Michael Erard, in Aeon: "To design metaphors, it helps to have a metaphor for metaphor. I think of it as a room: the windows and doors frame a view toward the reality outside. Put the windows high, people see only the trees. Put them low, they see the grass. Put the window on the south side, they’ll see the sun. Sometimes the room can be empty. Sometimes the views from the room are a bit forced. Or perhaps they’re new and therefore uncomfortable. In those situations, you have to direct people’s attention. You have to give them furniture to sit on that makes your architectural choices unavoidable."
'The Cloud' and Other Dangerous Metaphors. What’s notable about dominant data metaphors is that they consistently compare data to naturally occurring physical resources. And just as the history of resource exploitation in America—from westward expansion through the Gold Rush, and beyond into modern-day debates about water and air rights—involves the appropriation of resources that belonged to someone else, online data collection policy treats personal information as a natural, inexhaustible good—ripe for exploitation in the name of economic growth and private gain.
metropho.rs (You can zoom in)
The Mind is a Metaphor. A database of thousands of metaphors organized by category, like 18th century, Liquid, or Jacobite. It's maintained by University of Virginia English Professor Brad Pasanek.
Link found between physical and emotional warmth l Metaphors of the Mind: Why Loneliness Feels Cold and Sins Feel Dirty. "Our mental processes are not separate and detached from the body". Sensory metaphors l The Metaphor Observatory, top 10 metaphors of 2007.
Conservatives and Liberals obviously think differently. Here's how. George Lakoff, a highly respected linguist and author of Moral Politics: What Conservatives Know and Liberals Don't is tipping. Why? Part of it is that while Lakoff is obviously a Liberal, he's one of the few around to have taken the time to understand that Conservatives, too, have a coherent worldview. He's then added to that, er, insight his neuroscientific understanding of the power of metaphor in human communication. He's getting mad buzz right now, I just heard him lecture, and folks, Conservative or Liberal, this guy's ideas are worth exploring.
Caution: Violent metaphors can blow up in your face. This one (see paragraph two)—which I discovered a day or so before the D.C. snipers were apprehended—struck me at the time as a particularly unfortunate demonstration as to why, especially considering this ad agency is based just outside Washington. George Lakoff, an undisputed Heavyweight Metaphorician of the World, turns the tables and uses human metaphors rather neatly to think about 9/11. And apparently, there are workshops that teach how to make nonviolent metaphors more vivid and, the logic goes, make violence less attractive. So, the explosive question: does hostile language encourage conflict or reflect it? Peace out.
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.