Tuesday, 15 April 2014

M is for Metaphor (A to Z Challenge)

Metaphor - A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. 

Often I hear people using the word metaphor or the term "metaphorically speaking" and then they continue to speak without their sentences being a metaphor. Metaphor is a nice word for people to throw around in conversation as i to sound smarter so I thought I'd take a moment to discuss ramble about one of my favourite figures of speech which when used correctly, it really can lighten writing and/or conversation. 

When I was in school, the easiest way for me to understand what a metaphor is, was to remember that it was a comparison of things which did not necessarily need to use comparative words such as "like" and "as" (as one would use for a simile). Metaphors are best used when they are subtly included 

One of the more popular metaphors which you have probably encountered without truly understanding you were using it is "It's raining cats and dogs". It's easy and well known that hardly anyone would question the use of the term. 

When watching Meet Joe Black (again and again) I tried explaining it to someone that Death had taken human form in a metaphoric manner. That completely went over their head for two reasons, 1)the person didn't really understand metaphors and 2) that is not the way many people interpreted the movie. It then occurred to me how difficult explaining metaphors can be and thought I could post about - however, I think I may have confused you (and me) more than clarify something I knew already... 

Do you believe we should understand metaphors or are figures of speech purely useful to get us through High School English?

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