“Up scrambles the car, on all its four legs…” D.H. Lawrence, Mornings in Mexico
“So consumers are not exactly dragging their feet. They are dancing as fast as can be expected.” Business Week
“…there has been a mountain of meaning rising behind you…” Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings
A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. It is a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.
Metaphors give our language color. They provide variety. They enable us to describe ordinary items, people and places in extraordinary ways.
In fact, an article published online this week in the journal Brain & Language, and described in another article by Quinn Eastman, says that the parietal operculum, the part of the brain important for sensing texture through touch, is activated when someone listens to a sentence with a textural metaphor. How cool is that? Metaphors actually stimulate your brain and that stimulation can be seen with brain imaging.
So the next time you’re searching for exactly the right word choice, remember the metaphor—it’s good for your brain!