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Editorial. Understanding COVID-19 Communication: Linguistic and Discursive Perspectives

Maria Cristina Paganoni, Joanna Osiejewicz


This collaborative essay addresses COVID-19 communication, focussing on the linguistic strategies and discursive constructions that were adopted, first to cope with the unprecedented crisis scenarios of the pandemic and later to hail the post-pandemic times. It recapitulates the unfolding of COVID-19 communication from 2020 to 2022, espousing a linguistic and discursive perspective. To that purpose, it elaborates on a few keywords and key phrases that consistently identify the different pandemic and post-pandemic phases in the public domain. i.e. ‘recovery and resilience’, ‘smart’ and ‘virtual’, and the ‘new normal’, to finish with a few reflections on the challenges of legal communication faced with mounting social intolerance and the exacerbation of hate speech and xenophobia. The overview privileges the European Union and the UK, the latter launching the first mass vaccination campaign in December 2020, although with the awareness of the global nature of the phenomenon and its present repercussions. The aim of the essay is to frame the nine research articles in this issue as attempts to interpret an exceptionally difficult time span and as a form of intellectual resilience.


COVID-19 emergency; crisis communication; hate speech; institutional discourse; legal discourse; media; public health; recovery; resilience; tourism; xenophobia

Full Text:



Akinsanmi, Titi, and Aishat Salami. 2021. "Evaluating the Trade-off between Privacy, Public Health Safety, and Digital Security in a Pandemic". Data & Policy 3 (e27).


Chateau, Lucie. 2020. "Memeing under Covid-19: On the Phatic Internet and Collectivity". Diggit Magazine, May 7. [03/12/2022].


Cinelli, Matteo, Walter Quattrociocchi, Alessandro Galeazzi, Carlo Michele Valensise, Emanuele Brugnoli, Ana Lucia Schmidt, Paola Zola, Fabiana Zollo, and Antonio Scala. 2020. "The COVID-19 Social Media Infodemic". Scientific Reports 10 (1): 16598.


Cullen-Shute, Dan. 2020. "In Defence of the 'Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives' Messaging". The Drum, May 11. [03/12/2022].


Ervas, Francesca, Pietro Salis, Cristina Sechi, and Rachele Fanari. 2022. "Exploring Metaphor's Communicative Effects in Reasoning on Vaccination". Frontiers in Psychology 13: 1027733.


European Commission. n.d. "Recovery Plan for Europe". [03/12/2022].


Floridi, Luciano, ed. 2015. The Onlife Manifesto: Being Human in a Hyperconnected Era. Cham: Springer.


Garzone, Giuliana. 2021. "Re-thinking Metaphors in Covid-19 Communication". Lingue e Linguaggi 44: 159-181. doi: 10.1285/i22390359v44p159.

Jucks, Regina, and Friederike Hendriks, eds. 2021. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 40 (5-6, Special Issue: Stay Safe and Stay at Home! Research on Language and Communication Related to COVID-19): 540-699. [03/12/2022].



Karakoulaki, Marianna, and Giulia Dessì. 2021. Antisemitism and Anti-Vax Discourse in Europe: A Report on Conspiracy Ideologies and Anti-Jewish hatred on Facebook and Twitter. London: Media Diversity Institute. [03/12/2022].


Kirk, Colleen P., and Laura S. Rifkin. 2020. "I'll Trade You Diamonds for Toilet Paper: Consumer Reacting, Coping and Adapting Behaviors in the COVID-19 Pandemic". Journal of Business Research 117: 124-131.


Kompani, Kamyar, Michael J. Deml, Farnaz Mahdavian, Olena Koval, Sanjana Arora, and Hilda Broqvist 2022. "Who Said What: A Multi-Country Content Analysis of European Health Organisations' COVID-19 Social Media Communication". International Journal of Public Health 67 (1604973): 1-12.


Mangiò, Federico, Giuseppe Pedeliento, and Daniela Andreini. 2021. "Branding Rhetoric in Times of a Global Pandemic: A Text-Mining Analysis". Journal of Advertising 50 (3): 240-252.


Musolff, Andreas. 2022. "'World-beating' Pandemic Responses: Ironical, Sarcastic, and Satirical Use of War and Competition Metaphors in the Context of COVID-19 Pandemic". Metaphor and Symbol 37 (2): 76-87.


OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 2020. "Combatting COVID-19 Disinformation on Online Platforms". Policy Responses to Coronavirus, July 3: 1-7. Paris: OECD Publishing. [03/12/2022].


Olah, Andrew R., and Christian F. Hempelmann. 2021. "Humor in the Age of Coronavirus: A Recapitulation and a Call to Action". Humor: International Journal of Humour Research 34 (2): 329-338.


Osiejewicz, Joanna. 2020. "Transnational Legal Communication: Towards Comprehensible and Consistent Law". Foundations of Science 25 (2): 441-475.


Osiejewicz, Joanna. 2021. "Metaphor in Legal Communication". Journal of International Legal Communication 2 (2): 97-108.


Paganoni, Maria Cristina. 2021. "Cross-Border Health Data from Legislation to Implementation: A Critical Discursive Approach to COVID-19 Responses". Journal of International Legal Communication 3 (3): 8-16.


Paganoni, Maria Cristina. 2022. "Framing the New Normal in Tourism Discourse: A Focus on Air Travel". Lingue e Linguaggi 52 (Special Issue: The Place of Language: Discourse, Translation, Culture. Essays in Honor of Giuliana Garzone): 249-264. https://doi.org/10.1285/i22390359v52p249.

Pankowski, Rafał, and Jacek Dzięgielewski. 2020. COVID-19 Crisis and Hate Speech: Transnational Report. Estonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. Op:Code - Open Code for Hate-free Communication. [03/12/2022].


Roig-Marín, Amanda. 2021. "English-Based Coroneologisms: A Short Survey of Our Covid-19-Related Vocabulary". English Today 37 (4): 193-195.


Semino, Elena. 2021. "Not Soldiers but Fire-fighters - Metaphors and Covid-19". Health Communication 36 (1): 50-58.


Smith, Simon, and Jiří Kabele. 2021. "The Spring 'Stay at Home' Coronavirus Campaign Communicated by Pending Accounts". Journal of Pragmatics 177: 170-182.


Sobande, Francesca, and Bethany Klein. 2022. "'Come and Get a Taste of Normal': Advertising, Consumerism and the Coronavirus Pandemic". European Journal of Cultural Studies (online first).


Tagliacozzo, Serena, Fredrerike Albrecht, and N. Emel Ganapati. 2021. "International Perspectives on COVID-19 Communication Ecologies: Public Health Agencies' Online Communication in Italy, Sweden, and the United States". American Behavioral Scientist 65 (7): 934-955.


Torres-Salinas, Daniel, Nicolas Robinson-Garcia, and Pedro A. Castillo-Valdivies. 2020. "Open Access and Altmetrics in the Pandemic Age: Forecast Analysis on COVID-19 Literature". BioRxiv, April 26: 1-13.


Turismo de Portugal. 2020. "Can't Skip Hope: Destination Promotion". March 20. [03/12/2022].


UN News. 2020a. "UN Chief Appeals for Global Action against Coronavirus-fueled Hate Speech". May 8. [03/12/2022].


UN News. 2020b. "Secretary-General Calls Gender Violence 'Shadow Pandemic', Spotlights COVID-19 Lockdowns, in Message to College Campus Event". July 3. [03/12/2022].


Williams, Matthews. 2022. The Science of Hate: How Prejudice Becomes Hate and What We Can Do to Stop It. London: Faber & Faber.

Williamson, Emma, Nancy Lombard, and Oona Brooks-Hay. 2020. "'Coronavirus Murders': Media Narrative about Domestic Abuse during Lockdown Is Wrong and Harmful". The Conversation, March 15. [03/12/2022].


Wodak, Ruth. 2021. "Crisis Communication and Crisis Management during COVID-19". Global Discourse 11 (3): 329-353.


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/lcm-2022-002-edit

Copyright (©) 2023 Maria Cristina Paganoni, Joanna Osiejewicz – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie

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Call for papers Vol 11 (2024) No 1 - Discourses, Methods and Practices of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging: Towards a Global Shared Framework
Edited by Dr. Paola Catenaccio (Università degli Studi di Milano) and Dr. Fadia Nordtveit (Springfield College)

Authors have to read through the Information for Authors and the Author guidelines carefully before beginning the submission process. 
Deadline for papers submission: January 15th, 2024
Request for revision following peer review: by April 15th, 2024
Final versione due by May 15th, 2024
Publication: by June 2024


Call for papers Vol 11 (2024) No 2: “The Language of War: Lexicon, Metaphor, Discourse”
Edited by Dr. Anna Anselmo (Università degli Studi di Ferrara), Prof. Kim Grego (Università degli Studi di Milano), and Prof. Andreas Musolff (University of East Anglia)

Authors have to read through the Information for Authors and the Author guidelines carefully before beginning the submission process.
Deadline for papers submission: June 10th, 2024
Request for revision following peer review: by September 10th, 2024
Final version due by October 10th, 2024
Publication: by December 2024


Lingue Culture Mediazioni - Languages Cultures Mediation
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (27/11/2013 n. 380)
Online ISSN 2421-0293 - Print ISSN 2284-1881

Dipartimento di Lingue, Letterature, Culture e Mediazioni  
Università degli Studi di Milano

Editors-in-Chief: Paola Catenaccio (Università degli Studi di Milano) - Giuliana Garzone (IULM, Milano)
Editorial Board: Marina Brambilla (Università degli Studi di Milano) - Giovanni Garofalo (Università degli Studi di Bergamo) - Dino Gavinelli (Università degli Studi di Milano) - Antonella Ghersetti (Università di Venezia Ca’ Foscari) - Maria Grazia Guido (Università del Salento) - Elena Liverani (IULM, Milano) - Stefania Maci (Università degli Studi di Bergamo) - Andrea Maurizi (Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca) - Chiara Molinari (Università degli Studi di Milano) - Stefano Ondelli (Università degli Studi di Trieste) - Davide Papotti (Università degli Studi di Parma) - Francesca Santulli (Università di Venezia Ca’ Foscari) - Girolamo Tessuto (Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli) - Giovanni Turchetta (Università degli Studi di Milano) - Stefano Vicari (Università degli Studi di Genova)
International Scientific Committee: James Archibald (Università degli Studi di Torino) - Natalija G. Bragina (Institut Russkogo Jazyka im. A.S. Puškina; RSUH, Mosca) - Kristen Brustad (University of Texas at Austin) - Luciano Curreri (University of Liège) - Hugo de Burgh (University of Westminster) - Giuditta Caliendo (Université de Lille) - Giorgio Fabio Colombo (Università di Venezia Ca' Foscari) - Daniel Dejica (Universitatea Politehnica Timisoara) - Anna De Fina (Georgetown University, USA) - Claudio Di Meola, (Sapienza Università di Roma) - Lawrence Grossberg (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) - Stephen Gundle (University of Warwick) - Décio de Alencar Guzmán (Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém,  Brasile) - Matthias Heinz (Universität Salzburg) - Rosina Márquez-Reiter (The Open University) - John McLeod (University of Leeds) - Estrella Montolío Durán (Universitat de Barcelona) - M'bare N'gom (Morgan State University, Baltimore) - Daragh O'Connell (Cork University) - Roberto Perin (York University, Toronto) - Giovanni Rovere (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg) - Lara Ryazanova-Clarke (University of Edinburgh) - Françoise Sabban (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris) - Kirk St.Amant (Louisiana Tech University, University of Limerick/University of Strasbourg) - Paul Sambre (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) - Srikant Sarangi (Aalborg University) - Junji Tsuchiya (Waseda University, Tokyo) - Xu Shi (Zhejiang University)
Section Managers: Maria Matilde Benzoni, Università degli Studi di Milano (Modern history) - Paola Cotta Ramusino, Università degli Studi di Milano (Russian linguistics and translation) - Mario de Benedittis, Università degli Studi di Milano (Sociology) - Kim Grego Università degli Studi di Milano (English linguistics and translation) - Giovanna Mapelli, Università degli Studi di Milano (Spanish linguistics and translation) - Bettina Mottura, University of Milan (Chinese studies) - Mauro Giacomo Novelli, Università degli Studi di Milano (Contemporary Italian literature and culture) - Letizia Osti, Università degli Studi di Milano (Arab studies) - Maria Cristina Paganoni, Università degli Studi di Milano (English linguistics and translation) - Giuseppe Sergio, Università degli Studi di Milano (Italian linguistics) - Virginia Sica, Università degli Studi di Milano (Japanese studies)

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