Monday, December 14, 2015

The joy of metaphor

When we say that A is B, we can use a metaphor either to make the strange familiar or the familiar strange. In his Manner of Speaking blog last year John Zimmer had an excellent post on Rhetorical Devices: Metaphor.

I found a wonderful TED Ed video by poet Jane Hirshfield about The art of the metaphor. There also is a longer Metaphorically Speaking TED talk by James Geary. Mr. Geary mentions that we use six metaphors a minute.

An article titled Clean Sources: Six Metaphors a Minute? by Paul Tosey discusses where that number six came from, and adds some more detail - that only about a third of metaphors are live. So, look for the diamonds and avoid the stones.

The image of diamonds came from Wikimedia Commons. The caption was adapted from an article by David Brooks titled Want a Better Speech? Start with Better Parts, in which he had quoted Hans Lillejord: “Some words are diamonds; some words are stones.”

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