Last time we covered your basic metaphors. If you missed it, here's a link to Part One. Now, if that wasn't enough, beginning with the entries I found in Wikipedia, I trawled through the Web and compiled this list:
A dead or frozen metaphor is one in which the implied comparison has been forgotten and is taken literally. These phrases use a physical action as a metaphor for understanding (itself a metaphor), but in none of these cases do most speakers of English actually visualise the physical action. 'He is a snake' may once have been a metaphor but after years of use it has died and become a new sense of the word 'snake'. You could say the same for the word 'died' in the last sentence.
I have my hands full at this time
to grasp a concept
I gather you've understood.
Furthermore, a metaphor that is considered dead in one language or culture is not necessarily dead in another. There is much debate surrounding whether the metaphors of the Bible are living or dead, for example, with this distinction having a dramatic effect on the resultant interpretation of its teachings.
A dying metaphor is a derogatory term coined by George Orwell in his essay 'Politics and the English Language'. Orwell defines a dying metaphor as a metaphor that isn't dead but has been worn out and is used because it saves people the trouble of inventing an original phrase for themselves. In short, a cliché.
ring the changes on
toe the line
ride roughshod over
stand shoulder to shoulder with
A dormant metaphor, on the other hand, is one whose metaphorical character people are aware of but rarely think about. A dormant metaphor is one where the connection between the vehicle and the subject is not clear.
I was lost in thought. (How?)
She flew at him. (Why? In anger? Love?)
He was rattled. (Why? By what or whom?)
A conventional metaphor is a metaphor that is commonly used in everyday language in a culture to give structure to some portion of that culture’s conceptual system.
I'll take my chances.
The odds are against me.
He's holding all the aces.
It's a toss-up.
An absolute or paralogical metaphor (sometimes called an anti-metaphor) is one in which there is no discernible point of resemblance between the idea and the image.
I am the dog end of every day.
That is worth less than a dead digeridoo.
We faced a scallywag of tasks.
The couch is the autobahn of the living room.
An experiential or learning metaphor is an experience that allows one to learn about more than just that experience. Examples: Board-breaking is used in seminars as a metaphor for breaking through emotional boundaries and climbing Kilimanjaro is used as a metaphor for life in Eric Edmeades' Adventure Seminars.
A linguistic-form-as-spatial metaphor is a conventional metaphor in which linguistic elements are represented as occupying locations in physical space, as expressed in some forms of discourse deixis.
Now there's a good point.
Here comes the best part.
Can we go back to your last point?
A structural metaphor is a conventional metaphor in which one concept is understood and expressed in terms of another structured, sharply defined concept.
Your claims are indefensible.
He attacked every weak point in my argument.
His criticisms were right on target.
I demolished his argument.
An entity metaphor is an ontological metaphor in which an abstraction is represented as a concrete physical object
We're still trying to grind out the solution to this equation.
My mind just isn’t operating today.
Her ego is very fragile.
You have to handle him with care since his wife’s death.
Personification is an ontological metaphor in which a thing or abstraction is represented as a person.
His religion tells him he can’t drink wine.
A containment metaphor is an ontological metaphor in which some concept is represented as having an inside and outside, and capable of holding something else.
He's a glass-half-full kind of person.
Her life is crammed with activities.
Get the most out of life.
An orientational metaphor is a metaphor in which concepts are spatially related to each other, as in the following ways: up or down, in or out, front or back, on or off, deep or shallow, central or peripheral.
Thinking about her always gives me a lift.
I'm feeling down.
I fell into a depression.
An implicit metaphor is one in which the tenor is not specified but implied. Example: "Shut your trap!" Here, the mouth of the listener is the unspecified tenor.
She had the screaming.
We were drinking the white.
When a subject is sufficiently well-known, then we do not have to explain it in detail. Most of our communications are like this, with much being left out but the intended meaning still being communicated.
An implied or unstated metaphor is a metaphor not explicitly stated or obvious that compares two things by using adjectives that commonly describe one thing, but are used to describe another comparing the two.
John swelled and ruffled his plumage (versus John was a peacock)
Golden baked skin (comparing bakery goods to skin)
A submerged metaphor is one in which the vehicle is implied, or indicated by one aspect. Example: "my winged thought". Here, the audience must supply the image of the bird.
Her thoughts were on the wing. (wing > bird > flight)
He legged it. (Leg > human > run)
A photon struck him; bolts were for greater men. (photon > light > small idea; bolt > lightning > big ideas)
A simple or tight metaphor is one in which there is but one point of resemblance between the tenor and the vehicle. Example: "Cool it". In this example, the vehicle, "cool", is a temperature and nothing else, so the tenor, "it", can only be grounded to the vehicle by one attribute.
He was mad. (mad = anger)
I'll chew on it. (chew = think)
A root metaphor is the underlying worldview that shapes an individual's understanding of a situation. Examples would be understanding health as a mechanical process, or seeing life as the natural expression of an "ideal" form (e.g., the acorn that should grow into an oak tree). A root metaphor is different from the previous types of metaphor in that it is not necessarily an explicit device in language, but a fundamental, often unconscious, assumption.
Winning the argument. (argument as war)
Time is money.
Life as journey.
Root metaphors can be unique to individual cultures, nations, organisations or groups. For example one culture may have a root metaphor of life as a journey, whilst another may see it as opportunity.
A conceptual metaphor refers to the understanding of one idea in terms of another. A primary tenet of this theory is that metaphors are a matter of thought and not merely of language: hence, the term conceptual metaphor.
Here is a whole list describing love as a journey:
Look how far we've come. It's been a long, bumpy road. We can't turn back now. We're at a crossroads. We may have to go our separate ways. The relationship isn't going anywhere. We're spinning our wheels. Our relationship is off the track. The marriage is on the rocks. We may have to bail out of this relationship.
The pataphor is an extreme form of metaphor, taking the principle to its limit, where the basic metaphor is typically not mentioned but extensions to it are used without reference.
It is probably best understood by comparison:
Tom and Alice stood side by side in the lunch line.
Tom and Alice stood side by side in the lunch line, two pieces on a chessboard.
Tom took a step closer to Alice and made a date for Friday night, checkmating. Rudy was furious at losing to Margaret so easily and dumped the board on the rose-colored quilt, stomping downstairs.
(The pataphor has created a world where the chessboard exists, including the characters that live in that world entirely abandoning the original context.)
The pataphor was first described by author Pablo Lopez, based on Alfred Jarry's "science" of ’pataphysics.
Therapeutic metaphor is a type of conceptual metaphor presented as a story or other parallel to an entire aspect of a situation, related by a psychotherapist to a patient. The purpose of this is to highlight to a person, in an effective way, some aspects and lessons that otherwise they might not be able to perceive as clearly in their current situation, or to suggest new outlooks on it.
Thus a therapist, told about the untimely death of a loved one, might respond by describing two roses in a garden, one of which is dug up.
An active (or live) metaphor is one which is relatively new and hence is not necessarily apparent to all listeners, although if the metaphor is well-selected, it will be easy enough to understand.
To ensure the active metaphor is understood, further contextual information may be used to hint at its meaning.
Let me compare thee to an arctic day, sharp and bright, forever light...
It's been a purple dinosaur of a day.
You're looking pretty rabbit -- what's up?
Active metaphors are often used in poetry and eloquent speech to stimulate the reader or listener. When words do not fit your known patterns of meaning, you are forced to think harder about them, their use and what is intended by the author.
Their use is a sign of a fertile imagination, and this attribute of the originator may well be recognized by the audience. This makes active metaphors a particularly useful method of impressing other people. Done badly, however, active metaphors can be a sign of arrogance or someone who thinks they are more intelligent than perhaps they actually are.
Now, of course, we have brand spanking new metaphors, a metaphor that is not already part of the conceptual system of a culture as reflected in its language.
Love is a collaborative work of art.
How long they will stay new is another thing entirely. Actually I think the term 'new metaphor' could be considered a new metaphor itself. Try looking it up on the web.
I have always been aware that our language is more visual that most of us imagine but it seems even I have only been seeing the tip of the iceberg. (See! See! Another metaphor).
Have a look at this list (there were others but one has to draw the line somewhere (Yes! Another one)): it only looks at metaphors involving arguments.
An argument-as-war metaphor is a conventional metaphor in which argument is represented as war, with such possibilities as attack, defence, demolishing, winning, and losing.
Your claims are indefensible.
His criticisms were right on target.
I demolished his argument.
He shot down all of my arguments.
An argument-as-balance metaphor is a conventional metaphor in which rational argument is understood as a twin-pan balance of weights, such that the weight on either side represents the strength of the respective arguments on either side of a question.
The prosecution piled up evidence.
The debater built up a weighty argument.
The jury weighed the merits of both sides.
More facts might tip the scale.
An argument-as-building metaphor is a conventional metaphor in which a rational argument is represented as a building having parts and degrees of sturdiness.
We've got the framework for a solid argument.
If you don't support your argument with solid facts, the whole thing will collapse.
He is trying to buttress his argument with a lot of irrelevant facts, but it is still so shaky that it will easily fall apart under criticism.
An argument-as-container metaphor is a conventional metaphor in which rational argument is represented as a container with features such as an amount of content.
That argument has holes in it.
I'm tired of your empty arguments.
That conclusion falls out of my argument.
Your argument won't hold water.
An argument-as-journey metaphor is a conventional metaphor in which argument is represented as a journey along a path.
Do you follow my argument?
You're going around in circles.
We have already covered those points.
Okay, that's me. I'm done.
There are dictionaries of metaphors (e.g. Renton's Metaphors) but I don't own any. Not yet. Although I probably do have enough dictionaries at twenty-seven. The great thing about the metaphor, in fact all language, is that we don't just pick from a list. We can invent our own. In fact we have to. Life refuses to keep still and language has to run to keep up with it. Metaphors are not mere words. Metaphor is not just a matter of language, but of thought and reason. The language is secondary, a means to an end. Sometimes poets can be a bit superior about this kind of language as if they're the only ones who should be allowed to handle them, which is rubbish. Without the metaphor we'd all be talking Newspeak.
For all that, let's end with a metaphorical poem:
I'm a riddle in nine syllables.
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.
Money's new-minted in this fat purse.
I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I've eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there's no getting off.
There are a lot of serious people out there seriously interested in the metaphor. If you're at all curious here are a few links to have a look at:
The Metaphor Observatory
The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor – George Lakoff
Metaphor, Morality, and Politics – George Lakoff
Metaphor – Owen Barfield (an essay at Poets.org)
Metaphor and Meaning – William Grey
Center for the Cognitive Science of Metaphor Online (a list of links)
Elizabeth Camp has written several papers on the metaphor from a philosophical perspective:
Poesis without Metaphor (Show and Tell)
Contextualism, Metaphor, and What is Said
Metaphor and That Certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’
Metaphor in the Mind
Metaphors and Demonstratives: Josef Stern’s Metaphor in Context