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Metaphor

  • By: Pradeep Sopory
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Evident in both written and spoken language, metaphor offers a window to latent patterns of thought. A metaphor is traditionally considered a linguistic phrase with the form “A is B,” such that a comparison is implied between the two parts leading to a transfer of features associated with B to A. The terms A and B are seen as representing different concepts or domains and are called “target” and “source,” respectively. A distinction is usually made between novel and conventionalized metaphors. Novel metaphors are expressions whose equation of target with a source creates new perceptions about the target; conventionalized metaphors are metaphors that were once novel, but with repeated use have been completely absorbed into the conventions of everyday language (e.g., My mood is down), ...

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