Lakoff And Johnson's Speech: Explaining The Means Of Metaphors

1192 Words 5 Pages
Bryan D’Ostroph
SOAN 101
Essay Three: Metaphor

When considering the idea of a metaphor, there are a variety of different ways that these metaphors can be classified. Is it a literary device that should be analyzed and annotated for it 's meaning within a work? Or is it, as Lakoff and Johnson describe, the basis to human thought processes which transcends the face value of language? Although we communicate through language on a daily basis, Lakoff and Johnson believe we are usually unaware that our “conceptual system” driving communication is largely metaphorical. This system is not just the means for basic communication, but rather the means for innate thoughts and actions. Lakoff and Johnson demonstrate this idea through their example of the metaphor, “argument is war.” In our culture, our view of arguments being wars affects the way that we think during an argument, such as viewing the opposing person as an enemy that has to be conquered. We can see this mentality through the speech surrounding how we act during an argument, using words such “attacked,” “defended,” and “won,” (Lakoff and Johnson 1980: 4). Furthermore, our speech regarding arguments is so ingrained in our thought processes
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Many times there are no other ways to communicate something in our language than to use a metaphor, such as “attacking a position.” These metaphors are the way that we have been taught to communicate, and to us they seem to convey

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