Metaphors Can Change Our Opinions in Ways We Don’t Even Realize

Metaphors can change our opinions in ways we don’t even realize

When we think about metaphor, we might think about how we typically learn about metaphor in school: as a poetic device or a rhetorical flourish. But, metaphors are not simply confined to the world of poetry—they are all around us. We describe time as money (“spending time”), arguments as war (“you attacked my argument,” “I defended my argument”), love as a journey (“their relationship hit a dead end”), and emotional states as directions (“he was feeling down,” “cheer up”).

By some estimates, we use metaphors every 25 words, but because metaphors are so embedded in our language, they often go unnoticed.