‘On the front line’.A brief reflection on the war metaphor in the communication around the coronavirus pandemic

In the period of the pandemic, Lucia di Pace and Rossella Pannain – lecturers in General Linguistics at the University of Naples L’Orientale – note a surge in the adoption, by many commentators but also by scientists themselves, of war metaphors in the narration of the health emergency (invisible enemy, fallen doctors, etc.).
Actually, medical terminology makes use of figurative expressions taken from military vocabulary also in ordinary conditions. Now, however, this lexicalised and no longer perceived as a translational usage (medical garrison, medical guard, sentinel lymph node, etc.).
The attention of the two scholars, however, focuses above all on the metalinguistic reflections carried out in the press and online by various authors who stigmatise the term war, used to compact and mobilise a front against the coronavirus.

[online 03/06/20]