Interesting blog I came across, by Dominik Lukes that exposes some of the "tricks of the trade" or figures of speech, used in language as the primary means of subsistence for the falsehoods that we routinely challenge here.
This post from the blog primarily focuses on the figures of speech termed metaphor and metonymy, these two which I see as running rampant through the language that we see the morons using all the time.
Among these are the govt is a household metaphor, the actual word "money" as a metonym, the word "capitalism" again as a metonym, US government securities issuance is borrowing metaphor, etc. All of these figures of speech that we routinely see and confront acting to support the terrible falsehoods currently working against our own human economic interests.
Some interesting excerpts:
Some people (like George Lakoff himself) maintain that the distinction between metaphor and metonymy represent a crucial divide. Lakoff puts metonymic connections along with metaphoric ones as the key figurative structuring principles of conceptual frames (along with propositions and image schemas). But I think that there is evidence to show that they play a similar role in figurative language and language in general.We should probably study up on these linguistic techniques at least a bit in order to perhaps be better enabled to combat them. Dominik's blog here seems like at least a good starting point.
there is a big difference in how the imagery works in metonymy and metaphor. Most of the time we don’t notice it. But when we become aware of the rich evocative images that make a metaphor work, we think of the metaphor as working and those images illustrate the relationship between the two domains. But when we become aware of the images that are contained in a metonymy (as in the examples above), we are witnessing a failure of the metonymy. It stops doing its job as a trope and starts being perceived as somehow inappropriate usage. But metaphor thus revealed typically does its job even better (though not in all cases as I’ve often illustrated on this blog).
we also reason by metonymy in daily life when we pay homage to the flag or call on the president to do something about the economy. [Ed: !!!!!! Dominik, this is NOT metonymy! There is no "invisible hand" brother!]
Warning in conclusion I have often warned against the dangers of overdoing the associations generated by metaphors. But in many ways metonymy is potentially even more dangerous because of the magic of direct connection. It can be a very useful (and often necessary) shortcut to communication (particularly when used as compression) but just as often it can lead us down dangerous paths if we let it.
I know Bill, in his recent initiative of examining the language or 'framing' we are using in our communications and debate definitely has metaphor firmly in his sights, but I would say based on Dominik's observations here, the perhaps more nuanced and elusive metonymy is an even more critical support structure of the false that we can target.