I have been trying for ages to understand the reason という is used so frequently, in other words, what does it add to the sentence and what connotations does it have in Japanese. I understand the meaning of each word individually in many of the set phrases it belongs to... but if you were forced to name who it is doing the いう'ing... would it be the speaker, Japanese society or just some abstract entity?
All I've found are silly and questionable English translations like
今日のテーマは愛という事だ "Today's lesson is the thing they call love"
The problem for me arises when I see just how often stuff like ということ appears in conversation... even twice in a sentence... like
Why isn't it just 彼がお金を貸してくれたことは
I was hoping someone could give me a (hopefully in-depth) understanding based more in how it is understood in Japanese. Even a link to a good Japanese explanation or a summary would do.