Sunday, November 24, 2019

Figurative Language Versus Literal Language Essay Example

Figurative Language Versus Literal Language Essay Example Figurative Language Versus Literal Language Essay Figurative Language Versus Literal Language Essay Figurative Language versus Literal Language Critical Thinking – PHI 210 Figurative Language versus Literal Language Figurative language is a language that uses embellished words or expressions to convey a message different from the literal interpretation. They are not to be taken literally but instead are meant to be imaginative (creative, inventive, offbeat), vivid (intense, flamboyant, dramatic) and evocative (suggestive). Poets (and writers) frequently use figurative language as a way to make their words jump off the page. Case in point, â€Å"its raining hard† is literal; however, â€Å"its raining cats and dogs† is figurative – unless animals are literally falling from the sky. So in short, figurative language is used to add spice to text/words that would be uninteresting (dull, unexciting) otherwise. Executed (delivered) well, it can shrewdly (ingeniously) get a point across. However, an improper delivery can potentially lead to confusion. An idiom is a catchphrase (expression) that deviates from the usual meaning of the words used. Idioms would be nonsensical if taken in a literal context. For example, â€Å"don’t bring sand to the beach† is a clever way of telling someone not to take something that will already be supplied – such as taking alcohol to a bar. Using this idiom on someone not proficient in English would cause a delay in communication since the person would not understand the contextualization. They would be stumped and wonder why anyone would actually take sand to the beach in the first place. An analogy is a logical argument used to illustrate how two disconnected (disassociated, separate) things (concepts) share similar (certain) characteristics. : This form of figurative language is used with the intent of helping individuals grasp the concept of complex (ideas). For example, a teacher might instruct a confused student to think of pizza slices when trying to solve fractions; pizza slices are something the student can easily compare and relate to. There are two subcategories of analogies: metaphors and similes. A metaphor is a figure of speech that is phrased more like a direct statement than a comparison. For example, â€Å"life is a rollercoaster† is a phrase used to describe the ups and downs of life. If interpreted in the wrong context or used in the wrong situation, it might cause some confusion in communication. A simile is an expression that compares two things and explicitly contains either â€Å"like† or â€Å"as† to highlight the likeness. For example, â€Å"clean as a whistle† is used to describe someone that is flawless and free from guilt. However, interpreted literally, someone might question how exactly a whistle can be deemed clean seeing as how it is a mouth instrument. A cliche is a stale and overused statement that has consequently lost all sentiment. For example, â€Å"what goes around comes around†, â€Å"you get what you pay for† and â€Å"break a leg† are all examples of cliches. Cliches should be avoided as they demonstrate a lack of original thought and effort. And as with any figurative speech, a cliche can baffle anyone unfamiliar with the expression or oblivious to the context. An amphiboly is a sentence that, due to its structure, leaves room for more than one interpretation. For example, â€Å"the roads are dangerous†¦teenagers shouldn’t drive†. This sentence either implies that teenagers are the cause for the dangerous roads or the roads are too dangerous for them to be driving on. Sometimes amphibolies are done intentionally in an attempt at humor. Depending on the intended usage, amphibolies should be reworded to clear any confusion or ease an offended audience. A â€Å"flame word† is a term used to describe a word used to incite anger or argument. Confusion can occur because some â€Å"flame words† can also be used in sarcasm. For instance, depending circumstance, the word â€Å"loser† can be used as either an insult or a term of endearment. From a bully, the word is meant to be harsh. From a friend, the word is meant to be playful. A hyperbole uses exaggeration for emphasis or effect. For example, â€Å"I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse† or â€Å"this book weighs a ton†. Both examples are an exaggerated form of figure of speech used to prove a point. A euphemism is a less harsh, politically correct way of phrasing something. For instance, one might say they â€Å"lost their lunch† as opposed to â€Å"vomited† or â€Å"threw up†. Depending on the situation, someone might think they literally lost their lunch and offer to help them find it. A colloquialism is a grammatical expression that is only acceptable in casual conversation. It refers to language patterns or phrases that are indicative to a particular region or people. For instance, people in one region may associate â€Å"grub† with food while another region might associate that word with â€Å"dirty†. With all of the aforementioned types of figurative language, knowing your audience is essential in avoiding miscommunication. References Croce, R. , Horvat, M. , Zagrodnik, J. (2010, October 1). Utilization of Sensory Information in Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Developmental Physical Disabilities. 22, 463-473, DOI 10. 1007/s10882-009-9182-4 Facione, P. (1998). Critical thinking: What it is and why it counts. Millbrae, CA: California Academic Press.

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