Picture ThisThe meaning of metaphors.

Picture ThisThe meaning of metaphors.

As a child, I read somewhere that God gave humanity metaphor to help us better understand the world. But we don’t need religion to see that the more complex or powerful a sensation, the more words fail us. That’s why we use comparisons: Simile and metaphor can be far more effective than mere adjectives in communicating what we feel. When we evoke a familiar sensation, our listeners and readers can grasp that meaning instantly. Similes begin with “like” or “as” and offer a direct comparison with something: As busy as a bee. Metaphors go further, equating one thing with another: “All the world’s a stage,” Jaques tells us in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Derived from the Greek metaphorá, meaning to transfer, metaphors yoke separate concepts. In the Poetics, Aristotle w...

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