Read Local by Tag: metaphor

Jan 27, 2016

While librarians rarely memorize the Dewey Decimal System as an intentional exercise, common interaction with the numbers makes them stick. The 400s is the realm of language. In the case of public libraries like Johnson County Library, that shelf range is usually small compared to other sections and largely contains reference books like dictionaries and thesauruses. Every so often, however, a really nice prose text is tucked away between the lexicons. I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World by James Geary is one such work.

The book lays out how we understand the world by way of metaphorical thinking, that it’s nearly impossible for us to comprehend one thing without comparing it to other, unlike things, and we do so instinctively and unconsciously. Those lacking that ability are often placed somewhere on the autism spectrum, and those with synesthesia may be more connected to the heart of most metaphors than the rest of us. Metaphorical thinking presents itself in politics, economics, advertising, science, and more. There are even psychologists who base their therapy techniques on delving into and changing clients’ controlling metaphors.