(technically called mappings) between a source and a target domain. All
definitions have in common that they speak of two terms related to each other
thanks to the similarities they have. But they also limit the function of
metaphors to embellish or decorate the language.
Metaphor is typically viewed as characteristic of language alone, a matter
of words rather than thought or action. For this reason, most people think they
can get along perfectly well without metaphor. We have found, on the
contrary, that metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but
in thought and action. Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we
both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature. By what they
found, Lakoff and Johnson indicated that “metaphors not only influence our
linguistic behavior but also our thought processes and our system of value”.
(cited in Ágnes, 2009: 21).
Whatever the metaphor, two elements, or subjects, are unusually paired so
that one subject is conceived in terms of the second. The metaphor is
presented by words to convey its meaning. Regardless, some properties or
characteristics of the secondary subject are transferred to the first and a whole
new concept formed. The slight tension of the pairing will increase the

14


viewer/reader‟s need to reconcile the juxtaposition and result in the
comprehension of the metaphor. The viewer will understand the pairing of the
two subjects in a new and completely different light than if the two subjects
were presented independently. The need to reconcile this tension may require
more active involvement from the viewer. Thus, metaphor has implications
for advertising, as active audiences are highly desirable and interpret the
advertising message in a more meaningful and personal way. When more time
is spent reading, viewing, and interpreting a message, the meaning is more
internalized. Therefore, advertising seeks to involve the consumers so that
they will internalize the message of product slogans. Advertising slogans also
attempt to draw in the viewer to spend more time with the message.
b) Types of metaphor
There are many ways of classifying metaphors based on different
approaches. However, in this study, it is better to comprehend metaphors in
Lakoff and Johnson‟s classification.
Conceptual/ Conventional metaphors
Conceptual Metaphor Theory became widely known with the publication
of Metaphors We Live By, by Lakoff and Johnson in 1980. Conceptual
metaphor theory has since been developed and elaborated. According to this
theory, conceptual metaphor is perceived as a figurative comparison in which
one idea (or conceptual domain) is understood in terms of another. The
fundamental basis of Conceptual Metaphor Theory is that metaphor operates
at the level of thinking.
Conceptual metaphors link two conceptual domains, the „source‟ domain
and the „target‟ domain. The source domain consists of a set of literal entities,
attributes, processes and relationships, linked semantically and apparently

15


stored together in the mind. The „target‟ domain tends to be abstract, and
takes its structure from the source domain, through the metaphorical link, or
„conceptual metaphor‟. Target domains are therefore believed to have
relationships between entities, attributes and processes which mirror those
found in the source domain. At the level of language, entities, attributes and
processes in the target domain are lexicalized using words and expressions
from the source domain. In the example: “Time is Money”, the metaphor uses
everyday experience with money-the source domain to conceptualize time, an
abstract entity, and herein, recognized as the target domain. However, since
the link between the target and the source is the metaphorical
conceptualization, it is not always necessary to conceptualize time as money
since according to many cultures‟ and societies‟ other concepts, time is not
merely or priorly money and vice versus, money is not often metaphorically
linked with time, but with other entities, as affirmed by Murray Knowles and
Rosamund Moon, “Conceptual metaphors may be culture-specific”.
In the 1980 edition of Metaphors we Live by, Lakoff and Johnson identify
three categories of conceptual metaphors: ontological, structural and
orientational. Belonging to the structural metaphors group, ontological
metaphor is perceived as a metaphor in which “an abstraction, such as an
activity, emotion, or idea, is represented as something concrete, such as an
object, substance, container, or person” such as in:
I put a lot of energy into washing the windows.
I get a lot of satisfaction out of washing windows.
In a detailed manner, this metaphor is further classified into container
metaphor, where one concept is represented as having an inside and outside,
and capable of holding something else and entity metaphor, in which an

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