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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blog Post #14 - Special Assignment - Metaphors

Metaphor's be With You

To begin my post on metaphors, I thought I would "Google it" to see exactly how it is defined and maybe get a different perspective. Of all the definitions, I found this one on by Richard Nordquist to be the most encompassing.

"Some people think of metaphors as nothing more than the sweet stuff of songs and poems--Love is a jewel, or a rose, or a butterfly. But in fact all of us speak and write and think in metaphors every day. They can't be avoided: metaphors are built right into our language."

I never really thought about metaphors until we were asked to keep up with them for a week or so. I didn't realize how many I used on a regular basis, especially when referring to my children. Just like the above statement says, they are built into our language. So, when I use them so often, why did I miss the metaphor in blog post? I think it is because I wasn't really thinking about what I was reading- the big picture. I focused more on the idea of test taking and lack of parental support and involvement. I didn't really pay much attention to the idea of the "pencils." I knew some of the ideas about "pencils" seemed absurd but I overlooked that to focus more on the education system that is currently teaching our children to be excellent test takers but not excellent students. So, I would assume that maybe that is the reason why others missed it as well but am not really sure.

So, you ask what metaphors have I used or encountered lately. Here is a small sample: fast as lightening, she is a night owl, snug as a bug, eyes as blue as the sky, head in the clouds, hard as nails, floating on a cloud, life is a beach, sneaky as a fox, etc... I could go on forever. Especially since I am a country music fan, there seems to be a metaphor in every country song you hear once you are looking for them.

And, finally you asked, why we use metaphors and how can we teach our students to recognize and use them. We use metaphors because they help to get the point across. They help to create an image that puts added emphasis to our thoughts or ideas. They make the conversation or writing more interesting. I think we need to teach the students to use them simply because they show creativity with our language and further our writing and speaking skills. They seem to just come naturally as an adult, maybe because of life experiences so it may be harder to teach young students about them or how to use them. I think that it will require us, as educators, to focus on the technical aspect of the english language to make sure that this art of using metaphors in writing and in speech is not lost. It adds such color to our language that we don't want it to be a lost art or something that is solely used in poetry or country songs!

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