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conduit metaphor


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A metaphor underlying everyday references to communication, identified in 1979 by Michael Reddy, an American linguist, reflecting the notions that: language functions like a conduit transferring thoughts from one individual to another; writers and speakers insert their thoughts or feelings into words; words act as containers conveying thoughts and feelings to others; listeners and readers extract the thoughts and feelings from such words. This is reflected in usages such as ‘conveying ideas’, ‘transferring meaning’, ‘getting thoughts across’, ‘transmitting information’, and ‘delivering the curriculum’. Our implicit, common sense model of communication is thus a transmission model, and is subject to all of the limitations of such models.

Subjects: Media Studies.


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