“Metaphors We Live By” by Lakoff and Johnson was like eating 13 grain bread – you know it’s good for you, but you lose focus halfway through, thinking about a donut. Was that just…A METAPHOR!?!??!
Metaphors are much more than creative turns-of-phrase. Once we realize that the essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another, we see that most of our conceptualization of the world itself comes from metaphorical structure.
Take the metaphorical concept of “Argument is War”
Your claims are indefensible
Attacked every weak point in his defense
Right on target
Demolish his argument
Shot down all my arguments
So the War Metaphor in argument, structures what we do and how we understand what we are doing. The metaphors aren’t just in the language – this is our very concept for an argument. We talk about arguments like war because we conceive of them that way – and we act according to the way we conceive things.
The book ends with startling truths about objective reality, “truth,” and the ways humans categorize incoming information. This last quote ties back into marketing and crafting effective messaging to an audience, but also has deep insight for lawyers, journalists, or anyone concerned with gaining a deeper appreciation for human behavior.
“There is no such thing as a meaning of sentence in itself, independent of any people. A statement can be true only relative to some understanding of it.”
GET THE BOOK –> Metaphors We Live By