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I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor…

I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We… (2011)

by James Geary

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183293,469 (3.69)2



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I have always tended to think of metaphors as statements like “ran like the wind” or “raven haired”; statements that are obvious comparisons. Geary points out that metaphor goes far deeper in our language; stocks ‘climb’ despite not having limbs, time races by or crawls, a person or situation can be a ticking time bomb while having nothing to do with actual explosives. Metaphor is so ingrained in humans that we aren’t even aware of it. Metaphors help explain the world to us; new things are explained by comparing them to things we already know. Metaphors are so deeply ingrained in our brains that we can easily be manipulated by others using them; advertisers and politicians use them all the time. The book is very interesting; the man knows what he’s talking about if the gigantic bibliography tells us anything. Recommended if you are interested in learning about how your brain works and perhaps making you aware of how metaphors can ‘prime’ you to feel and act in certain ways. ( )
2 vote lauriebrown54 | Jan 30, 2014 |
First I would like to thank you for choosing me to be an Early Reviewer of this book. Being a logophile, I am infatuated with words, their meaning and the power that they have. Metaphors are an extension of the power of words. It was amazing to see the extent metaphors effect our daily lives. This was not at all a dull read or an tedious study of the English language. It was a light and interesting read with a lot credible research. ( )
  TamiCPht | Mar 13, 2011 |
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The most compelling sections in I Is An Other outline the surprising importance of metaphor in seemingly concrete disciplines, like economics and physics. Geary discusses the evolutionary origins of synesthetic metaphors, in which one sense is used to describe another (e.g. “Silence is sweet.”) Elsewhere, he emphasizes the usefulness, as well as the potential danger, of metaphors in scientific research.
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Reality is a cliché from which we escape by metaphor.
--Wallace Stevens
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In later life, Arthur Rimbaud was an anarchist, businessman, arms dealer, financier, and explorer.
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Geary's adept explication of the metaphor's role in defining perceptions analyzes how metaphors are used in advertising, scientific discoveries, economics, and politics, as well as how metaphors play in conceptual comprehension and long-term memory.

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