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  • #16
    Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

    I thought your rabbit-quick EJ links were all in your head.

    (I'm writing this from recovery . . . .)

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    • #17
      Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

      In accordance with a request from E.J., I am making my dissertation available for the benefit of the members of this site. To be specific, this dissertation was written in fulfillment of a requirement for an Applied Linguistics MA I recently completed at the University of Nottingham.

      I submitted it in early September, and now that it has been marked, I'm ready to share it. British universities award marks along the following scale: fail, pass, merit, distinction. I got a distinction.

      In general, this dissertation will be of value to those who are interested in gold and the way it is represented in the mainstream media. I hope that reading it will improve what the famous linguist and Critical Discourse Analyst Norman Fairclough calls "critical media literacy"--or one's ability to critically evaluate the types of discourses produced by media companies, which are largely for the benefit of those in positions of power rather than a strictly objective reporting of the news. The alternative--all too common--is to simply be a passive recipient of the values impressed upon us day after day, and uncritically incorporate them into our own outlooks through choices in language and ways of thinking. I believe such a critical media literacy is especially important in relation to gold, and I have no doubt that members of this site will agree.

      This can be illustrated by an excerpt from Appendix 1 of my dissertation:

      A critique of the terms used by metaphor researchers is supplementary to the main purpose of this paper, and so this proposal for a change in terminology has been relegated to an appendix. Goatly (2007) speaks of washing the mind of the value judgments and ideology that are latent in metaphors. However, does one repeatedly wash one’s mind every time one hears or reads a metaphor? It doesn’t quite capture the full process appropriately, and hence this washing metaphor is not apt. Furthermore, there could be many times when one agrees with the value judgments that metaphors entail and so researchers should adopt a term that acknowledges this bifurcation: those values one agrees with and those one does not.

      An improvement is the conceptual metaphor of the ideological immune system of Snelson (1993), though Snelson originally framed it in a context related to skepticism and critical thinking. This metaphor better underscores the fact that we should be ever vigilant in detecting and analyzing the latent values and ideology in metaphors—just as properly functioning antibodies of an immune system detect and neutralize invading viruses or bacterial infections that are harmful, not beneficial. Thus, for business media discourse, our ideological antibodies should detect any negative conceptual metaphors that could function to manipulate us into liking or disliking asset classes that may operate on a subliminal level. An attempt at an ideological immunization would be linguistic studies such as this one. One prime virtue of this metaphor is that linguists already speak as though this were the dominant conceptual metaphor. Baker states:
      By becoming more aware of how language is drawn on to construct discourses or various ways of looking at the world, we should be more resistant to attempts by writers of texts to manipulate us by suggesting to us what is ‘common-sense’ or ‘accepted-wisdom’ (2006: 13; emphasis added).
      Thus, just as we become resistant to infections by having our immune system detect foreign intruders, we may become resistant to the type of manipulations mentioned by Baker. Metaphorically, any formerly latent, now explicit ideology would be any infections one were formerly susceptible to, but now are able to fight off due to activated ideological antibodies.

      I'd like to conclude by stressing the empirical value of corpus linguistic studies. We all know that gold investors are stigmatized with the label "gold bugs", and we may be able to cite several other negatively evaluative metaphors in relation to gold investors that newspaper authors regularly employ. However, no mere human mind can come to terms with the frequencies of all the various metaphors. Only a computer can do this. Hence, even if someone were to be familiar with several of these metaphors in my dissertation, it is still of value to see the comparative breakdown of their frequencies.

      The Discussion section deals with what linguists call "Pragmatics", or the way in which these texts, and the metaphorical elements they contain, may function to pragmatically affect any readers.

      FYI, the file is in format docx and has a file size of 1.2 MB, which exceeds this site's limit by 200 kb or so. Hence, if you would like the dissertation, please send a request to Uroshnor@hotmail.com, or I'm open to suggestions on how to share it with Itulip.com members.

      Is there another forum which has a larger file size limit suitable for sharing it?

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

        Upped the docx limit to 2MB for you. Please post your document in this thread. Thanks!
        Ed.

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        • #19
          Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

          Thanks, Fred!

          FYI, in the feedback provided to me by my adviser, he called my Literature Review "overwrought", but this may be a benefit for those of you unfamiliar with how extended the field of metaphor research is. There has been a thriving, flourishing community of researchers and linguists publishing all manner of metaphor studies for the last several decades, and my dissertation provides a nice introduction for those of you unfamiliar with the specifics. If you are primarily only interested in gold, however, I recommend you go straight to the Results and Discussion sections.

          Gold and Evaluative Metaphors.docx

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

            By the way, for those of you who will not end up reading the dissertation, but would still like just a bite-size summary of the main thrust, I'll post here my favorite quote about metaphors (and one that is in the paper):

            "Not only does metaphor shield a proposition from direct discourse, as nothing literal has been said, but it has the inestimable advantage of combining the fact that the speaker cannot be held responsible for the message with the flagging of the fact that there is a message being conveyed which cannot be discussed openly" (Cameron & Low, 1999: 86).

            Everyone can see that this applies not only to all politicians every time they open their mouths, but also to finance reporting, since the headlines and the articles are so metaphor-laden.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

              Originally posted by Uroshnor View Post
              By the way, for those of you who will not end up reading the dissertation, but would still like just a bite-size summary of the main thrust, I'll post here my favorite quote about metaphors (and one that is in the paper):

              "Not only does metaphor shield a proposition from direct discourse, as nothing literal has been said, but it has the inestimable advantage of combining the fact that the speaker cannot be held responsible for the message with the flagging of the fact that there is a message being conveyed which cannot be discussed openly" (Cameron & Low, 1999: 86).

              Everyone can see that this applies not only to all politicians every time they open their mouths, but also to finance reporting, since the headlines and the articles are so metaphor-laden.
              thx fred for deleting my msg posted last night.

              uroshnor... i apologize for my comment. it was uncalled for... had a bawwww day.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

                Originally posted by metalman View Post
                thx fred for deleting my msg posted last night.

                uroshnor... i apologize for my comment. it was uncalled for... had a bawwww day.
                Metalman, I saw your comment. Perhaps you were expecting something else? Have you read many MA theses in the field of Linguistics? I'd say mine is pretty standard in terms of layout and content.

                As I note in my paper, metaphors occur when two separate conceptual domains overlap partially. These separate domains are called the Target Domain and the Source Domain, and metaphors are evaluative to the extent that the Source Domains have positive or negative connotations.

                For gold, the main Source Domains--with both positive or negative connotations--I found were:

                Negative:

                1) diseases
                2) cults
                3) binding chains
                4) gambling
                5) asset bubbles

                Positive:

                1) insurance
                2) a safe location

                And of course, I provide a breakdown of the relative frequencies for these conceptual metaphors based upon how many times their linguistic realizations were found in the two subcorpora.

                If that's not your cup of tea, I see what you mean, but basically overall, it could be of value to note that this type of metaphorical evaluation is going on when newspaper authors are reporting on gold's rise and fall, if you wanted to be a critically aware reader.

                For many of us on this site, we could be aware that this is going on implicitly, but my dissertation makes all this explicit for analysis. I also cite other authors in my dissertation regarding the fact that business people in general are not very aware of the language they use or the extent to which the language they use is infused with values.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

                  Thanks for your contribution, Uroshnor.

                  I am about as far from an expert on linguistics as it is possible to be, but I nevertheless found your work interesting. Consequently, the main question I formed was at best adjacent to linguistics. Perhaps you might be willing to take a stab at it anyway?

                  My very first job involved creating boolean codes to parse text (ie. "gold", when found within five words of "bug", but only when not within twenty words of "membership","sunset", or...). This sort of thing is frequently done, for example, to create links for a book's index. I haven't done it in a while, but my understanding is that the field has progressed considerably since then, to easily permit "learning" algorithms that can automatically evaluate which combinations of terms correlate most closely with a given external success criterion.

                  I can imagine a (perhaps time-consuming?) process that could build from your thesis a robust "index" to assess the language that the media is using to describe gold at a given point in time. Perhaps this could be used to identify moments or timeframes when the markets seem to be particularly strongly driven by irrational sentiments of fear or greed, rather than more carefully reasoned asset reallocations, or perhaps it could help separate out larger-scale shifts due to central-bank actions.

                  Do you think your work could be extended by numerical techniques to create such a robust index of aggregate media sentiment toward gold? Perhaps some sort of counting of google hits for specific negative phrases, minus a similar counting of hits for positive terms, bounded by an appropriate time interval, and with each term somehow weighted based on the emotional content?

                  Superficially, it appears that further quantitization and optimization of your work might be required to find correlations with identifiable market events. But I am also not familiar with how much number-crunching you might have done to get it this far, so perhaps it isn't as big a leap as it appears. Would you say that your work is numerically extensible in this way to permit such an index? Can it, for example, be extended beyond the realm of metaphor to also include weightings for more direct descriptions? Even more essentially: Does it even make sense, from a linguistic perspective, to quantify the strength of emotion assigned to a metaphor?



                  Also, about your welcome here: ;) There are times when people criticize material not with respect to what it is, but based on what they might wish it were. In this case, I suspect that a linguistics thesis probably isn't what most readers here expect. And it is always easier to dismiss, rather than engage, a contribution outside one's own field, and doubly so on a bad day.

                  In any event, thanks for braving this at times slightly inhospitable environment with your work. While your initial welcome may have been rougher than usual due to an off day, please know that in general, this is a crowd that usually means well, and welcomes thoughtful contributions.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

                    Originally posted by Uroshnor View Post
                    Thanks, Fred!

                    FYI, in the feedback provided to me by my adviser, he called my Literature Review "overwrought", but this may be a benefit for those of you unfamiliar with how extended the field of metaphor research is. There has been a thriving, flourishing community of researchers and linguists publishing all manner of metaphor studies for the last several decades, and my dissertation provides a nice introduction for those of you unfamiliar with the specifics. If you are primarily only interested in gold, however, I recommend you go straight to the Results and Discussion sections.

                    [ATTACH]5499[/ATTACH]
                    Hi, again. Went looking for the EJ quote (topic of this thread) in your dissertation but was unable to find it. Can you point me to it, please? Thank you!
                    Ed.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

                      Astonas, sorry for the late reply. I've been quite busy with work.

                      I like the overall thrust of your question related to using corpus linguistic methodologies to develop a timing profile for what we would expect near market tops or bottoms. I'm a trader at heart, so this has previously occurred to me as well. Actually, to be honest, when I first embarked upon the task of compiling the corpus of texts that I came to call the 'Gold Corpus' in my dissertation, the main idea I had was to somehow use this to time the markets. The overall idea is quite valid, but not necessarily only related to metaphors. Texts in the financial register have a number of specific features, such as specific nominal groups and verb process types that are characteristic to it, and the fact that these are present in specific quantities is the reason why we can classify this register quantitatively.

                      The media constantly churns out texts about gold, and these texts have varying linguistic profiles based upon what is occurring externally to generate these texts. If someone were to take a very large number of these articles (i.e., many more than I did for my paper) and analyze them for what kinds of linguistic elements they contain, via strict quantification, and correlate these with external events--as you suggest--such as market tops and market bottoms, then, if one were gathering such texts on an ongoing basis in order to have a bias toward what the market should do, then in my opinion this could definitely be used for market timing. I personally haven't done this, but it's already being done with certain machine learning algorithms, as you noted. The fact that a computer is involved in the analysis of the texts is what would prevent the entire endeavor from becoming too labor-intensive or time-consuming.

                      The best way to assess the validity of this entire approach would be to look at market extremes for the past 10 years, such as occurred near the 2008 bottom and the 2011 top, and see how these events correlate with quantified text type features. Basically, this is what we all do on an intuition basis, if we are reading the news and note that a certain meme is occurring very frequently, such as exhortations to buy oil at a certain point, which are reaching a crescendo, which then means the top is in, or vice versa.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

                        Originally posted by FRED View Post
                        Hi, again. Went looking for the EJ quote (topic of this thread) in your dissertation but was unable to find it. Can you point me to it, please? Thank you!
                        Fred, I had two EJ quotes in mind when writing my paper. One was noted above, and one was from the Harper's article he published in 2008 regarding how journalists have had to come up with many creative strategies to sell the FIRE agenda (since this fit perfectly with my overall thrust regarding metaphors, as many of the metaphors are subtle, and could be quite creative). Both of the quotes were originally in my paper, but sadly, for reasons of space I had to cut them. If I ever publish a form of my paper as a journal article, I intend to include one or both, but the reason you didn't find it is it's not in there. I also cut hundreds of other quotes I had that were just as suitable. We were limited to 15,000 words and I went over that by 300, even so.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

                          Originally posted by Uroshnor View Post
                          Astonas, sorry for the late reply. I've been quite busy with work.

                          I like the overall thrust of your question related to using corpus linguistic methodologies to develop a timing profile for what we would expect near market tops or bottoms. I'm a trader at heart, so this has previously occurred to me as well. Actually, to be honest, when I first embarked upon the task of compiling the corpus of texts that I came to call the 'Gold Corpus' in my dissertation, the main idea I had was to somehow use this to time the markets. The overall idea is quite valid, but not necessarily only related to metaphors. Texts in the financial register have a number of specific features, such as specific nominal groups and verb process types that are characteristic to it, and the fact that these are present in specific quantities is the reason why we can classify this register quantitatively.

                          The media constantly churns out texts about gold, and these texts have varying linguistic profiles based upon what is occurring externally to generate these texts. If someone were to take a very large number of these articles (i.e., many more than I did for my paper) and analyze them for what kinds of linguistic elements they contain, via strict quantification, and correlate these with external events--as you suggest--such as market tops and market bottoms, then, if one were gathering such texts on an ongoing basis in order to have a bias toward what the market should do, then in my opinion this could definitely be used for market timing. I personally haven't done this, but it's already being done with certain machine learning algorithms, as you noted. The fact that a computer is involved in the analysis of the texts is what would prevent the entire endeavor from becoming too labor-intensive or time-consuming.

                          The best way to assess the validity of this entire approach would be to look at market extremes for the past 10 years, such as occurred near the 2008 bottom and the 2011 top, and see how these events correlate with quantified text type features. Basically, this is what we all do on an intuition basis, if we are reading the news and note that a certain meme is occurring very frequently, such as exhortations to buy oil at a certain point, which are reaching a crescendo, which then means the top is in, or vice versa.
                          Here we think in terms of U.S. media channels and messaging. The major national business messaging channels, such as the WSJ, are primarily in the business of promoting Wall Street's financial products. Gold, of course, is not among them. Gold, as Paul Volcker once famously said, "Is the enemy."

                          He meant of the global monetary system, but as that system is primarily designed to serve the global finance industry the statement amounts to the same thing.

                          I refer to the two media messaging channels as The Bullhorn and The Kazoo, the former are media channels that are ubiquitous and impossible to not hear and see daily, the latter virtually hidden, difficult to find even for the few who will go to the trouble to search for them.

                          The business media Bullhorn sells stocks and houses. Various Kazoo outlets sell gold.

                          The business media Bullhorn when gold prices are rising will publish occasional articles that are antagonistic toward gold ownership but mostly ignores gold. The gold price didn't make the front page of Yahoo Finance until 2009.

                          How is this filtering of messages accomplished? In the journalist hiring process. Then as a journalist, in to advance your career and rise to the top you internalize the messages and the choice of what is and what is not "news" in accordance with your employer's interests.

                          The Bullhorn is entirely event-driven. It operates without context.

                          Much can be learned by reading the archives. The same narratives are repeated over and over. There is no looking back to try to establish an understanding of the underlying processes that may be driving events.

                          Take oil, for example. This Wall Street Journal article from Oct. 4, 2006 states:

                          "Oil prices slid 3.9% to $58.68, near their low for the year, with traders becoming more convinced that there are no big OPEC output cuts in the pipeline."

                          Deja vous?

                          If you go back and look at the history of oil prices since 1999 you'll find that 4% daily changes in the oil price were the norm in the early years of the Peak Cheap Oil era, and 50% plus oil price declines and rises over three month periods were common.

                          Not even two years later this July 7, 2008 WSJ article is headlined "Oil's Rise Stirs Talk of $200 a Barrel."

                          Oil is the most political of commodities. At certain times the politics of the oil price trumps supply and demand, exchange rates, and other factors.

                          What's happened this year is that an extraordinarily long period of low oil price volatility has ended.


                          not mentioned in the press coverage of oil is the fact that since the start of 2014 oil prices have declined 41% and gold prices are up 1%.

                          Instances of a rapidly falling oil price and flat or rising gold price over a six-month to one year period are exceedingly rare. The only previous similar divergence on record occurred from the June 2008 oil peak to the 71% decline in Feb. 2009 during which time gold prices increased 4.3%.

                          I can think of several reasons for this. Of those that I've developed the one that makes the most sense is that markets are pricing in the end to unorthodox monetary policy. Falling oil prices and rising gold prices support this theory, the former suggesting a deflationary credit supply bias and the latter an increase in global currency risk.

                          While it may be tempting to use a statistical analysis of language to time tops and bottoms I don't think that such an analysis will be effective. The Bullhorn sells stocks and houses and the status quo of vested interests in generally.
                          Last edited by EJ; 12-14-14, 10:30 AM.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

                            Will natural gas prices rise due to the loss of nat gas flow as oil fracking declines. Coal may be a big beneficiary helping to end coals horrible bear market

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                            • #29
                              Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

                              Oils drop coincides with the dollars rise. Is the Fed engineering an continued increase in the dollar to keep inflating asset prices to buy more time until these actions could spill over into real economic growth. Could the dollar approach 100, thus sending oil down a lot further?



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                              • #30
                                Re: Question about the origin of a specific E.J. quote

                                Originally posted by EJ View Post
                                not mentioned in the press coverage of oil is the fact that since the start of 2014 oil prices have declined 41% and gold prices are up 1%.
                                Assuming that gold is a proxy for oil and not the other way around, wouldn't this suggest that we should see falling gold prices going forward?

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