Essay about Figurative Language vs Literal Language

774 Words May 21st, 2013 4 Pages
Figurative Language versus Literal Language

Figurative Language versus Literal Language
Figurative language, which is also referred to as a “figure of speech”, is language that utilizes a description to provide an expression of a person’s emotion. Figurative language contains words that are descriptive whereas literal words are expressed so that someone ones exactly what is meant. Below I will describe a few figurative words followed by an example. Idiom
An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally, like “bought the farm” has nothing to do with purchasing real estate, but refers to dying ( Another example would be “high as a kite” which would mean you are drunk or on drugs. Someone who
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“Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is an example of a cliché. This means that if two people who love each other are separated, the separation is likely to intensify their love for each other.
An amphiboly occurs when the construction of a sentence allows it to have two different meanings. Teenagers shouldn't be allowed to drive. It's getting too dangerous on the streets. This could be taken to mean the teenagers will be in danger, or that they will cause the danger.
“Flame Word”
Flame words often trigger emotions and should be used with caution especially when having a conversation with people of different race. Flame words often have different connotation to different people and hearing them may bring out emotions that can escalate to conflict (Kirby, G.R., & Goodpaster, J.R. (2007). Thinking (4th ed.). For example, the word “nigga” brings in racial tensions. Cultures outside the African American communities may see it as slang especially as it is casually used in conversations between African Americans in films and TV portrayals. However, using it while not having the ethnic background can raise emotions especially among African Americans as they see it offensive. The word stupid, incompetent, are other examples of flame words.
A hyperbole uses exaggeration for emphasis or effect. For example, “I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse” some people would view the term as starving that you would eat anything or “this

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