Definition of Metaphor

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This article is about metaphor (M) in language and rhetoric.

In language, a metaphor (from the Greek: metapherin) is a rhetorical trope defined as a direct comparison between two or more seemingly unrelated subjects. In the simplest example, this takes the form: "The [first subject] is a [second subject]."

More generally, M describes a first subject as being or equal to a second subject in some way. Thus, the first subject can be economically described because implicit and explicit attributes from the second subject are used to enhance the description of the first.

This device is known for usage in literature, especially in poetry, where with few words, emotions and associations from one context are associated with objects and entities in a different context.

M comprises a subset of analogy and closely relates to other rhetorical concepts such as comparison, simile, allegory and parable.

Note...Mastering the use of M will require practice. When using a M because of the economy of words, slow down so the audience has time to mentally digest its import.

The M can lay the foundation for or even be the illustration that is the thread that extends through the entire talk.

One word of caution. Do not use this device too often in any one speech or it will lose its value. You will risk the audience remembering the artful use of words and not the speech or your point.

Remember, your most wanted response is the most important focal point of your talk. Every thing should build on, support, or point to your most wanted response.

Other ways to explain, clarify or describe and end the addiction to adjectives.






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