Metaphor Use In Everyday Communication

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Metaphor Use in Everyday Communication In the reading excerpt of Metaphors We Live By, the authors George Lakoff and Mark Johnson content that “Metaphors not only make our thoughts more vivid and interesting but that they actually structure our perceptions and understanding.” What really give a metaphor to power to structure our perceptions? The answer to this question lies in the fact that metaphors have the ability to not only put things into understandable terms so that we are able to relate to a particular situation, but to also paint a visual for the person who is receiving the information. We will take a look at an example of a metaphorically painted picture. Here is an example of a metaphorical picture in everyday life that is used to get a point across. Suppose that your best friend has just returned from vacation in the Caribbean. As she describes her many adventures, she tells you that the ocean was clear and blue, and the hotel was beautiful and had very attentive staff. Although these descriptions may leave you with the impression that she enjoyed her trip, did it really put you in the moment and give you a true feeling of the joy that she felt? Now let’s revisit your friends trips using metaphors. As your friend describes her adventures, she tells you that she was treated as a queen with her every whim waiting to be fulfilled by the staff and that during her visit to the beach, she swam in a sea of diamonds. The second description of your friend’s adventure not only gives better detail and paints a mental picture, it may also seem to put you in the moment and allow you to mentally experience some of what she has experienced. Lakoff and Johnson stated “Most people think they can get along perfectly well without metaphor. We have found on the contrary, that metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just language, but in thought and action.”
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