What is a Metaphor?

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What is a Metaphor?
In the English language, a metaphor represents a figure of speech that involves an analogy of two seemingly different things but may have one characteristic or feature that may actually be similar with each other. By using comparison between two objects for example, a metaphor may state a fact or feature a similarity of the two objects involved.

What most people are familiar of are basic and/or conventional types of metaphor. There are even samples of this type of metaphor that people don’t even notice that they are actually using sentences that contain metaphors. These conventional metaphors are also very easy to understand and are frequently used which explains why they have become part of normal speech and communication. Like when somebody refers to a person more of a “night owl” rather than an “early bird”, many would immediately understand what the speaker meant when conveying the message. The person being referred to is literally not some form of bird, but is likened to characteristics that he/she shares with birds. In this example, an owl is believed to be awake at night time, so the person being referred to is described in a way that would appear that he/she is more active during night time. And on the other hand, “early bird” refers to the opposite trait, referring to the people who are early risers or active during day time.

Besides written words and sentences, metaphors may also be expressed visually. Objects and images may be used to represent other things or traits that may be expressed and/or understood better if they are “seen” rather than “read”. Many ads on TV use pictures to depict certain messages that may be deemed more effective because of its visual effect. Like when an ad promotes taking risks in life, it may be presented in graphic form as in a person taking a plunge into the ocean.

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