Metaphors We Live By George Lakoff & Mark Johnston,

Metaphors We Live By
George Lakoff & Mark Johnston,
The University of Chicago Press, 1980
Our ordinary conceptual system is
fundamentally metaphorical in nature.
Language for the metaphorical
concept that “argument is war” –
Attacking a position.
Gaining ground.
Shooting down
your opponent.
Winning; loosing.
Consider the systematic metaphorical
concept that “time is money.”
Will we waste it, save it, or spend it?
Highlighting and hiding –
your assumptions may be showing
Consider the “conduit metaphor,” a complex
metaphor for language about language.
Ideas (or meanings) are objects.
Linguistic expressions are containers.
Communication is sending.
What are the assumptions behind the language of
the conduit metaphor?
It’s hard to get that idea across to him.
I gave you that idea.
Your reasons came through to us.
It’s difficult to put my ideas into words.
His words carry little meaning.
Try to pack more thought into fewer words.
The conduit metaphor assumes that –
Words and sentences have meanings in
themselves, independent of any context
or speaker.
Orientational metaphors
or “I’m feeling up today.”
Happy is up; sad is down.
Conscious is up; unconscious is down.
Health and life are up; sickness and death are
Ontological metaphors –
the nature of being
The mind is a machine.
The wheels turning now!
The mind is a brittle object.
He’s cracking up!
More . . . .
Ideas are people.
Ideas are plants.
Ideas are food.
Ideas are products.
Ideas are commodities.
Ideas are resources.
Ideas are money.
Ideas are cutting instruments.
Ideas are fashions.
And still (a)more . . . .
Love is a physical force.
Love is madness.
Love is magic.
Love is war.
Personification animating an object or entity
This paper will demonstrate my theory.
Inflation is eating up our profits.
Which human characteristics
will you give your object?
Inflation has attacked the foundation of our
Inflation has pinned us to the wall.
Inflation has robbed me of my savings.
Our biggest enemy right now is inflation.
This personification casts
“inflation” as a combatant.
George Bellows, A Stag at Sharkey’s (1917)
The San Diego Museum of Art
Metonymy & Synecdoche –
figures of substitution
“So, she vanquished them, horse and foot . . . .”
William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily”
“We’ll always have Paris.”
Humphrey Bogart to Ingrid Bergman, Casablanca
So, where will you be
when the chips are down?
If your life, metaphorically, is a game of chance,
you’ll need an ace in the hole.