Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-8722
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8730
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The new and shocking situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic stimulated the analysis of its impact in discourse. Discourse analysts have concentrated on the use of metaphor to create specific conceptualizations of the disease aimed at communicating the events and developments while influencing public opinion. Similes have been given less attention but are equally telling when it comes to the conceptualization of the pandemic. In this paper we analyze a corpus of English and Spanish similes (about 100 examples from each language) where is the target. The examples were searched for on the Internet and cover a two-year period, from March 2020 to February 2022. The sources, mappings, and conceptual domains of the Covid-19 similes are analyzed in order to describe how the pandemic is conceptualized through the use of ‘ is like X’ similes. The coronavirus similes are classified according to three main domains, namely, (including ), and (including ). Each domain conceptualizes the situation in different ways (so that citizens are presented as victims, fighters, experiencers, members of a team, etc.). Interestingly, there are many creative similes that cannot be classified into any general well-established domains and can only be accounted for by considering less conventional and more creative, culture-specific frames. The paper also analyzes the use of similes diachronically trying to uncover any evolution patterns in terms of frequency or domains in the two-year period analyzed.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): conceptual domains; Covid-19; figurative language; mappings; metaphor; similes
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