Nowadays there are consistent, widespread, unconscious and undocumented metaphorical expressions in English comparing financial activities with the act of cooking or baking as well as eating, with stocks and securities as items in a menu and traders and brokers as voracious eaters. Many of these expressions are the linguistic “left-overs” of the first decade of the 21st century, a period of time when the financial world was dominated by insatiable greed and an absolute lack of moral principles that almost led to the collapse of the global financial system. Because of its importance as a source of sustenance and pleasure, food is likely to be pervasively used as a source domain mapping many different target domains. One of these domains is the language of high finance –the language of risky and often heedless investments-- particularly in the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis in 2006 and the collapse of the financial services firm Lehman Brothers in September 2008. Starting from these premises, and using a critical cognitive framework, I categorize and analyze food-based metaphors from some of the most popular feature films whose main theme is wild speculation in the stock market and its consequences. All these films portray the players (i.e., traders, brokers and investment bankers) and their attitudes and behavior. My analysis focuses specifically on the film dialogues as they iconically reflect the language used to refer to trading (mal)practices and the products involved in them, such as slush funds, toxic subprime baked-securities and junk bonds. This language is surprisingly rich in food-based metaphors that can be clustered into a set of sub-metaphors, all instantiations of the overarching conceptual metaphor THE OBJECT OF LUST IS FOOD. The density of food-based metaphors in these dialogues can be explained by two key functions that film dialogues must fulfill; namely, give as much information as possible with the least amount of words and adhere to the code of realism by using authentic stock market language.

Kneading Dough: A Cognitive Approach to Food-based Metaphors in the Language of the 2008 Financial Crisis

Boggio, Cecilia
2021

Abstract

Nowadays there are consistent, widespread, unconscious and undocumented metaphorical expressions in English comparing financial activities with the act of cooking or baking as well as eating, with stocks and securities as items in a menu and traders and brokers as voracious eaters. Many of these expressions are the linguistic “left-overs” of the first decade of the 21st century, a period of time when the financial world was dominated by insatiable greed and an absolute lack of moral principles that almost led to the collapse of the global financial system. Because of its importance as a source of sustenance and pleasure, food is likely to be pervasively used as a source domain mapping many different target domains. One of these domains is the language of high finance –the language of risky and often heedless investments-- particularly in the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis in 2006 and the collapse of the financial services firm Lehman Brothers in September 2008. Starting from these premises, and using a critical cognitive framework, I categorize and analyze food-based metaphors from some of the most popular feature films whose main theme is wild speculation in the stock market and its consequences. All these films portray the players (i.e., traders, brokers and investment bankers) and their attitudes and behavior. My analysis focuses specifically on the film dialogues as they iconically reflect the language used to refer to trading (mal)practices and the products involved in them, such as slush funds, toxic subprime baked-securities and junk bonds. This language is surprisingly rich in food-based metaphors that can be clustered into a set of sub-metaphors, all instantiations of the overarching conceptual metaphor THE OBJECT OF LUST IS FOOD. The density of food-based metaphors in these dialogues can be explained by two key functions that film dialogues must fulfill; namely, give as much information as possible with the least amount of words and adhere to the code of realism by using authentic stock market language.
Quaderni del CIRM
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1
207
222
978-88-9295-349-9 (versione cartacea)
978-88-9295-380-2 (versione digitale)
conceptual metaphor theory, critical discourse analysis, financial communication, financial terms in AV products, ESP
Boggio, Cecilia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1836588
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