October 1, 2012

Words have Power

I really enjoyed the "Metaphors We Live By" article. In one of my classes last semester, Rhetorical Criticism, I had to analyze a GOP candidates speech. What me, and a few other kids in my class, found was that almost all of the candidates used extensive war metaphors in their speeches. Reading "Metaphors We Live By" helped me unpack why that is.

I further enjoyed this idea that metaphors are not universal. We have already explored this idea that words are not universal due to previous experiences, so it could have already been assumed that the same is true for metaphors. But Lakoff then introduced the idea that metaphors can create a new reality of understanding for us. I liked this analysis because I feel like most of what we have previously read was unsure of the impact of words, and whether words just communicated ideas or created new ones. I like that "metaphors we live by" didn't question this concept but rather recognized the power of language.

"New metaphors have the power to create a new reality. This can begin to happen when We. Start to comprehend our experiences in terms of a metaphor, And it becomes deeper when we begin to act in terms of it." (131)

They then went on to say that westernization happened because of the phrase"time is money". While I'm not fully convinced this is the only reason,  it is very interesting that a phrase could potentially have such an impact on a culture. But relating time to something as valuableas money, and having people realize the connection between putting time into something and getting money as a reward, could Have been enough incentive for people to work harder. It is crazy that words could be that powerful.

1 comment:

MeganW said...

Your last sentence really struck me saying how it's crazy that words can be that powerful because I have always considered words to have power but when you point it out in terms of virtually starting a culture it really resonates. Thinking of time as money I really wonder now if the expression would have been different if the way our society was formed would have been differently, if the way we punish would have changed or if we say this expression because of the way our culture is. So basically I am considering the fact of which came first the chicken or the egg, or in this case the society or the metaphor.

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