General Linguistics


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Identify metaphors II

The data below is taken (slightly adapted) from the New Yorker magazine’s “In Brief” movie reviews. Each phrase or clause contains at least one familiar metaphorical use of a word. Identify a metaphorical use in each.

(source of the data: Paul R. Frommer/Edward Finegan. Looking at Languages. A Workbook in Elementary Linguistics. Boston: Wadsworth. 201-202)

a) the second half of “Dreams” is weak (:vips 7062:) b) the fifth episode is a thin conceit (:vips 7063:) c) she’s too decent and too timid to explode (:vips 7064:) d) Eugene O’Neill’s play about a black man’s disintegration (:vips 7065:) e) was conceived in a semi-Expressionist style (:vips 7066:) f) yet there isn’t a breath of life in it (:vips 7067:) g) a cold, clever period gangster movie (:vips 7068:) h) the action unfolds in and around a city (:vips 7069:) i) whose brassy, boozing former-star mother started her on sleeping pills (:vips 7070:) j) his tone keeps slipping around (:vips 7071:) k) she remains distant, emotionally atonal (:vips 7072:) l) Marlon Brando, in his magnetic, soft-eyed youth (:vips 7073:)