Document Type : Original Article


University of Alicante, Spain


This paper discusses nearly eight hundred reviews posted on Google search engine about twenty prisons in Spain and the United States. These countries have cultural values that are inevitably reflected in the language of their speakers. Through a qualitative and then quantitative analysis, some differences that could be related to the cultural features that are prevalent in these two countries have been found. However, the analysis has focused primarily on the use of metaphor and verbal irony. In particular, the analysis has revealed what could be called ironic metaphor in both corpora, since in a significant percentage of reviews, the prison is compared to tourist accommodation. Undoubtedly, this comparison would be a metaphor, but likewise, it must also be regarded as irony since prison is the antithesis of a leisure facility. As shown, the cultural differences between these countries are sometimes reflected in the reviews, but also a kind of globalization of the metaphor could be argued.