Figurative Language Versus Literal Language Essay
Professor Carrie Prettiman
January 20, 2012
The purpose of this paper is to explore the meaning and functionalities associated with figurative language versus literal language. Traditionally, figurative language, such as metaphors and idioms, have been considered derivatives from and more complex than ostensibly straightforward language. “A contemporary view is that figurative language involves the same kinds of linguistic and pragmatic operations that are used for ordinary, literal language” (Glucksberg, 1975). Figurative language is language that uses words and or expressions with a meaning that is different or a variation from the literal …show more content…
Metaphor: the word metaphor was defined as a novel or poetic linguistic expression where one or more words for a concept are used outside of its normal conventional meaning to express a similar concept (Gibbs, 1994). For example, if you say, “you are the wind beneath my wings” you are not saying that a person can actually be wind. Instead, you are referring to the support you get from that person. Another example would be when one seeks to describe their feelings of admiration for a person by stating “he is a diamond in the rough” or “he is the sunshine of my life.” Metaphors can be humorous while still getting the point across.
Simile: A simile is where two things are compared. A simile compares two things using the words “as” or “like.” within the expression. An example of a simile would be “you are as stubborn as a mule” which means to convey the fact that a person is being very