Not only will this lead to a misunderstanding of what is being said, but can also make it hard for people to engage in productive and critical thinking. Idioms are one of the most commonly used types of figurative language primarily because they consist of phrases that people have become familiar with. An idiom is a word, phrase, or expression that cannot, or should not, be taken literally. “Break a leg” is a well-known, excessively used idiom. Literally, this phrase means to actually break a leg, but its figurative meaning is to wish another person good luck, which is usually geared more towards stage actors or performers. “Break a leg” is appropriate to say when a friend is about to perform in a play, but it could lead to a misunderstanding if the person it is being said to is not about to do anything that warrants a wish of good luck. An analogy is when two completely different things are compared in an attempt to find similarities. The function of an analogy is to help people understand something new by comparing it to something that they are already familiar with. “I am as graceful as a refrigerator falling down a flight of stairs (Turner, 1998)” is an example of an analogy. An appropriate circumstance to use this analogy would be to help a person visualize how ungraceful someone is. Since a refrigerator would tumble and crash down a flight of stairs, it makes it easier for a person to understand the lack of grace that someone may have. This analogy could lead to a misunderstanding if a person thinks that someone will literally fall down stairs in the same way that a refrigerator would. A metaphor is a direct comparison of two unlike things that share a similar important concept. Metaphors are used to strengthen the meaning of something. “His marriage was a noose around his neck” is a metaphor. He does not literally have a noose around his neck, but this metaphor implies that his marriage is a complicated and painful situation. An appropriate circumstance to use this example would be if the man were explaining to his friend that his marriage is facing some difficult times. This phrase could be misleading if the man did not elaborate on the fact that he had trouble with his marriage, otherwise it could be mistaken as a threat of suicide brought on by his marriage woes. A simile is when the characteristics of two things are compared by using the words ‘like’ or ‘as.’ The purpose of a simile is to help prompt understanding about one thing by comparing it to a characteristic of something else. For example, “her parents were acting like teenagers” conveys that her parents were acting rowdy and silly. Her parents were not literally teenagers, but were behaving in a similar manner. This phrase would be appropriate if her parents were texting each other across the dinner table, but it could be misleading if the girl did not go into detail about how her parents were acting like teenagers since teenagers come with a range of behaviors, many of which would be inappropriate for adults to adopt. A cliche is a phrase or expression that is overused and “betrays a lack of original thought (Glucksberg, 2001).” A common cliche is “keep your chin up,” which figuratively means not to become upset or discouraged by something, or to stay positive. It can be used when a person is having a bad day and their friend wants them to know that life will get better as long as they remain positive. It can
Cite this document
(“Figurative Language versus Literal Language Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.net/sociology/48549-figurative-language-versus-literal-language
(Figurative Language Versus Literal Language Essay)
“Figurative Language Versus Literal Language Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/sociology/48549-figurative-language-versus-literal-language.
Cited: 0 times
Figurative language versus literal language Instructor Name Class Title October 24, 2011 Figurative language versus literal language Every language comes with a plethora of ways to color a message that someone is trying to convey or else to provide a creative way to help prompt an understanding between people…
Two main forms of communication are figurative language and literal language. The former refers to a representation of something that may not actually be true but is either making a comparison or using different words to get a point across. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines figurative as “representing by a figure or resemblance” (“Figurative,” 2012).
Understanding in what particular juncture one should employ literal versus figurative language is a skill that should be mastered in order to ensure that the desired effect of one’s language, both written and spoken, adheres closely to the desired intent which it is meant to evoke.
There can be figurative uses for the word, or even literal uses which manage to change the context of the word regardless of the word etymology. This paper will look into the etymology and meaning of 10 of the most popular words used in the American English language.
Analogy is another important term; this term is of significance when linguistics comes into play. Analogy refers to deriving the exact meaning of a sentence or a word; it is a cognitive process which comes into play when analogy
A lot of comparisons are made in the case of using figurative speech; thus, leading to an elucidation of the fact that figurative language is a form of expression by the authors to bring out the intended meanings.
In the words of
For example, ‘he is pulling my leg’. To pull a person’s leg denotes to taunt them by informing them something is not true. The appropriate circumstance would be when a person is expecting significant news. The example may be understood where a