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A familiar concept to most, a metaphor, in the most general sense, involves perceiving one thing in terms of another. More specifically, a metaphor is a condensed analogy, in which the meanings (direct and implicit) of a person or object are superimposed upon another person or object in the following form: ‘some physical, behavioural or ideational quality/characteristic of X is comparable to a corresponding physical, behavioural or ideational quality of Y’. Take the economy, for example. We can talk about an economy being ‘overheated’ or ‘stagnating’, ‘tiger economies’, ‘peaks’ and ‘troughs’ in production, ‘a financial boom’, the ‘bubble bursting’ or a range of other metaphors which are employed in order to understand financial affairs in terms of something else.

Certain types of metaphor are associated with ...

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