i heard this definition in a cogsci class called distributed cognition i took at ucsd. "metaphor is using knowledge in one domain to organize understanding in another domain." i'm in love with this. this concept is pretty much my raison d'etre. or maybe that's just the magic mushrooms talking. pre-semantic priming, there's nothing better.
rhetoric is an interesting subfield. my soapbox, lately, has involved bitching about a nation of lawyers, of legal language, etc. so much of our ethical standards are held hostage to rhetoricians and their tactics. we DESPERATELY need a counterbalancing force. when we cannot successfully tax the hell out of the rich bc they can manipulate the letter of the law. when we have prison overcrowding for drug violations waged on the premise of "WAR," etc. when corporate conglomerates and pharmaceutical lobbies shape the lives of the working class all the way down to the smallest most minute expression (let us rename our species to "customer service representative") with a moral legal literalalist interpretation of our RELIGIOUS "mission statement," etc. crazy, insane, inane, etc. also, politics. news. media. on and on and on.