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In their highly-acclaimed work "Metaphors We Live By," George Lakoff and Mark Johnson propose that metaphors are not simply destined for flowery prose and figurative language.

On the contrary, metaphors shape the way we think and behave.

The "metaphors we live by" are unique to our culture.

Take the metaphor "Argument is War," for example.

Lakoff and Johnson demonstrate that we think of arguments in combative terms. So, we have sayings like:

  • She attacked every weak point in my argument.
  • Your criticisms are right on target.
  • If you use that strategy, you'll get wiped out.
  • He shot down all of my arguments.

[Lakoff & Johnson 4]

Erica Jean Seidel