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Extended writing Language Linguistics Metaphor

What language looks like: Dictionary and grammar are to language what standing on one foot is to running

Background Sometimes a rather obscure and complex analogy just clicks into place in one’s mind and allows a slightly altered way of thinking that just makes so much sense it hurts. Like putting glasses on in the morning and the world suddenly snapping into shape. This happened to me this morning when reading the Notes […]

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Blending Extended writing Framing Knowledge Metaphor Philosophy of Science

What is not a metaphor: Modelling the world through language, thought, science, or action

The role of metaphor in science debate (Background) Recently, the LSE podcast an interesting panel on the subject of “Metaphors and Science”. It featured three speakers talking about the interface between metaphor and various ‘scientific’ disciplines (economics, physics and surgery). Unlike many such occasions, all speakers were actually very knowledgeable and thoughtful on the subject. […]

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Education Extended writing Language Linguistics

5 things everybody should know about language: Outline of linguistics’ contribution to the liberal arts curriculum

Drafty This was written in some haste and needs further refinement. Maybe one day that will come. For now, it will be left as it stands. Background This post outlines what I think are the key learnings from the output of the research of the field of linguistics that should be reflected in the general […]

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Extended writing Framing Linguistics

Binders full of women with mighty pens: What is metonymy

Metonymy in the wild Things were not going well for Mitt Romney in early autumn of last year. And then he responded to a query about gender equality with this sentence: “I had the chance to pull together a cabinet, and all the applicants seemed to be men… I went to a number of women’s […]

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Extended writing Linguistics Metaphor

How we use metaphors

I was reminded by this blog post on LousyLinguist that many people still see metaphor as an unproblematic homogeneous concept leading to much circular thinking about them.  I wrote about that quite a few years ago in: Lukeš, D., 2005. Towards a classification of metaphor use in text: Issues in conceptual discourse analysis of a […]

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Extended writing Language Linguistics Metaphor

The complexities of simple: What simple language proponents should know about linguistics [updated]

Update Part of this post was incorporated into an article I wrote with Brian Kelly and Alistair McNaught that appeared in the December issue of Ariadne. As part of that work and feedback from Alistair and Brian, I expanded the final section from a simple list of bullets into a more detailed research programme. You […]

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Linguistics Metaphor

Literally: Triumph of pet peeve over matter

I have a number of pet peeves about how people use language. I am genuinely annoyed by the use of apostrophes before plural of numerals or acronyms like 50’s or ABC’s. But because I understand how language works, I keep my mouth shut. The usage has obviously moved on. I don’t think, ABC’s is wrong […]

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Extended writing

Why ideas aren’t enough to solve the Palestine-Israeli conflict

An advertising agency is trying to solve a bloody conflict. This is presumptuous on such as scale that it could be called idiotic. Quoth http://www.theimpossiblebrief.com: “Rather than ‘out of date’ policies, we need ‘out of the box’ solutions. Let’s show the world that creative minds at their best can inspire even political leaders.” Assuming that […]

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Extended writing

What it’s all About

Image via Wikipedia Metaphors are not just something extra we use when we’re feeling poetic or at a loss for le mot juste, they are all over our minds, texts and conversations. Just like conjunctions, tenses or word. And just like anything else, they can be used for good or ill, on purpose or without […]