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November 10, 2002
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The Conceptual Metaphor Home Page at Berkeley offers a fascinating compilation of the metaphors underlying our everyday speech, such as Fear is Cold, Facts Are Points, Money is a Liquid, and Sexuality is an Offensive Weapon.
posted by oissubke (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
huh?
posted by quonsar at 4:44 PM on November 10, 2002


Pat Benetar was never so right.
posted by majcher at 5:20 PM on November 10, 2002


The most interesting part of this is how the metaphors spawn each other. If disease is an enemy, it follows that the body will be a battleground, the patient will be a soldier, and medicine will be a weapon. The way we speak affects the way we think and act (and vice versa): in many traditional Asian cultures, disease is seen as an imbalance and medical treatment as an attempt to restore harmony. (The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is a great illustration of what happens when medical cultures clash. Ignore the breathless review and scroll down to the excerpt.)
posted by hippugeek at 5:31 PM on November 10, 2002


Pat Benetar was never so right.

But she had to use Sex As A Weapon because after all, Love Is A Battlefield.
posted by jonmc at 5:42 PM on November 10, 2002


Last revision: 3/22/94.

Wow! Not that it has anything to do with the content, but how many websites are still up, unchanged, from over six years ago?
posted by tss at 6:10 PM on November 10, 2002


The way we speak affects the way we think and act (and vice versa):

You know, I was going to go on another anti-Sapir-Whorf rant, but oissubke's link actually ties in well with raaka's response in that thread:

"What may well work upon our thinking is the metaphors we use to talk about abstracts such as time. It's probably very hard to explain to a Hopi-speaker that we envision time as a commodity such as money... Other metaphors may well be shared by speakers of many if not all languages, e.g. that the mind is a container ... and these are readily translated."

Yay Metafilter.
posted by lbergstr at 6:26 PM on November 10, 2002


Ooo...thanks, Ibergstr. Don't know how I missed that thread. While studying this sort of thing in a cultural anthropology class last year, we had to translate an English sentence into Hopi idiom. It was damn near impossible--mostly what I remember is how long it took us to render "him" as "be-ing" or "living-ness." I agree that the grammar itself probably has less impact on thinking than metaphor and other conventions do.
posted by hippugeek at 6:42 PM on November 10, 2002


A good source on this subject is Metaphors We Live By, by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson.
posted by Hildago at 7:30 PM on November 10, 2002


A fascinating link! Thank-you!
posted by Marquis at 11:14 PM on November 10, 2002


Wow! Not that it has anything to do with the content, but how many websites are still up, unchanged, from over six years ago.

Funny you should mention that, because I actually found this while digging up all my old favorite sites from the classic days of the web. I'll post some more later.
posted by oissubke at 6:02 AM on November 11, 2002


Am I missing something, or does this one make no sense whatsoever?
posted by ook at 7:37 AM on November 11, 2002


Am I missing something, or does this one make no sense whatsoever?

The metaphor can be seen in the use of bring into and make go away.
posted by redfoxtail at 8:02 AM on November 11, 2002


Wow, George Lakoff. I took a few classes from him, actually - nice to see him getting some exposure on MeFi. (Hildago - the page linked to in the FPP was created by Lakoff himself). Lakoff's theory is that metaphors are how we understand all abstract ideas, and it's one I tend to agree with. His books all explore the application of metaphor to various fields - Where Mathematics Comes From for mathematics (I highly recommend this book), Moral Politics for a look at the liberal/conservative spectrum in terms of metaphors (I haven't read it myself, but the review on the Amazon page gives a pretty good summary.)
Great FPP, Oissubke. Thank you.
posted by wanderingmind at 8:37 AM on November 11, 2002


Amazing stuff. Thanks for a great post. Where is "Love is blindness" and "happiness is a warm gun" though? :)
posted by condour75 at 11:52 AM on November 11, 2002


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