Seeing Metaphors


This is a great post that requires more time and thought than I have right now. File in the perennial revisit section of your ongoing get to later idea box.

make a powerful point

We usually think of metaphors as ways to use the spoken or written word. Take, for instance, clinical psychologist Susan Silk and mediator Barry Goldman’s useful guide for providing comfort in times of tragedy. They called it “the ring theory of kvetching.” That’s a linguistic metaphor.

Of course, metaphors can be visual, as well, and there’s a range of ways we use them on slide decks, websites, and publications.

Illustrating linguistic metaphors

When Silk and Goldman talk about their “ring theory” (which also boils down to a catchy aphorism, “comfort in, dump out”), they probably illustrate the linguistic metaphor with something like this very clear diagram that appeared in the newspaper:

At the center of the ring is the sick person, and the concentric circles represent groups of people with varying degreees of intimacy. (This particular illustration was done by Wes Bausmith for the LA Times.)

Someone may…

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