A Linguist-Geek Riddle

The Rowbory/Nigeria Family Blog

A Linguist-Geek Riddle

Is “dead metaphor” a dead metaphor? If not, then who killed it?

Background: Reading through a colleague’s excellent paper on the difficulty of handling words for ‘angry’ and ‘sad’ in the NW Nigerian language Huba, one section dealt with metaphors that we live by. A dead metaphor is one that has been used so much that you don’t notice it being figurative language any more and it carries the meaning directly, whilst also not necessarily making you think about the component parts.

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