May 28, 2013

Metaphors shape our language


More and more academic research is being done on metaphors - they are no longer considered a "rhetorical flourish" found in literary texts. Rather, linguists have shown that metaphor is a pervasive phenomenon in everyday language, a major force in the development of new word meanings, and the source of at least some grammatical function words.

All the metaphors in the image above are attributed to William Shakespear (the image was compiled by an unknown literary student, so I have no way to confirm it), if it's true Shakespear has had a remarkable impact on the language we use every day - it seems to be a good example of the linguists' findings.

He really was a master wordsmith - consider this:

"But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill."
Hamlet, i. 1.


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