Figurative Language Essay

1329 Words6 Pages
Figurative Language Using and misusing figurative language may make it more difficult for others to understand what the author is trying to say. There are certain times to use and not use figurative language. Idiom is defined as a group of words whose meaning cannot be predicted from the meanings of the constituent words. An example of this, it was raining cats and dogs. (Mufflin, 2009) Idioms are used to express something that other words do not express as clearly or as cleverly. People often use an image or symbol to describe something as clearly as possible and thus make the point as effective as possible. For example, "in a nutshell" suggests the idea of having all the information contained within very few words. Idioms tend to be informal and are best used in spoken rather than written English. An Analogy is defined as a similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar (muffin, 2009). An example of an analogy would be to say that there are plenty of fish in the sea. Unless you really are a fish, this encourages you to move on and find another potential mate. ("Your dictionary," 2012) Analogies are best used to help illustrate or clarify a complex or unfamiliar concept. Analogies may lead to confusion when other people do not understand them or the analogies are hard to understand. Metaphors are an analogy where two unlike things are compared but have something in common. It sounds like you are stating a fact, but you have to think about it for it to make sense. An example of a metaphor, “you are wind beneath my wings”. The person is not saying that the other person can be wind; they are actually trying to explain the support that the other person gives them. ("Your dictionary," 2012) Metaphors can be very difficult to understand when used incorrectly, confusing the reader or drawing attention to the writer's lack of skill.

More about Figurative Language Essay

Open Document