Figurative Language versus Literal Language
Critical Thinking, Dr. Goldstein
Literal Language is to write or say something in a literary work that means exactly what is said, For example: If I say, “Sit down please.” Figurative Language is writing or speech, for example O mean: Sit in your seat right now please. (Exactly what I said)! When thinking about figurative language versus literal language we often use misuse figurative language and may make it more difficult for other to engage in productive thinking. There are ten (10) types of figurative language Idioms, Analogy, Metaphor, Simile, Cliché, Amphiboly, “Flame word,” Hyperbole, Euphemism and Colloquialism.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, an idiom is defined as: peculiar to itself either grammatically (as no, it wasn’t me) or having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements (as Monday week for “the Monday a week after next Monday).”
Analogy makes a comparison between two unlike things that are similar in some ways but otherwise unlike. The purpose for the comparison is to make a concept clearer. For example, a leaf is to a tree like a pedal is on the bike.
Metaphor is when you use two nouns and compare or contrast them to one another. Unlike simile, you don’t use “like” or “as” in the comparison. A simile would say you are like something: a metaphor is more positive – it says you are something. Example: You are what you eat. Someone can misuse this example by it as being fat or lazy due to what you’re eating.
Simile uses the words “like” or “as” to compare one object or idea with another to suggest they are alike. Example: busy as a bee.
Clichés is an expression that has been used so often that is has become trite and sometimes boring. Example: Many hands make light work.
Amphiboly is ambiguity of speech, especially from uncertainty of the grammatical construction rather than of the meaning of the words, as in The Duke yet...