Thursday, December 01, 2005

Fresh Metaphor, Refreshing Simile

In a post about hyperbole, Joe Carter had this to say "Metaphors work best when they are fresh, not when they are loud."

Carter and Wittgenstein must be ganging up on me, because just yesterday I took note of Wittgenstein writing "A good simile refreshes the intellect."

Let's treat simile as a sub-species of metaphor (which it is); I find the metaphor in these pronouncements on metaphor fascinating. I get the sense of metaphor as food and drink, both "fresh" and "refreshing."

Yes, that's it exactly. Metaphor is the food and drink of the mind.


  1. Anonymous8:44 AM

    "And Hyypia rises like a giraffe to head the ball clear."

    A football (sorry, soccer)commentator alludes to the giant African mammal renowned for its mighty leaps.

    Are mixed metaphors dessert so?

  2. No, mixed metaphors are putting ketchup on your ice cream. They can cause a gag reflex.

  3. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Expressive writing needs metaphor like a woman needs a bicycle; not all that often in many cases but, in certain circumstances, up to or exceeding four times a day! (i.e. there - back - there again - back again)

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