conceptual metaphor

A conceptual metaphor is one that is so basic in the way people think about something that they fail to perceive that it is a metaphor. For instance, most people think of time as a resource that can be saved and spent (thus "wasted" also), or as a line along which one moves. Both of these metaphors are clearly wrong in many ways, but people act as if they were real.

Accordingly it is critical to know what metaphor is being reinforced in choices of language. A rhetoric is built on such choices.

too basic to avoid

The most basic conceptual metaphors are

It is quite difficult to actually speak or write in the English language without implying several such metaphors per page. For instance, time is very often analogized to a currency or quantity that one can trade or spend, or a line along which one walks. Politics itself is often analogized to a subset of politics, war or the preparation or training for war, leading to overuse of attack and defense metaphors.

central problem

Careful term choice is a basic principle of open politics itself. At openpolitics.ca itself it is discussed as politics as usual, press release protocol, Message Team and copywriting centre problems, but also more conceptually as deep framing and as a basis for the list of all issues, list of policy terms and list of process terms. The OP:design likewise will reinforce some conceptual design metaphors over others.

credited to Lakoff

The theory is usually credited to psychologist George Lakoff who used it as the base of his theory of Moral Politics, and who wrote Metaphors We Live By with Mark Johnson, detailing how metaphors drive meaning.

illustrated in Star Trek

An extreme version of this principle was illustrated in a Star Trek episode featuring the fictional Tamarian language that contained only metaphorical references to a culture that could not be translated but could only be understood by experience. To the aliens that speak this language, these core metaphors are their only basis for communication. Thus it is their core ontology - the subset that must be understood to make contact at all. The Tamarians believe that shared risk, not talk, is the basis of understanding and actual community, and so kidnap Captain Picard so that he and the Tamarian Captain can undergo the same ordeals. This works not only for the characters, but for the viewer: At the beginning of the one-hour episode, the aliens speaking this tongue appear menacing and unpredictable. By the end, most viewer sunderstand exactly their intentions and terms of reference. This is likely faster acquisition of language than would be possible if the terms were not so metaphorical, and if they weren't reinforced by the action.

exploited by trolls

Similarly, the dubious trollish language seems to rely deeply on metaphor and references to past experiences embedded in its unique terms. It may be an attempt to exploit the methods of conceptual metaphor for deep framing.

This is a cite link. The theory is explained aten: disinfopedia: conceptual metaphor and en: wikipedia: conceptual metaphor..