Metaphors of identity in dating ads and newspaper articles

Carol Marley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article investigates metaphors of identity in dating ads and in two types of newspaper writing, 'hard' and 'soft' news articles. It focuses on issues of textualization and processing, and particularly on the role of cotext in decoding metaphors. Taking a pragmatic approach founded in the cooperative principle, it argues that the maxims of quality and relation play related but separable roles in the interpretation of identity metaphors; and that this process is guided and constrained by cotextual selections in the environment of the metaphorical term. The particular kinds of cotextual guidance provided by the writer are seen to vary according to genre-driven issues. These include the purpose and stylistic conventions of the genre in which the metaphor occurs and the circumstances under which the text is composed and read. Differing functional motivations are suggested for the use of identity metaphors in each of the genres considered. © Walter de Gruyter 2007.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-78
Number of pages24
JournalText and talk
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007

Bibliographical note

© Walter de Gruyter. Text & Talk, Volume 27, Issue 1, Pages 55–78


  • hard news
  • soft news
  • cooperative principle
  • cotextual selections
  • dating ads
  • metaphors of identity


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