Business English Metaphors

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Cuprins

Introduction 1

I.General aspects of metaphors

I.1. Definition of metaphors 2

I.2. The structure of metaphors 3

I.3. The function of metaphors 4

I.4. Metaphors and culture 6

II. Metaphors in advertising

II.1. The use of metaphors in business press articles, finance and economics 11

II.2. Blunders in international business 16

II.3. Metaphors in ads 18

III. Case study

Metaphors and cultural differences

General business writing of metaphor in Arabic and English. 34

Extras din document

INTRODUCTION

This paper analyses the role of metaphors in business culture. As an abstract field of discourse, the world of business makes use of a remarkable variety of more concrete, every day lexis to explain complex interrelations. Words and phrases from one semantic field are used to function in another area: business discourse. In short, business communication seems to live by metaphors. In order to make themselves understood and successfully communicate in international business, interlocutors need to make use of, namely decode and encode adequate figurative language. Acquiring the language of international business must therefore include raising awareness of and eventually learning the relevant metaphors in use in business English. This conclusion triggers three key questions:

1. What exactly are metaphors?

2. How they define the business culture?

3. How they are seen in two different cultures?

The paper is subdivided into three chapters.

• The first chapter, General aspects of metaphors, is subdivided into 4 subchapters were metaphor is defined together with its importance for our life, the way they influence on way of thinking, speaking and even on way of living. Here I also explained the strucuture, the function of the metaphor and the way in which culture influences the using of metaphors, each culture having a different way of using the metaphor.

• The second chapter, Metaphors in advertising, is subdivided into 3 subchapters in which I explained the need of metaphors in business press articles, finance and economics. Here I also detailed how the blunders from international business manifest themselves and which are the reasons of these blunders. The third subchapter: Metaphors in ads, shapes the importance of metaphors in making an advertisement. Here, also, I gave some examples of visual ads and I explained the importance of using metaphors in visual ads.

• The third chapter, Metaphors and cultural differences, puts in light the cultural differences and how the Arabic and English speakers understand and use the metaphors in business and not only. The differences from cultures shows that metaphors are used more or less by people, depending on the way in which they understand the metaphors.

CHAPTER I

GENERAL ASPECTS OF METAPHORS

I.1. DEFINITION OF METAPHOR

The metaphor is for most people a device of the poetic imagination and the rhetorical flourish – a matter of extraordinary rather then of ordinary language. Moreover, the metaphor is tipically 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 metaphors. On the contrary, it has been found that the metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action. The ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.

The metaphors in our native language influence the way we think, the way we speak and ultimately the way we live, serving as a tool to categorize the way we see the world around us and to carry out abstract reasoning. Metaphors are crucial for an understanding of complex interrelations and constitute knowledge by lending already-acquired structures and orientation of well-known sys-tems to complex and abstract or newly-discovered fields. Accordingly, metaphors are linguistic aids of cognition: they assist in making inaccessible domains accessible. In the last three decades, the status of metaphors has not only evolved from that of a pleasing artistic ornament to an inevitable feature of speech, but has made the further leap from a mere linguistic feature to a central role in cognition, holding an essential function in everyday communication.

Definitions of metaphor have undergone profound changes over the years of scientific discourse. A metaphor is an analogy between two objects or ideas. The English metaphor derives from the 16th-century Old French métaphore, from the Latin metaphora “carrying over”, Greek metaphorá “transfer”, from metaphero “to carry over”, “to transfer”, and meta “between” + phero “to bear”, “to carry”. Moreover, the metaphors also denotes rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects by way of association, comparison, and resemblance. The traditional view of metaphor characterised this figure as a linguistic phenomenon, used for some artistic and rhetorical purpose, based on a resemblance between the two entities that are compared and identified.

I.2. THE STRUCTURE OF METAPHORS

The etymology of the word metaphor has already framed the idea of transfer between domains, which is probably the most general and therefore least concrete approach to define the structure of metaphors. Conceptual metaphors structure the transfer between domains motivating a coherent system of metaphorical and idiomatic language usage. Words are part of a higher structural organization, which is the conceptual metaphor. Conceptual metaphors are conceptual to the extent that they are abstractions of the ideas lying behind the common usage of everyday expressions. When using metaphorical language, interlocutors unconsciously apply an existing system in one domain to another domain via systematic conceptual correspondences: the so-called mappings. In other words, conceptual metaphors provide the cognitive grounds for various cross-domain mappings. As metaphor is also a phenomenon of thought, the conceptual correspondences in these cross-domain mappings are not created online while interacting, but are preset, fixed, and mostly deeply entrenched in the speakers' minds.

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