Post Format

A clever phrase

I am a great fan of the metaphor. Speaking metaphorically, I prefer the use of characters and comparisons to explain and emphasize. I could say that I have a large cavity in my tooth. But to say I have a cavity the size of the Grand Canyon emphasizes the extreme pain and sensitivity. Sometimes things are so obvious that even Helen Keller can see them. They are as plain as the nose of your face. Metaphors are colloquial and add to the color and flavor of speech. Metaphors are regional and ethnic. Metaphors can occasionally interfere or delay cooperation. Metaphors can negatively effect diplomacy if used inappropriately. Some metaphors become politically incorrect or offensive. Metaphors are what make language so complicated. It is also the backbone of journalism and media coverage. There can be an abundance of hidden meaning in a metaphor. Anyone who follows recent politics appreciates the right leaning language of the “soccer moms, cheap yellow mustard, beer in a can, Wal-Mart shoppers” in opposition to the left leaning “urbanites, drinking Chardonnay, private Pilates classes, Whole Foods shoppers. Most people can make these metaphors tangible and dimensional.  Some people truly do not speak metaphor. They cannot comprehend the use of  metaphor in argument or proposal. They are metaphor impaired and I consider these people truly lacking in a richness and complexity. They are as frustrating as a lid on a new jar of pickles. Metaphors split the beam of language or comprehension into a full spectrum of colors and choices. While I groan at the use of the sports metaphor, it is powerful imagery. And sports cross cultural and ethnic lines. Speaking in baseball, golf or fishing metaphors can be universally understood. The turn of a clever metaphor can make the introduction of a book or anchor the end of a poem. Life is a string of pearlescent metaphors collected and strung, displayed and admired.

Share

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.