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  1. #1
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default The Structure of a Metaphor

    I know a metaphor has the structure of -

    As A is to B, so C is to D.

    And so a metaphor is a comparison of relationships.

    And as a metaphor is not material but merely a comparison, it does not really exist.

    And it is only neophytes that take metaphors too far.

    It is a mistake to take a metaphor too far because it becomes exhausted and will collapse.

    And so there is a constant demand for fresh metaphors.

    Metaphors are the bread of language - they are delicious and delightful when fresh but indigestible when stale.

    And knowing so much about metaphors, I can never think of one when I need it.

    I don't need one now so I have thought of one, and here it is -

    "Just as England lost Calais to France, Australia lost Les Darcy and Phar Lap to the Yankees."

    See, its structure is - As A is to B, so C is to D.

    Often though, the structure is shortened as in, "You are a rose".

    Or the metaphor above might be shortened to "England's Calais is Australia's Phar Lap".

    Or simply shortened to, "Calais is Phar Lap".

    Such is a metaphor.

  2. #2
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    You're describing one form of metaphor, the cliche. Much better to come up if your own on the fly. Then it's always fresh.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    You're describing one form of metaphor, the cliche. Much better to come up if your own on the fly. Then it's always fresh.
    I cliche, I am told, is simply words that have been in too many mouths.

    You might say a cliche is promiscuous.

    Some like a promiscuous girl and some like cliches.

    And some like the freshly minted.

  4. #4
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    And it is only neophytes that take metaphors too far.

    It is a mistake to take a metaphor too far because it becomes exhausted and will collapse.

    . . .

    Metaphors are the bread of language - they are delicious and delightful when fresh but indigestible when stale.
    You got that right. They are also indigestible when half-baked a.k.a. not properly thought out. Imagine when they are not only half-baked, but also stale. Distasteful.
    hoarding time and space
    A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.
    — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by InaF3157 View Post
    You got that right. They are also indigestible when half-baked a.k.a. not properly thought out. Imagine when they are not only half-baked, but also stale. Distasteful.
    Completely distasteful.

  6. #6
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    Now imagine that most people are eating it and some are attempting to shove it down your throat. What do you do?
    hoarding time and space
    A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.
    — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by InaF3157 View Post
    Now imagine that most people are eating it and some are attempting to shove it down your throat. What do you do?
    I cleanse my palate with a brand new poem.

    But I do confess, I am wondering what you do.

  8. #8
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I cliche, I am told, is simply words that have been in too many mouths.

    You might say a cliche is promiscuous.

    Some like a promiscuous girl and some like cliches.

    And some like the freshly minted.
    I don't know about this Victor... sure, some say they like promiscuous girls... but only when they want a "quickie". Will you keep a promiscuous girl? Same goes with the promiscuous metaphor...

  9. #9
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I cleanse my palate with a brand new poem.

    But I do confess, I am wondering what you do.

    I refuse and let the blows rain down. I am pretty committed to my intestinal health. I have no quarrel with my gut. Why should I poison it with rubbish?
    I don't know about this Victor... sure, some say they like promiscuous girls... but only when they want a "quickie". Will you keep a promiscuous girl? Same goes with the promiscuous metaphor...
    I'm guessing he prefers the freshly minted.
    hoarding time and space
    A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.
    — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  10. #10
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Creativity cannot be found by looking. Iron Sulfide.

    What we broadly term inspiration is merely a faculty of the subconscious.

    Listen hard to what only you can hear...

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