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Evaluators acknowledge the importance of the language embedded in evaluation practice and the power of language in conveying meaning about the social complexities found in evaluations. By examining the implicit language in evaluation practices, metaphors can reveal the power of language in shaping the realities communicated through evaluation reporting. Illuminating the metaphoric language in evaluations can serve an educative function.

“Metaphor is, at its simplest, a way of proceeding from the known to the unknown. It is a way of cognition in which the identifying qualities of one thing are transferred in an instantaneous, almost unconscious, flash of insight to some other thing that is, by remoteness or complexity, unknown to us” (Nisbet, 1969, p. 4). Metaphors are pervasive in our communication. They are a fundamental ...

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