September 30, 2012

On the fence about metaphors? Me too!

To me Lakoff believes metaphors have the power to create images and ideas. This has the possibility of suggesting wrong ideas or even mislead judgment. So because of this Lakoff begs us to consider leaving out these distractions in order to understand the true idea of what one is trying to convey. To an extent I can see where metaphors, tropes, and figures may cause what we are really trying to get across to one another to take a back seat. Although hilarious I found the video shown in class about shooting fish in a barrel to be a very effective way to help Lakoff’s argument. The it will be like shooting fish in a barrel to me means it is going to be a piece of cake to get what ever task completed. Yes, I know I used another metaphor to explain a metaphor, but it was the first thing that came to my mind as I was typing my response. So there in lies another pro of Lakoff’s position on metaphors, and how they are mainly filler and take us farther and farther away from our initial truths. Lakoff and Johnson consider metaphoric structuring to be systematic, because of this, “when focused on one aspect of a metaphorical concept, it can keep us from focusing on other aspects of the concept that are inconsistent with that metaphor.” I feel as though that is what happened to me so I will attempt to explain the phrase once again. To me that phrase means the task at had is going to be exceptionally easy to complete little effort is needed and whatever needs to be done will basically come to them.

The fact that I had to constrain myself to certain words leads me to simultaneously agree and disagree with the authors take on metaphors. They themselves discuss how we live by them and state, “That metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action.” So I feel if something is engrained in us as a society it cannot be that bad has to be more useful if anything to us. Say your asked to describe something like LOVE that does not have a set of universal words to describe it, but it may have a universal understanding or feeling. Here is where metaphors come into play. Some people may say love is a battlefield. Most people may relate love to a struggle, and that you have to work hard for it. Love is something that does not come easy. Without metaphors I would not know how to describe complex emotions or relate situations to other people. 

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