Essay on Analysis Of George Lakoff 's ' What 's A Word? '

Essay on Analysis Of George Lakoff 's ' What 's A Word? '

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In the article “What’s in a Word?” (2004), the author George Lakoff, a professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, describes that the term utilized to refer to the issue of same-sex marriage and the way that society frames the issue can change the whole view. Lakoff develops his claim by breaking down the issue of gay marriage into three perspectives: to American society, to conservatives and to liberals. Lakoff’s purpose of this article is to reveal how the meaning of a word and attitude towards an issue can have a negative affect as a whole in order to encourage Americans to reframe the negative connotation of gay marriage. Lakoff utilizes analytical and persuasive tones throughout the article to approach to his intended readers, both American supporters and non-supporters of same-sex marriage.

Outline:
• Paragraph 1: Lakoff starts with a rhetorical question that there are plenty of meanings in the word “marriage.”
• Paragraph 2: Lakoff defines that “marriage is an institution, the public expression of lifelong commitment based on love” (133). Marriage is the beginning of family life, culmination of a period of seeking a mate, and realization of a major goal.
• Paragraph 3: Lakoff asserts that marriage is a big deal. Marriage can also be understood in terms of metaphors such as a journey through life long together, a partnership and etc. Moreover, marriage confers a social status and gives new social roles as married couple.
• Paragraph 4: Lakoff explains that marriage comes with a variety of prototypical cases: the ideal marriage is happy, typical marriage has its ups and downs, and nightmare marriage ends in divorce. Moreover, marriage contains cultural stereotype which states that marriage is betw...


... middle of paper ...


...marriage” is used, the more normal the idea of same-sex marriage becomes.
• Paragraph 14: Lakoff describes that 2004 Democratic presidential nominees are trying to sidestep the issue of same-sex marriage. Kerry and Dean claim marriage is a matter for the church but the Lakoff believes that it is for governments and states.
• Paragraph 15 – 16: Lakoff describes that if there is a constitutional amendment that defines marriage legally as between a man and a woman, it will get support from conservatives but its unlikely to get enough support to pass.
• Paragraph 17: Our job as ordinary citizens is to reframe the debate of same-sex marriage in terms of our moral principles.
• Paragraph 18 -19: Lakoff asserts that we should put our ideas of equal rights to out there so that government and states can see it. Reframing “gay marriage” to “equal rights” is everybody’s job.

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