Literal versus Metaphorical meaning2020

Literal versus Metaphorical meaning2020

 Literal versus Metaphorical meaning

Literal versus Metaphorical meaning202

In English, as in most other languages, a word is used in more than one sense or shade of meaning. The original sense in which a word is used is it’s the literal meaning. For example, in the sentence, ‘A dog is man’s best friend,’ the word dog is used in this literal sense to refer to a particular animal.

But if we call a person ‘a dog’ to mean that he is a worthless evil person, we are extending the meaning of the word. Similarly, in the sentence ‘The dog always barks at the postman,’ the verb bark is used in it’s the literal sense, but when we say to a person, ‘Don’t bark like that, ‘Hari’ to refer to the sharp and loud sound he is making, we have extended the meaning of bark.

This kind of extension is called a metaphor. A metaphor is the use of a phrase which describes one thing by standing another with which it can be compared. In units 1-2, we shall discuss the different ways in which words get their meanings extended.

Literal versus Metaphorical meaning

Literal versus Metaphorical meaning2020

Take this sentence:

You should comb your hair more often.

The word comb is used here in its literal sense. We are asking this person to ‘tidy, clean, straighten, or arrange his hair with a comb.’

But if we say :

‘The police combed the forest for the missing boy’

We are using the word comb to mean ‘search thoroughly’. This is an extension of meaning. Just as the comb goes through the hair to clean and tidy it, so the police search the forest to find the boy. By using a word in its extended sense we help to make concrete the idea We are trying to convey.

For instance, in the second sentence above, it becomes easier for the reader or listener to visualize or see in his mind what the pilots are doing- their thoroughness in searching the forest becomes vivid.

Literal versus Metaphorical meaning…..

Metaphor, simile and Irony

In metaphor, one thing is described as another (X is Y) and in the process, they are a carrying over of meanings. For example., in the expression ‘Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the lion of Punjab,’ the meaning of ‘fearlessness ‘ and ‘ bravery’ associated with ‘lion’ is transferred on to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. So in metaphors, we find transference of meanings due to hidden or ‘implicit’ implicit comparisons that take place.

As in other languages, the word metaphor means… A metaphor is a figure of speech that, for rhetorical effect, directly refers to one thing by mentioning another. It may provide clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas. Metaphors are often compared with other types of figurative languages, such as antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile.

A smile, unlike a metaphor, is an expression which makes an ‘explicit’ or direct comparison between two things by the use of words ‘like’ or ‘as’. For example, in the expression ‘Her cheeks are like roses’ the meaning a direct comparison.

simile (/ ˈsɪməli /) is a figure of speech that directly compares two things. Similes differ from metaphors by highlighting the similarities between two things using words such as “like”, “as”, or “than”, while metaphors create an implicit comparison (i.e. saying something “is” something else).

The irony, as distinct from the above two is a figure of speech where the words actually used mean quite the opposite in the context. E. g., ‘How smart! ‘ and ‘ what lovely weather!’ Could mean ‘How foolish’ (when a person may have done something silly) or ‘what bad weather ‘ (if it is extremely cold etc) respectively.

Literal versus Metaphorical meaning…..

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