A Journey Across Metaphors

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A Journey across Metaphors In a TED Talk the speaker James Geary has claimed that “metaphorical thinking is essential to how we understand ourselves and others, how we communicate, learn, discover and invent.” It can be argued that whenever we deal with ideas, emotions, feelings and thoughts, we inevitably resort to metaphor as a resource to conceptualise those abstract or complex ideas through association with simpler, tangible objects. Lakoff states in Metaphors We Live By that “metaphorical expressions in our language are tied to metaphorical concepts in a systematic way.” In other words, that metaphors form semantic networks which are deemed to constitute a coherent whole, so when analysed collectively, they suggest the existence of an underlying system. This can be exemplified by a set of metaphors connected to travel experiences, especially sailing and flying, which make reference to success, failure, uncertainty or mental states and have been selected to prove how Lakoff’s point can be applied to Argentinian culture. Firstly, metaphors related to flying can connote mental and emotional states. Throughout the 20th century, planes became a frequent means of transport within our society, and as a consequence, they were integrated in our everyday language. In particular, the concept of flying is associated with the idea of being inattentive or absent-minded, and this is clearly depicted in expressions such as estar volando or estar en las nubes. In addition, other metaphors applied to informal contexts and related to distraction are aterrizar or caer a la tierra, which mean that the interlocutor should realise what the truth is about something as soon as possible. In terms of orientational metaphors, the idea of being earth-bound or being rational, that is to say, “down” is here conceptualised as good and “up” as bad. Moreover, there are other metaphors such

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