What are metaphors?
Metaphors are a component of language and communication. As such, they are somewhat difficult to explain, because we use them so often that we don’t question them. Metaphors help us understand things in our world by using comparisons or associations with other things in our world. For example, if you told me that I was a horse, I would know what you were talking about, even though horses and humans are very different. This is because we have an understanding of the word horse and have a set of facts that we associate with the concept of being a horse. We also have a set of facts associated with the concept of being a human. By pairing these sets of facts, you are able to communicate something to me. When we hear metaphors, like I am a horse or time is money, we create images in our minds that help us to understand what someone is trying to tell us.
We can also use metaphors to describe ourselves and others. I am going out on a limb here and saying that my friend Sally is very intelligent (because she is) and funny (ditto). If someone asked me why I thought she was funny, I might say it was because she’s an elephant–since elephants are usually considered funny animals and
All communication depends on a kind of translation. You try to say what you mean in words, and the other person tries to understand what you said. But there’s a hitch: language was designed not just to convey information but to conceal it, too. Metaphors are a primary example of this.
The trouble is that many metaphors are so deeply buried in our culture that we no longer even recognize them as metaphors. That makes it hard for us to translate what we’re saying into what the other person will understand. As a result, we end up communicating less than we could. And so do they.
I was listening to a Tony Robbins CD the other day and he said that everyone has a metaphor for their financial life. He went on to say that it is this metaphor (his term, not mine) that actually creates your reality in your financial life. I’ve been thinking about this ever since.
I’m with Tony there; I think we do have metaphors for our lives, and they do create our reality. He also says that many people use the money is power metaphor. Well, I think most people have a strong power element in their metaphor for money and we all know what happens when men are given too much power. I don’t think anyone wants that to happen financially or otherwise, so it’s worth checking out what your metaphor is to see if it’s a good one.
But my point today isn’t really about financial metaphors, but rather about communication metaphors. Tony’s book Get The Edge: 6 Secrets To Achieve Outrageous Success talks about how you get people to want what you want by creating a specific sensory experience while communicating with them that makes sense of their world within their metaphor. In other words, he makes sure they connect with how they see things so he can influence how they will view his suggestions through his sensory experience. It’s all about
What do I mean by metaphor? A metaphor is when you take something from one domain of experience and apply it to another domain. So for example, if you say, “I am so hungry I could eat a horse,” you’re taking the experience of being hungry and applying it to eating. The word “eat” means something different in that sentence than it does in normal life.
Metaphors are a language tool that allows us to communicate by using comparisons. Metaphors are one of the things that makes communication possible. There is no way to understand or to interpret any sentence without using metaphors.
Personal stories, novels, poetry and even math and science rely on metaphors to make sense of our world.
Metaphor is one of the most powerful tools in our language toolbox.
The metaphor is created by making an analogy between two different entities or subjects. For example, you can say that something is like a ball because it has a certain color, texture, shape, etc.
It is true that some writers use metaphors carelessly and they can be confusing if they are not understood correctly. However, there are also writers who use them skillfully and they can be very useful in communication because they help the audience to visualize what is being said.
Metaphors can be classified into types depending on how they’re used in speech: 1) explicit metaphors; 2) implicit metaphors; 3) dead metaphors; 4) vague metaphors; 5) compound metaphors; 6) mixed metaphors.
Here we will look at examples of all these types of metaphor with special emphasis on dead and vague metaphors as these are the ones that cause misunderstanding about
Metaphor is a complex philosophical problem and a very basic part of everyday life. People use metaphor to communicate, to solve problems, and to make decisions. Understanding metaphor is crucial for many aspects of human thought, including scientific work. This blog discusses some of the more abstract aspects of metaphor and also some issues in communicating effectively.
Metaphors have you, literally. They have you in all sorts of ways. The most obvious way is that they affect your behavior. If I say that time is money, you will act differently from the way you would if I had said that time is sand. But metaphors also have a subtler effect on your emotions and perceptions.
A metaphor has what we could call an ontological status, a sense of how things are. When I say that something is a process, for example, I imply that it’s ongoing, continuous, without any sharp boundaries. When I say that something is a thing, on the other hand, I imply that it’s discrete and complete—it has a beginning and an end and no loose ends hanging out.
The reason metaphors have this effect on us is not just because we’re trained by our culture to respond to them in certain ways (though we are). It’s because they’re based on real correspondences between different aspects of the world: motion and time; force and mass; patterns and logic; concepts and objects; physical laws and social laws; the universe as a whole and parts within it.
If you think about it for a moment, these correspondences are obvious once you point them out. And once we’ve