Types of Evidence for Conceptual Patterns in Discourse3‘
a racist but…’
a racist and…’.(Mark Steel, English comedian) [my emphasis]
In this case the “real meaning” is perceived to be the largely latent attitudes of thespeaker. However, the second example not only alludes to latent attitudes but alsoan explicit hidden agenda.
“This is bad news, as America keeps losing the race to other countries to attract the
world’s best and the brightest
he really meant
:“This is bad news, as America keeps losing the race to other countries to attract the
” (Anonymous online comment) [my emphasis]
And assuming hidden “real” meanings is certainly not limited to comedians or participants in online discussions. The following is taken out of George Lakoff’ssuggested pro-Democratic partisan manifesto.
Smaller government is, in conservative propaganda, supposed to eliminate waste. Itis really about eliminating social programs. (Lakoff, : 94)
All of these examples not only take a critical stance but also use conceptualintegration to allude to very explicit political positions. For instance, the racismquip could easily be rephrased as:
Many people only use non-racist language out of social convention. However, astheir statements clearly imply, their underlying attitude is one of non-tolerance andmuch closer to racism than is fashionable to admit.
Clearly, the power of the simple image blend, is lost but the propositional contentis by and large preserved. What could a discourse analyst add to this incisive, if partial comment? Perhaps a heuristic for identifying elements of text that are goodcandidates for contestation. However, as all discourse analysts know (albeit some